Drilling fluids spill into Cadron Creek

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More than 100 barrels of oil-based drilling mud spilled into Cadron Creek after a wreck Saturday.

The accident happened about 2:30 p.m. Saturday when an 18-wheeler apparently failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 124 near Gravesville. The truck was owned by Ramco; the driver’s identity was unknown at press time. There did not appear to be any serious injuries.

Highway 124 was blocked for a time in both directions.

According to a report from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the truck spilled its load at the top of a hill approximately 100 yards above Cardon Creek. Remediation teams bermed and contained some of the spilled material in several locations from the site of the accident. The material did, however, leak into a spring-fed ditch that emptied into Cadron Creek. Booms were placed at the outfall of the ditch and booms were also placed across creek by boat a half-mile downstream and a mile downstream, the report said.

Remediation teams used vac-trucks, absorbent pads, and booms to collect the release. The report said a company representative stated that the drilling mud was a diesel-based formula.

ADEQ inspector Thomas Hunting said there was a heavy odor of diesel in the air and the material was a non-viscous liquid and orange in color. The remediation efforts appeared to be working and the impact to Cadron Creek, which was fast moving from localized heavy rains, appeared to be minimal, according to the report.

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