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Walla Walla Gasoline Leak

Site Contact:
Eric Vanderboom


Site Location:
Walla Walla, WA 99362
NRC#: 1379205

On September 15, 2023, EPA received notification from the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) via the National Response Center (NRC) that gasoline and gasoline vapors had been detected in the basement of a hotel in downtown Walla Walla above the lower explosive limits (LEL), and the hotel was evacuated by the Walla Walla Fire Department. Ecology’s Spill Response Program was working to confirm the source, suspected to originate from a nearby gas station, as well as to determine the route of migration, mitigate further leakage and recover spilled product. A tank at the gas station demonstrated anomalies in fuel level indicators that signaled lost product, and approximately 5,000 gallons of gasoline were transferred into an alternate storage tank. A total of 2,475 gallons of gasoline mixed with water were pumped from the sumps and vault of the hotel’s basement. No imminent threat to surface water was identified at this time.

On September 18, 2023, gasoline vapor was detected well above LELs in the basement of the United States Post Office, located across the street from the impacted hotel, and the post office was closed. On September 19, 2023, gasoline was found in storm drains around the impacted area, and according to the city’s Public Works Department, these lead into Mill Creek, a tributary of the Columbia River.

Two Ecology State On-Scene Coordinators (SOSCs) have been deployed to the incident since Friday, September 15, 2023. Ecology has been coordinating with other state and local officials, including the Walla Walla Fire Department and Public Works Department. Ecology requested EPA’s assistance.