VIDEO: Hazmat operations at the Citgo gas station at Palatine Road and Windsor Drive Tuesday morning.
Arlington Heights firefighters, public works staff, state officials, and private contractors may have had an extensive plan for a chemical leak cleanup at McDonald Creek and Lake Arlington, but the event today wasn’t part of any planned Earth Day celebration, which is tomorrow April 22nd. Today was a real Earth Day Eve emergency.
Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 5:43 AM Tuesday to a report of gasoline flowing at the Citgo Station at Palatine Road and Windsor Drive Arlington Heights, IL. An extended operation to cleanup spilled gasoline in a waterway involved a Hazmat Level I operation at the Citgo gas station, McDonald Creek and Lake Arlington most of the day Tuesday.
Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report early Tuesday that gasoline was “flowing all over the place” and flowing into the street. Firefighters responded with a HazMat Level I response.
A passerby hit the “kill switch” before firefighters arrived, but firefighters were still working on stopping the flow at about 6:00 a.m.
The gasoline flow was apparently occurring for an unknown amount of time, and possibly 80 gallons of gasoline leaked onto the ground with an unknown amount entering the storm sewer.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago was requested to respond to the scene by about 6:00 a.m.
VIDEO: Cleanup operations in McDonald Creek and Lake Arlington (easier to see gasoline sheen at full screen).
Since the gasoline flowed into a storm sewer and then into McDonald Creek, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency responded to assess and oversee cleanup.
Firefighter/paramedics and public works staff immediately went to work to stop the flow of gasoline along the surface of water in McDonald Creek which streams toward Lake Arlington from Palatine Road, just west of Windsor Drive.
IDOT was also on the scene to offer assistance, including providing a map of their storm sewers in the area.
Arlington Heights Public Works staff put a plan into effect with special dikes or booms that block and absorb gasoline to prevent it from moving downstream. A gasoline sheen was visible in McDonald Creek, but was mostly or completely stopped just west of Windsor Drive about 1300 feet north of Palatine Road.
With strong west winds, the smell of the leaked gasoline was very strong east of the Citgo gas station and along Windsor Drive and near McDonald Creek.
A private contractor was hired for cleanup of the gas station site.
Arlington Heights Public Works staff also used absorbent booms at the outlet of Lake Arlington as a precaution to prevent further progression of any possible gasoline east of Lake Arlington in McDonald Creek.
The State of Illinois Fire Marshal was also on the scene to inspect and assess the incident. Officials are investigating the cause of the leak.
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 with events worldwide that are scheduled in support of environmental protection. Earth Day often involves group cleanup of outdoor areas such as parks, forest preserves and lakeshores; planting trees, demonstration of earth friendly products; recycling promotions; and promotion of healthy eating with locally grown food.
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