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Law enforcement responded to a hazmat situation Tuesday at the Conoco Flying J station on South Canyon Road after a truck carrying hazardous materials was found to have a leak.

Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said law enforcement received a call just after 4:33 p.m. that a semi with a trailer was leaking unknown hazmat.

A variety of law enforcement and fire crews responded and secured the scene, as well as confirming they believed it was indeed a hazmat situation. The Interstate 90 exit 109 ramps were closed from 4:50 until 7 p.m before being reopened.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Ellensburg Police Department issued an update on its Facebook page that a level one evacuation was in effect in the area of 2300 S. Canyon Road, and that clean up crew recommended a 600- foot safety radius.

At approximately 5 a.m Wednesday Ellensburg Police Department issued an update that clean-up crews had safely mitigated the situation and lifted the evacuation and the area was safe and business could resume as normal.

Brandon Williams, a hazardous waste driver, noticed that his truck was leaking a clear oily substance about the size of a small puddle, prompting him to contact public safety.

According to Williams, after taking a rest stop at the Conoco Flying J station in Ellensburg he went to do a routine examination of his semi truck and noticed a spill behind one of his wheels and his airbag soaked wet by an unknown substance. Williams initially thought he had blown gasket, but after further examination, Williams realized his trailer was leaking.

“I’ve been a hazmat guy for 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the product he was carrying in his truck was sealed up fiber drums of biological waste, which can be waste from places like hospitals. Williams said the contents can be anything from blood, used bandages, body parts to chemicals hospitals need to dispose of.

“It’s a hodgepodge of stuff .. all we know is something is leaking out of the truck that’s carrying some really nasty stuff,” Williams said.

According to Williams, not a lot leaked out of his trailer and speculated one possibility is that a drum inside could have been punctured either during the loading process or somehow during the drive. “You could imagine that if there’s a 400-gallon drum that’s punctured it drained out and it’s sitting all inside,” Williams said.

Williams said there are three extreme hazards on the truck. According to Williams one of the chemicals is potentially flammable, another chemical is an organic peroxide and the third is sodium hydroxide.

Williams explained when sodium hydroxide becomes wet it releases chlorine into the air. This cannot only be deadly when inhaled but in a windy place like Ellensburg increases risk.

“I’m the first line of defense … my first objective I told the fire department was if any kind of fire happens you can’t use water,” Williams said.

The truck’s final destination was an incinerator in Grafton, Ohio. According to Williams, there are only three incinerator locations in the whole country. There’s one in Little Rock, Arkansas, Port Arthur, Texas and Ohio.

Williams said every truck is equipped with a hazmat book and drivers know what to look for if a spill happens such as how far people need to be from the spill and what are the risks.

“Is it flammable? Is there an inhalation hazard? Is there an environmental hazard? Are you near a river or stream where it could harm the environment? Or fish?” Williams said. Williams said all the trucks are placard, so in the event that a driver was incapacitated, somebody else could identify the dangers.

“I’ve carried everything from warheads to fireworks,” Williams said. Williams has been a hazardous waste driver for 15 years and before worked in oil fields. This is the first time Williams has ever had a spill and wanted to take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the public.

“I’m losing some money, but I’d rather think of the public’s safety,” Williams said. “If it were my kid, or my child or somebody that I love and you didn’t take that into consideration because you were worried about making some money, I would be very angry. Hazmat drivers are top guys.”