Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

TriValley Herald: Ruptured Shell oil pipeline clogs I-580 near Tracy: Westbound lanes closed as oil slick flows onto highway

By Mike Martinez , STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 04/18/2007 02:53:39 AM PDT

TRACY — A ruptured oil pipeline leaked hundreds of gallons of oil onto the westbound lanes of Interstate 580 late Tuesday afternoon, forcing the highway’s closure and backing up traffic for miles.

An oil slick oozed down an embankment, across both westbound lanes and about 150 feet along the highway at the Bird Road overcrossing.

Another significant amount reached a field on the opposite side of the roadway through a gully under the freeway.

One officer said the oil was “flowing like a river” through the gully, forming small pools in the empty field before the pipeline was shut off.

California Department of Transportation workers dumped dozens of bags of absorbent material onto the freeway during a cleanup.

The 20-inch pipeline shuttles oil between Bakersfield and the Shell refinery in Martinez. A Shell Oil supervisor told California Highway Patrol officials the exact cause of the leak is under investigation.

The oil company will be held responsible for the cleanup and would be billed by the state for its costs, CHP officials said.

Representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game monitored the spill because it occurred near the California Aqueduct and a creek that flows through the area.

Officials from the state and federal Environmental Protection Agency were expected at the site, as was a contingent from the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services.

The oil spill was reported around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday and the freeway was shut down about 45 minutes later. Early commute traffic was rerouted to State Route 132 and backed up beyond Corral Hollow Road.

One lane was open at 8:20 p.m. A second lane will not reopen until 3 p.m. today.
Mike Martinez can be reached at (209) 832-3947 or at [email protected].

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.