Minnie Creek diesel spill

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)

The Washington Dept. of Ecology and Cheney Fire Department are responding to a spill at Minnie Creek in Cheney, WA.

Summary information

Date of incident:  July 19, 2023

Cheney, WA

Type of incident: Diesel
Minnie Creek diesel spill in Cheney, WA

Photo of a responder at the Minnie Creek diesel spill in Cheney, WA.

Status updates

Monday, July 31, 2023 -- 9:30 a.m.

Excavation and remediation continues. There is a persistent sheen on the water surface in the creek at the stormwater outfall. Responders are onsite to skim fuel off the water's surface, manage the sorbent materials and document environmental impacts. We are awaiting analytical results from soil samples to further define the affected area and formulate cleanup plans as necessary.

Skimming operations to remove sheen from water surface.

Inaccessible excavation site across creek.





Wednesday, July 26, 2023 -- 6:00 p.m.

Sheen was reduced on the creek today and responders continued to sweep and skim the surface as necessary to capture the sheen that is still present. The sheen in the catch basin was vacuumed out and did not immediately recover. No other access points in the storm water system between the Chevron station and the outfall at Minnie Creek contained identifiable sheen. 

A silt curtain was installed in Minnie Creek in preparation for excavation to begin tomorrow. The initial excavation will be limited to the first 50-75 yards downstream of the stormwater outfall. Samples will be collected to determine if addition excavation is needed.

Responders in Minnie Creek changing out boom

Boom in Minnie Creek




Tuesday, July 25, 2023 -- 7:45 p.m.

Contractors completed cleaning storm drains and continue removing light sheen from the storm culvert that leads to Minnie Creek. Responders continue changing out absorbent materials in the creek.

Approximately 36,000 gallons of fuel/water mixture have been vacuumed from Minnie Creek, and additionally collected from storm drains.

Contractors will continue sampling the creek to determine the extent of the contamination which will drive cleanup efforts.

Monday, July 24, 2023 -- 6:30 p.m.

Responders continue to remove red dye diesel from the culvert which daylights to Minnie Creek. Response contractors collected soil and water samples for testing. 

Responders were able to pump the vault at the Chevron station. Approximately 1,500 gallons of diesel and water were removed. 

So far 30,000 gallons of product and emulsified water has been vacuumed from Minnie Creek, and additionally collected from storm drains. 

The spill volume and duration is unknown at this time.

Sunday, July 23, 2023 -- 2:00 p.m.

Ecology personnel were onsite to continue daytime survey, and provide management support of the spill. The response contractor will continue to utilize a mini excavator to remove impacted vegetation and sediment from the area. 

Personnel conducting survey work observed patches of petroleum odor along Minnie Creek to train trestle. Additional soil sediments will be taken along the stream.  

To date, 18,500 gallons of product and emulsified water has been vacuumed from Minnie Creek, and additionally collected from storm drains. 

Diesel in Minnie Creek

Responders on the bank of Minnie Creek






Friday, July 21, 2023 -- 5:00 p.m.

The response contractor continues to remove red dyed diesel under vegetation in Minnie Creek. The contractor and Public Works started vacuum operations at the junction where Chevron storm system connects to public works.

There has been 1,850 gallons of product and emulsified water vacuumed from Minnie Creek. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023 -- 3:00 p.m.

Ecology personnel were onsite today continuing to monitor the spill. Response contractors found red dyed diesel under vegetation coming from a culvert daylighting to the area of impact on Minnie Creek. Additional nearby storm drains were also found to contain red dyed diesel. One of the storm drains was traced to a utility/junction vault at a nearby Chevron station.

Extra containment was added to the end of at Minnie Creek. To date, 1,000 gallons of product and emulsified water has been vacuumed from Minnie Creek. 

The spill is an unknown volume at this time. The response contractor will bring in a mini-excavator and begin removing impacted vegetation and sediment.

Minnie Creek spill clean up




Wednesday, July 19, 2023 -- 9:00 p.m.

Ecology was notified of a solvent dumped in Minnie Creek by the Cheney Fire Department. The volume and product type are currently unknown. A response contractor has been hired to assist with the spill response, and will bring in an excavator and begin removal of impacted vegetation and sediment. Ecology was on site to conduct air monitoring and manage the spill.

Responders at Minnie Creek spill

Responder with absorbents at Minnie Creek

Responders on the banks of Minnie Creek

Media contact

Ty Keltner, Communications, ty.keltner@ecy.wa.gov, 360-515-6868