Marine convoy highway diesel spill prompts cleanup

A vehicle in a long military convoy left puddles of diesel fuel along portions of area roadways Wednesday morning as Marines traveled from Beaufort to Savannah for a military exercise.

A hazardous materials team from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort cleaned up diesel fuel that leaked from a military fuel tanker from Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 en route to Fort Stewart, Ga., for a one-week training exercise.

A faulty pressure valve is believed to be responsible for the leak, which dripped patches of fuelwhen the vehicle turned, accelerated or braked between Beaufort and the Hardeeville. The convoy was stopped near Walmart on Argent Boulevard and informed of the problem, said Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen, air station spokesman.

Base officials say there was no negative impact to the environment because the fuel was spilled only on the paved roadway.

"The HazMat team went out there and laid down DrySweep and basically scooped it up, like you'd see at a traffic accident or an oil spill," McMeen said. "We got lucky that it had stopped raining so the run-off never made it to the grass."

The tanker was fixed and the convoy arrived at Fort Stewart on Wednesday afternoon, McMeen said.