Emergency crews on Sunday removed hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel from Stanley Hall, where equipment failure on Saturday caused a diesel tank to overflow. About 1,700 gallons of fuel spilled within the building, with some fuel reaching Strawberry Creek and a smaller amount making its way to San Francisco Bay.
Crews continue to monitor the situation, are laying down materials to both contain and absorb the diesel, and are using special trucks and equipment to vacuum up the fuel.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, a campus police officer noticed an off odor coming from Strawberry Creek, and employees from the campus’s Office of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) and Physical Plant-Campus Services investigated. They discovered that a diesel fuel tank in Stanley Hall had overflowed as fuel was being transferred from a larger nearby storage tank. The fuel in the tank is used to power an emergency generator for the building. The exact cause of this equipment failure is not yet known.
The leak was contained at about 9 p.m. Saturday. Campus crews shut off the source of the leak and immediately contacted federal, state, local and city authorities. If members of the public see fuel that may be pooling as a result of the spill, they are asked to avoid touching it, but should report it to (510) 664-4406.
Campus officials continue to work closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game.
Mark Freiberg, EH&S director, said that the coordinating agencies are closely monitoring the area for impacts to wildlife.
Stanley Hall, a large research and classroom building, remains closed due to the clean-up efforts, but EH&S and campus crews are monitoring conditions to verify that the building is safe for reoccupancy on Monday.