Officials investigating after truck leaks fuel into Sterling Heights sewer

Posted at 1:31 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 13:31:38-04

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Authorities are investigating after a disabled truck leaked a significant amount of fuel into a sewer in Sterling Heights.

Officials with Macomb County Public Works say the spill was discovered Tuesday morning by a construction contractor while working near Dodge Park Road, north of 15 Mile Road, in the Sterling Relief Drain.

On Monday, a tractor trailer had broken down in the street; a truck repair company arrived to work on the rig, which was then driven or towed away that day after spilling diesel.

The firm that owns the truck and the name of the driver is unknown. The name of the truck repair company has not been confirmed.

“This was a significant spill,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said. “I have a zero tolerance approach to contamination of our waterways. We will continue to investigate, but had those responsible for it contacted the city of Sterling Heights or the county immediately, action could have been taken much sooner to reduce damage to the environment. Accidents sometimes happen, but failure to report is not acceptable.”

Workers are beginning to clean approximately 1,800 feet of city storm sewer; it's expected to continue through at least Friday.

Officials are placing containment booms to halt the spread of the fuel and help absorb some of it and sump wells at Dodge Park Road.

A Macomb County Public Works construction inspector along with Sterling Heights DPW are at the origin of the spill on Stanley Drive as the cleaning of approximately 1,800 feet of city storm sewer began Wednesday morning. That work, conducted by Doetsch Environmental Services using a vactor truck, is expected to continue through at least Friday.

Officials believe the booms stopped the diesel before it reached the river.