Due to a catastrophic flooding event during a tropical storm REI was called in to oversee the cleanup of a 350-gallon bulk transmission fluid release at an indoor bulk storage facility. When flood waters entered the bulk storage facility, located in a warehouse, a 2,000-gallon aboveground storage tank (AST) containing lube oil overturned spilling the contents. Occupants, residents and business owners of the area were evacuated and not allowed to return until flood waters began receding. Personnel reported that at the crest of flood waters there was approximately 4 feet of water in the office/warehouse. The transmission fluid was released inside the warehouse and it floated on top of the flood waters as the waters receded to an adjacent storm water retention pond. REI and response personnel subsequently discovered a large volume of the transmission fluid floating on the water surface in the retention pond and along the shoreline. In addition puddles of flood water and transmission fluid remained inside the warehouse/office. REI and local response personnel mobilized with a vacuum truck to contain and clean up the released transmission fluid. Site activities included skimming transmission fluid from the storm water retention pond with the vacuum truck and using absorbent pads and booms inside the warehouse to collect transmission fluid. Over 2,250-gallons of transmission fluid and oily water were collected via the vacuum truck from the pond and within the warehouse. Crews collected spent absorbents used to absorb product within the warehouse. All liquids and spent absorbents were properly contained and transported off-site for proper disposal.
The following day REI and property personnel met on site to assess conditions and determine additional site activities. Some small pockets of transmission fluid remained along the shoreline of the pond; it was trapped with the debris and natural vegetation surrounding the pond. It was determined that the best method to collect the remaining small amount of product would be to install an absorbent boom around the area. Once flood water completely receded the boom would collect any additional product. REI investigated the remainder of the pond from multiple areas including the outfall and did not observe any additional areas of product. Within the warehouse, transmission fluid and residual impact were present throughout. It was determined that the best method to remove the product and residual impact would be to power wash the floor and collect the water and transmission fluid via a vacuum truck.
Personnel returned the following day with a vacuum truck and power washer to remove the remaining transmission fluid and residual impact from inside the warehouse. Approximately 1,000-gallons of oily water was collected via the vacuum truck and transported off-site for proper disposal.
In addition, crews used a small boat to install an absorbent boom around the area behind the warehouse where the transmission fluid flowed into the pond. Approximately 100’ of boom was placed to collect remaining product. Once no remaining product was observed, the absorbent boom was removed and properly disposed.