Botetourt fuel spill impacts waterways

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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) The tanker crash in Botetourt County along Route 220 brought emergency management crews to the scene. Crews discovered fuel from the tank spilled into the water nearby. Two biologist report more than four dozen dead fish in the area.

Botetourt County Officials are asking anyone who lives near or has livestock along the tributary of Catawba Creek to be cautious.
Fuel spilled from the tanker into the water and they don't want any livestock to drink from it. An environmentalist in the region has concerns about the wildlife.
Dan Crawford, Sierra Club Roanoke: "It's interesting no people died, the livestock and wildlife that drink out of Catawba Creek now may perish," said Dan Crawford of the Roanoke Sierra Club.

The DEQ reports there are no private wells near the scene. However, crews are working to clean up what they can. "They put in place these booms and pads that are in the creek right now near the accident site to soak up any residual or anything on top of the water," said Jason Ferguson of Botetourt Fire and EMS.

For surrounding waterways, they will put dams in place to soak up as much fuel as possible. " They put in pipes that allow water under the surface to flow through the pipes and to the other side, "said Ferguson. "It creates a ponding effect so that if there is residual behind it, it can be captured with booms and pads and be taken out of the waterway and not proceed downstream."

Two DEQ biologists from out Roanoke office investigated a ~1.5-2 mile stretch of the creek (an unnamed tributary of Catawba Creek) that was impacted this morning and found approximately 65-70 dead fish of various species. No other impacts to wildlife were observed, no dead crayfish, aquatic insects.

DEQ staff will be back on site on February 21st, to monitor the progress of cleanup by the contractor and to continue assessing any possible environmental impacts in the area, including adjoining Catawba Creek.