City investigates spill in Highlands neighborhood

November 12, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 2013

Source: City of Newcastle An oil spill covering streets in the Newcastle Highlands neighborhood made for slick roads Nov. 12.

Source: City of Newcastle
An oil spill covering streets in the Newcastle Highlands neighborhood made for slick roads Nov. 12.

The Newcastle Public Works Department is investigating a spill that caused a light coating of gasoline or oil to cover streets in the Newcastle Highlands neighborhood Nov. 12.

Public Works crews enacted spill response procedures, which included containment of the material, prevention from entering storm drains and cleanup.

Staff believe they successfully worked to contain it, Newcastle Surface Water Engineer Laura Frolich said, but there is no clear-cut evidence about what caused the spill.

The city worked diligently to prevent the material from entering storm drains, she said, and if it did, at the outfalls, there is material there to absorb any oil. The storm drains in the neighborhood funnel into detention ponds.

“It’s not a threat to the environment and it won’t contaminate any salmon-bearing streams,” she said.

One of the primary concerns was the slick roads, with traction similar to ice. The city encouraged drivers to use caution when driving in the neighborhood.

Frolich said the spill was an “odd” one, in that it covered several neighborhood streets. Staff hypothesized that it could have been caused by a vehicle that has a route through the neighborhood, such as a dump truck or a school bus.

Anyone with information related to this spill should call City Hall at 649-4444 immediately.

The streets that were affected include Southeast 91st Street, Southeast 92nd Street, 140th Avenue Southeast, 143rd Avenue Southeast and Southeast 90th Street.

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