On a gray Tuesday pops of color line a section of Route 78 in Alburgh. Up to 10 drums of flammable, toxic ink spilled along the side of the road.
"Each drum was about 55 gallons. There was printer ink, adhesive, pigments, some in powder form, some in liquid form," said Jaymi Cleland an environmental analyst for the Vt. Agency of Natural Resources.
The ink was being transported by the company Kriska from Massachusetts to Ontario on a tractor-trailer when it crashed around 1 a.m. Tuesday, dumping part of its load.
"Hit some black ice, jackknifed and the load they were carrying flew out of the back of the trailer," Cleland said.
"It's going to take a while," Alburgh Fire Captain Scott Mashtree said.
Fire officials called Emergency Management for help. Emergency Management called the Natural Resources Agency. And state environmental officials decided not to have hazmat crews respond, instead calling in a private Williston company to clean up the toxic mess.
"I felt that the resources I coordinated were appropriate for the situation," Cleland said.
In hindsight, Cleland said the hazmat team should have been called in, even though the private Williston company is qualified for the work. Hazmat crews normally first assess the danger and survey damage, determining what clean up is needed.
"I don't think they got the gravity of the situation until daybreak," Cleland said.
The focus now is on clean up-- removing the ink that spilled and keeping the rest from penetrating into the ground and into the waterways. Officials say it's too early to know the impact on people and wildlife, but they are going to monitor the site over time.
"There could be residual contamination that we can't get to to remediate and it could impact the water system," Cleland said.
Along with the ink, 25 to 30 gallons of hazardous diesel fuel also spilled during the crash.
That area along Route 78 is not considered a marshland.
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