At approximately 11:10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, the Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Emergency Dispatch Center (911) received a call from an individual who reported seeing an adult male dump suspicious fluid onto the asphalt and dirt near the intersection of 15th East and US Hwy 20.
The caller reported that at approximately 10:30 a.m. the individual was standing on the trailer attached to a white Chevy dually pickup truck and was dumping fluid from two large plastic carboy containers. The caller reported seeing two full carboy containers and two empty carboy containers in the trailer. It is not known if there were other individuals inside the vehicle during the incident.
One engine, one ambulance and a battalion chief were dispatched from the Idaho Falls Fire Department (IFFD). Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was also on scene.
Shortly after arriving on scene, IFFD notified the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) and reported the incident. A conference call was coordinated through the IOEM State Communications office which consisted of officials from IFFD, IOEM, State Health Department and Department of Environmental Quality.
The Region 7 Hazardous Material Response Team then tested the fluid which showed a pH value of 1. With a pH scale from 0 to 14 and 7 being neutral, the test indicated that the fluid was very acidic.
Emergency responders have the approximate 40-foot by 20-foot spill area contained. There is no known threat to the public at this time. The hazmat team has spread neutralizing material on the acid. Barricades are being brought in to keep the area contained until a certified contractor arrives to safely remove the material.
There are no road closures, but motorists are encouraged to avoid the area, reduce speeds and watch for first responders on the side of the road who will remain on scene until the material is cleaned up. It is not known at this time how long the cleanup will take.
This incident is under investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Emergency Dispatch at (208) 529-1200. Information may also be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (208) 522-1983 or ifcrime.org.