Thrills and spills

The state Office of Emergency Services (OES) is responsible for handling everything from floods to terrorists’ radiological “dirty bombs.” It also tracks, every day, spills of toxic and hazardous stuff into our environment—big and small. Scanning the daily reports out of OES, you might be surprised what turns up—from major sewage overflows that never make the evening news to the few ounces of some noxious chemical that get tossed into a local storm drain. Here are some highlights from the Sacramento area for the month of February 2006.

February 21: Five gallons of propylene glycol, used for de-icing airplanes, went into a storm drain at the Sacramento International Airport. The report says drinking water was impacted.

February 18: A big-rig accident resulted in 40 gallons of diesel fuel spilled near Mack Road.

February 18: California Highway Patrol was pursuing a vehicle into a parking lot. The vehicle struck two pesticide trucks, causing them to become “fully engulfed in flames.” The amount of pesticide released was unknown.

February 10: An overflowing manhole at a construction site in Citrus Heights resulted in an 1,850-gallon sewage spill.

February 7: Five gallons of molasses spread across the road at M Street and Rio Linda Boulevard.