A Texas carrier is being fined $44,191 by Oregon regulators for failing to help clean up diesel fuel spilled after an accident on Interstate 84 last year.
A truck owned by Dallas-based Marko Transport overturned and crashed near the city of Pendleton, Oregon, on Nov. 26, 2021, spilling about 100 gallons of diesel fuel and closing a 50-mile stretch of I-84 eastbound for nine hours.
Hazmat crews responded to the crash site to deal with the fuel spill, according to news reports.
Marko Transport did not help clear the fuel, violating an Oregon law requiring that spills be immediately cleaned up “to minimize these threats,” according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
In March 2022, the Oregon Department of Transportation hired an environmental contractor to conduct a cleanup, costing $34,591.
“DEQ issued this penalty because failing to immediately clean up a spill or release of oil is a serious violation of Oregon environmental law,” DEQ said in its penalty order against Marko Transport. “Even small amounts of oil or petroleum products spilled onto the ground can pose a threat to surface water, groundwater and the health of the environment.”
Marko Transport is listed as having five trucks and drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Officials for Marko Transport said they tried to work with DEQ through its insurance company to help clean up the spill last year.
“I told them last year in December, ‘Don’t call me, just contact my insurance,’” a man who identified himself as manager at Marko Transport told FreightWaves. “My company is already bankrupt.”
Marko Transport can appeal its fine by requesting a hearing within 20 calendar days of receiving the penalty letter.
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