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Crews clean up Huron River fuel spill after crash on M-14 in Ann Arbor

Crews work to clean up a fuel spill after fatal crash on Eastbound M-14 in Ann Arbor M-14
Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio

HAZMAT crews worked Monday to clean up diesel fuel from the Huron River in Ann Arbor. The spill was caused by a fatal accident on eastbound M-14 involving two semi trucks.

Mark Nicholai is the Ann Arbor Township Fire Chief. He says between 100 to 200 gallons of fuel were spilled. He says most of that fuel was spilled on the highway, but he says it's not clear how much got into the river.

Nicholai says he doesn't think there's any reason for residents to be concerned about drinking water that comes from the Huron River.

“I would say if they have any concerns to call the city's water treatment division,” he said. “They were on scene as well so they're well aware of the situation.”

An oil containment boom placed in the Huron River to contain Monday's diesel fuel spill.
Credit Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
An oil containment boom placed in the Huron River to contain Monday's diesel fuel spill.

Nicholai says HAZMAT crews contained the fuel in the river with booms. He says he doesn't feel there's a public health concern as a result of the spill.

“It's pretty noticeable whether or not it's got contaminated with any of the diesel fuel,” he said. “You'll see like a rainbow sheen on the top of that. My advice would be is if you see that sheen to not enter the water.”

A spokeswoman for the City of Ann Arbor released the following statement:

"The Ann Arbor Township Fire Chief said to contact the Water Treatment Plant with water quality questions, however, the M-14 bridge is below our intake, so there was never any risk to Ann Arbor’s drinking water. In addition, Ann Arbor Township Fire Department waited for Ann Arbor Fire to arrive on scene with PFAS-free firefighting foam so no one used PFAS-containing foam on the fire from this accident."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of did not contain a comment from the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Department. A response has been included in the updated story.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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