URBANA — A driver for Safety-Kleen Systems was issued a ticket for not shutting a valve on a truck that leaked used motor oil onto an Urbana street and an interstate highway Tuesday.
Urbana police were notified about 7 a.m. that there was a slick layer of oil on North Lincoln Avenue in the southbound turn lane to Interstate 74 eastbound. Police and public works employees shut down Lincoln while state police took steps to shut down the ramp to eastbound 74 for several hours.
"This truck had been going south on Lincoln and was turning east on 74. The driver got down the ramp and about halfway to Cunningham Avenue when he realized he was leaking, pulled off on the shoulder, and shut the valve," explained Lt. John Wenzel of the state police post at Pesotum.
Safety-Kleen, based in Texas, has an office at 500 W. Anthony Drive, U, just north of where the spill was first noticed.
The driver continued on to Oakwood, where police found him later and had him return so the truck could be inspected.
Wenzel said Christopher Camarata, 37, a Safety-Kleen driver, was ticketed for a violation of the Motor Carrier Safety Act, a fine-only offense.
"They pick up waste oil from places like oil lube businesses. This oil has a lot of water because it's waste. This was more like a vegetable oil consistency. It got on the road and made it very slick," said Wenzel, adding that the spill did not pose a serious environmental threat. "Nothing got in drains or ditches."
Wenzel said Safety-Kleen employees immediately began the cleanup as soon as they learned of the spill. They were later joined by professionals from Bodine Environmental Services from Decatur.
"If we had had a good hard rain, it probably would not have been an issue," said Wenzel.
Lincoln Avenue was reopened just before noon while the ramp to 74 reopened about 1:40 p.m.