Virginia DEQ provides update on last Friday’s crash in Highland County resulting in fuel spilling into Jackson River

Alleghany Highlands News

The Roanoke Valley Regional Hazardous Materials Team was deployed to Highland County on Feb. 26, 2021 after a tanker truck overturned in the Jackson River. (Photo: Courtesy Roanoke Fire-EMS)

HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has provided an update on the fuel spill in the Jackson River in Highland County.

On Friday, Feb. 26, a tanker truck carrying around 9,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline lost control on Route 220 in Highland County and ended up crashing into the Jackson River.

DEQ officials say that around 1,470 gallons had spilled into the Jackson River but the fuel quickly diluted and naturally diminished.

Biologists do not believe that there will be impacts to mussels, crayfish and larvae of aquatic insects; however, about 500 trout and 370 minnows were killed about four kilometers downstream of the spill.

In the days after the spill, an environmental response contractor maintained protective booms in the water.

No gasoline was absorbed into the soil or the leaves in the area and no evidence was found of additional fuel.

DEQ is completing the initial assessment and investigation as, besides the removal of remaining booms, the response action to the spill is considered to be complete.

As of Wednesday, March 3, Bath County officials say the emergency on the Jackson River has been lifted and the water deemed safe to enter, fish, etc.

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