Past Project: Emergency Spill Response to Tanker Rollover Near Alberton, Montana

Wrecked tanker trailer cantilevered over a cliff

Pup trailer cantilevered over small cliff

On April 20, 2016, a gasoline tanker truck towing a pup trailer was traveling westbound on Montana Highway 10 east of Alberton in Missoula County, Montana. At a bend in the road near mile marker two, the wheels of the pup trailer dropped off the paved roadway onto a soft shoulder, causing the pup trailer to break free and tumble down an embankment. The trailer came to a rest wheels-up, the tank cantilevered over the edge of a small cliff. The tank was breached in the accident and approximately 2,200 gallons of gasoline were released.

Initial response crews included the local volunteer fire department and towing companies from Missoula, Montana. Olympus Technical Services was contacted to provide air monitoring to ensure that explosive atmospheric conditions were avoided to protect the health and safety of the responders. We also helped transfer gasoline that remained in the wrecked trailer to another tanker.

Following initial response operations and extraction of the wrecked pup trailer, Olympus was contracted to provide remediation services at the site. We sought and received an access agreement with the landowner, filed for an encroachment permit with the Montana Department of Transportation, ordered the location of buried utilities, and contracted for traffic control as needed.

Olympus began excavating impacted soil on April 25, 2016. An abandoned railroad right-of-way was at the base of the cliff where the trailer came to a stop. Excavation began at that lower elevation, guided by visual observations and a photoionization detector (PID). Pooled water and non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) were encountered at a depth of approximately three feet, indicating the presence of a perched water table. A test pit was dug 20 feet from the excavation site. Water and NAPL were encountered there as well.

The following day, Olympus moved to the top of the cliff and excavated between the highway and the cliff, using a PID to identify impacted soil. The excavation site was approximately 19’ x 35’ and no more than six feet deep. Upon completion of excavation and sampling activities at the upper elevation, the excavation was backfilled, shaped, and compacted.

Focus returned to the lower elevation site on April 27. Olympus continued excavating impacted soil and NAPL encountered in the excavation was removed using sorbents. Due to the presence of water and NAPL, only the portion of the excavation adjacent to the cliff was backfilled to stabilize the slope. The rest of the excavation was left open to allow for access to the NAPL and water in the bottom of the excavation. Following excavation activities, the area was sampled in accordance with Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) guidance.

Following standard operating procedures, Olympus identified 12 groundwater supply wells within a half-mile of the site and received permission from landowners to sample 11 of the wells. Samples were collected from the wells several times over the course of two years to monitor for impacts to drinking water.

Montana DEQ requested that a sentinel soil boring be advanced to 100 feet below ground surface in a location down-gradient of the site to ensure that NAPL had not traveled through fractured bedrock, and to investigate the presence of a more regional shallow groundwater aquifer. Olympus contracted with a drilling company and the soil boring was completed on May 31. Measurable concentrations of volatile organic compounds were not detected at any depth.

To expedite the remediation process in the lower excavation area, a sprinkler system was used to circulate the water. On June 6, 7, and 8 a two-inch pump with large sprinkler heads was used to draw water from the excavation and spray it back into the excavation to volatilize petroleum hydrocarbons. Samples collected before and after indicated that circulating the water decreased petroleum hydrocarbon constituents. Based on the positive results of the initial sprinkler system, a solar-powered sprinkler system was installed on July 28 to provide a more long-term, low maintenance remediation system

In parallel with work on the sprinkler system, a front-end loader and mini excavator were mobilized to the site to dispose of the impacted soil that has been stockpiled there. Approximately 1,610 tons of impacted soil was hauled offsite for disposal.

In January 2017, Montana DEQ notified the responsible party that additional remediation work was required, including noxious weed management, the installation of a monitoring well and ongoing sampling and analysis of that well and the three closest residential water wells. Olympus performed this work for the responsible party.

In July 2020, Montana DEQ notified the responsible party that the site did not appear to pose an unacceptable risk to human health, or the environment and no further remedial action was required.

Learn more about our emergency spill response services.

