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Foster Fuels fined for 2008 oil spill caused by wreck in Giles Co.

In February 2008, a Foster Fuels tanker truck crashed in Giles County, spilling more than 7,000 gallons into Walker Creek and surrounding land
/ Source: WSLS 10

Brookneal-based Foster Fuels has signed an agreement with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to settle violations from an oil spill 18 months ago. In February 2008, a Foster Fuels tanker truck crashed in Giles County, spilling more than 7,000 gallons into Walker Creek and surrounding land. According to a consent order signed July 24, the company must pay the DEQ $20,420 and monitor the water quality in the creek and neighboring wells. Watt Foster, principal of the company, said Foster Fuels will pay the fine “and move on.” The 2008 spill occurred on Valentines Day as Jeffrey Arnold Claytor drove a Foster Fuels truck to deliver heating oil and kerosene. He lost control of the vehicle coming around a bend on Virginia 42. The truck tipped over and its tanker was ruptured. According to the DEQ consent order, the truck leaked 7,140 gallons of fuel. Claytor was charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle and improper breaks. He was later found not guilty. W.E.L. Inc., of Concord, managed the cleanup of the spill. It eventually recovered 4,513 gallons of fuel, the consent order said. Foster said that the DEQ began discussing a consent order with the company in the spring of this year. He signed it in June and a DEQ official signed it July 24. He said he was disappointed with the size of the DEQ’s fine. “It was something they felt they needed to do,” Foster said. “… It is what it is. I don’t think it’s good, but I don’t guess it’s as bad as it could have been. I was hoping for less.” “They have a job to do, and they seem to be pretty good at it. It’s a pleasure working with them,” he said. The consent order requires Foster Fuels to test the water in the creek and in nearby drinking water wells quarterly for one year. It also requires the company to set up groundwater monitoring wells and test them quarterly for one year. If any tests come back showing petroleum contamination that exceeds regulatory limits, the company has to find a way to remove the pollutant. Jeanne-Marie Taylor, who lives in a historic property along the creek, said that for a time the company had stopped performing mandatory tests of the drinking water at her property. However, the company recently began scheduling the next drinking water test, she said.