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Hazmat team called out for diesel spill

Nearby Lake Clementine not impacted
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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A hazmat team was called out to Lower Lake Clementine Road Wednesday morning when a big-rig truck punctured its fuel tank sending gallons of diesel spilling off the side of the road.

According to David Martinez, public information officer for the California Highway Patrol, James S. Cordingley, 56, of Islip, N.Y. was driving his white 2000 Kenworth tractor trailer when he attempted to negotiate a U-turn on Lower Lake Clementine Road Wednesday morning.

Cordingley's rig was unloaded when he attempted to back into a turnout and scraped his fuel tank against the edge of a small drop-off where the road ended. The fuel tank was punctured, spilling anywhere from 10 to 20 gallons of diesel fuel.

No other vehicles were involved in the spill, Martinez said. The Placer County Department of Environmental Health's Hazardous Materials crew was out containing and cleaning up the spill on Wednesday.

Firefighters with Cal Fire were also on hand on Wednesday, in case a spark ignited the fuel, according to Battalion Chief Erich Schwab.

"It's diesel, so it's definitely flammable, but it's not as volatile as gasoline," Schwab said.

Mid-Sierra Towing pulled the truck from out of the middle of Lower Lake Clementine Road without further puncturing the fuel tank, which had to be sealed with putty.

Traffic was blocked from passing the road for an hour while the truck was being removed and hazmat crews worked to ensure the fuel didn't make its way to Lake Clementine. Mike Lynch, superintendent of the Auburn State Recreation Area, was on hand to ensure the fuel spill was contained before it could reach the recreation area.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.