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Hazardous materials spill at the Veterans Hospital

Diesel incident was mostly contained, fire department says

For the second time in less than three weeks, diesel fuel spilled at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System campus on Miranda Avenue. Embarcadero Media file photo.

For the second time in three weeks, the Palo Alto Fire Department on Thursday afternoon responded to a hazardous materials spill at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Battalion Chief Shane Yarbrough said.

Multiple units, including three engines, went to the VA Hospital at 3801 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto at about 2:53 p.m. VA staff were testing generators in an outbuilding when a fuel line broke, spilling diesel fuel, Yarbrough said. About 95% of the fuel remained within the containment container and a small amount leaked outside the structure onto soil.

A city of Palo Alto online notification stated that 20 to 40 gallons spilled inside the generator cabinet. Palo Alto Fire Department is investigating the incident, which closed out after about an hour.

Yarbrough said the fire department tested the soil, and the contaminated area was cleaned up.

"There was no plume into the creek, and none of the diesel went into the storm drain," he said.

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Today's incident is the second at the VA in less than three weeks. About 50 to 100 gallons of diesel spilled from a storage tank on Oct. 14.

That incident was preceded by a spill on May 6, 2021, which contaminated at least a 600-foot section of Matadero Creek and required months of cleanup and oversight.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Hazardous materials spill at the Veterans Hospital

Diesel incident was mostly contained, fire department says

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Nov 4, 2022, 11:58 am

For the second time in three weeks, the Palo Alto Fire Department on Thursday afternoon responded to a hazardous materials spill at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Battalion Chief Shane Yarbrough said.

Multiple units, including three engines, went to the VA Hospital at 3801 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto at about 2:53 p.m. VA staff were testing generators in an outbuilding when a fuel line broke, spilling diesel fuel, Yarbrough said. About 95% of the fuel remained within the containment container and a small amount leaked outside the structure onto soil.

A city of Palo Alto online notification stated that 20 to 40 gallons spilled inside the generator cabinet. Palo Alto Fire Department is investigating the incident, which closed out after about an hour.

Yarbrough said the fire department tested the soil, and the contaminated area was cleaned up.

"There was no plume into the creek, and none of the diesel went into the storm drain," he said.

Today's incident is the second at the VA in less than three weeks. About 50 to 100 gallons of diesel spilled from a storage tank on Oct. 14.

That incident was preceded by a spill on May 6, 2021, which contaminated at least a 600-foot section of Matadero Creek and required months of cleanup and oversight.

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