IDEM, Marion County continue jet fuel clean up at Pleasant Run Creek

“Undetermined” amount of jet fuel entered creek after Feb. 20 tanker accident
February 26, 2020

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Marion County Health Department continue their cleanup of jet fuel that entered the Pleasant Run Creek after a tanker accident Feb. 20.

IDEM told the Indiana Environmental Reporter that the crews continue to clean up the jet fuel release with skirted and absorbent pads and the use of a vacuum truck.

The agency said the public should avoid the area while cleanup crews continue their work.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, the driver of a jet fuel tanker made contact with a guardrail, overturned and caught fire at the southbound Interstate 465 ramp to eastbound Interstate 70.

After a series of explosions, firefighters were able to arrive at the scene, although heavy fire and jet fuel runoff hampered access to the site. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in about 40 minutes.

overturned tanker
An undetermined amount of jet fuel entered Pleasant Run Creek after a jet fuel tanker crashed and exploded in Indianapolis Feb. 20. Courtesy - Indianapolis Fire Department

IDEM said an “undetermined” amount of jet fuel entered nearby Pleasant Run Creek through the interstate’s storm water system. The fuel was seen about 1,400 ft. into the creek.

IDEM said there are no drinking water intakes along Pleasant Run Creek, which feeds into the White River south of downtown Indianapolis.

The creek has been a dumping ground for upstream industrial pollutants since the late 19th century.

In 2014, environmental groups and state regulators were concerned about toxic pollution from a former coke factory were seeping into the creek.

Data from IDEM, the Marion County Health Department and the Indianapolis Department of Public Works shows that the creek has bacteria problems, low levels of dissolved oxygen and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.

IDEM, Marion County continue jet fuel clean up at Pleasant Run Creek