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Truck hauling hazardous soil spills diesel fuel over 10 miles

A truck hauling hazardous soil spilled diesel fuel Friday from north of the Witmer Road exit of the I-190, 10 miles to the Chemical Waste Management landfill in Porter.

State police said the driver, John Hinkle Jr. of Weedsport, faces charges and his employer, Page Etc. of Weedsport, will be responsible for the cost of the cleanup.

State police said Hinkle apparently never noticed the leak until he arrived at CWM and discovered he had run out of fuel. A puncture was found in one of two fuel tanks on the truck.

Lori Caso, a spokeswoman for CWM, called the fuel leak an "an accident -- nothing intentional."

Hinkle, however, was charged by state Department of Environment Conservation police with dumping hazardous materials on the roadway and charged by state police with a fuel leak violation.

State police first learned of the leak at about 10:15 a.m. Roadways affected included the I-190 exit, Lewiston Hill, Creek and Balmer roads.

DEC Regional Environmental Quality Engineer Daniel David said the truck probably was leaking on the I-190 but didn't really become noticeable until the vehicle slowed on the exit "and pretty much leaked all the way to CWM."

David said Op-Tech, a spills contractor that works with the DEC, was joined by teams from CWM, firefighting crews from Upper Mountain, Lewiston No. 1 and 2 companies and the Town of Lewiston Haz-Mat team.

David said they were on the scene for several hours cleaning up the spill, and the state Department of Transportation applied sand to ensure the asphalt wasn't slippery.

"With oil you can't always get everything up," David said.

"I just want to give big kudos to the Lewiston Haz-Mat. They acted very quickly," Caso said.


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