 

Tanker trailer on its side with emergency vehicles in the background

Pup trailer during initial response

Accident site in daylight

Accident site after removal of the pup trailer

Working the upper excavation area

Upper excavation area following backfilling and compaction

Lower excavation area

Pooled water and NAPL in lower excavation area

Sprinkler system to volatilize petroleum hydrocarbons

Lower excavation area after grading

Sampling well

 

What Our Clients are saying

one of the foremost authorities

“Simply put, as a consultant to the retail fueling industry, Olympus Technical Services is one of the foremost authorities in terms of environmental regulations...

"Simply put, as a consultant to the retail fueling industry, Olympus Technical Services is one of the foremost authorities in terms of environmental regulations, permits, emergency response and petroleum cleanup."

Trent Biggers

Town Pump, Inc.

Trent Biggers
Town Pump, Inc.

a professional and talented group

We initially met Olympus Technical Services when they were working as a subcontractor on an EPA TBA. We needed some work done quickly (it was under our bid...

"We initially met Olympus Technical Services when they were working as a subcontractor on an EPA TBA. We needed some work done quickly (it was under our bid threshold) and Preston Chase made it clear that Olympus could and would perform that work immediately and at an advantaged rate.

We hired them and the work was done quickly and professionally. Later, Olympus won a major demolition bid with FCEDA. The bid was fair and the work was started right on time and finished in advance of our deadline. It was a difficult job with several unknowns that caused delays, change orders, and equipment breakdowns. Throughout, Preston and his team were professional, flexible, and made sound recommendations. They were great partners on a difficult project. In spite of these setbacks, never once were there complaints, excuses, or delays that weren’t overcome. Because of this project, we have highly recommended Olympus Technical Services to many of our partners.

FCEDA has gone on to have additional engagements with Preston and Olympus resulting in the same solid partnership. They are always willing to engage, provide feedback, complete the job on time and on budget (or under in some cases). It has been a pleasure to work with such a professional and talented group!"

Christy Cummings Dawson

Flathead County Economic Development AuthorityFlathead County Economic Development Authority

Christy Cummings Dawson
Flathead County Economic Development Authority

highly qualified, responsive, & innovative

"The company motto for Olympus Technical Services, Inc. should be “we are here to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” The team of professional personnel...

"The company motto for Olympus Technical Services, Inc. should be “we are here to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” The team of professional personnel at Olympus are each highly qualified, responsive, and innovative. Their problem-solving methods and can-do attitudes create results.

Consistently, Olympus meets all three aspects of the Project Management triangle: quality, schedule,and budget.

Olympus offers so much more than operating yellow iron. For a complex, web-based, GIS project in East Helena, Olympus responded to numerous revisions with accuracy and offered creative resolutions to complex challenges for the data presentation.

At remote project locations around Montana, Olympus comes prepared with necessary resources and anticipates needs, resulting in efficient execution of the scope of work with minimal down time.

The heavy equipment operators at Olympus are skilled, safe, and meticulous. Olympus’ commitment to safety and quality is unparalleled by most companies.

At a large Superfund site in Billings involving many stakeholders and numerous other subcontractors, Olympus flawlessly managed unexpected complications in the field and responded with flexibility to schedule changes as a result of others. Olympus excavated and managed the ex-situ treatment of ________ cubic yards of soil and constructed a soil vapor extraction system, including a treatment shed with doors customized by one of their team. Once the system was up and running, Olympus provided technical expertise by conducting monthly maintenance checks and performance monitoring reliably and accurately.

Olympus also supported periodic groundwater monitoring; again, anticipating field needs and providing experienced personnel with the appropriate quantity and types of equipment and supplies.

Olympus consistently provides quality technical expertise and work products satisfying client needs while meeting schedules and within budgets. They are flexible and creative to meet project needs."

Catherine LeCours

Pacific West Technologies

Catherine LeCours
Pacific West Technologies

work was performed flawlessly & professionally

“We used Olympus Technical Services to do a remediation project and some extensive concrete demolition and backfill work. The work was performed flawlessly...

“We used Olympus Technical Services to do a remediation project and some extensive concrete demolition and backfill work. The work was performed flawlessly and professionally, and the field staff was great to work with. When site challenges presented themselves, Olympus was intuitive and creative in solving them. They were a great company to deal with.”

Mike Heisey

General Manager

Bonner Property Development, LLC

Mike Heisey
Bonner Property Development, LLC