Times-Call (Longmont)

Settlement for Lyons gas spill

Colorado receives $245K from trucking company

- By Mitchell Byars mbyars@ prairiemou­ntainmedia.com

Colorado reached a settlement with a trucking company after a rollover crash spilled 2,000 gallons of gasoline into North St. Vrain Creek in 2021.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office in a release stated the Colorado Natural Resources Trustees resolved a natural resource damage claim under the federal Oil Pollution Act through a $245,000 settlement with MTY Trucking, LLC.

The tanker truck rollover occurred on April 27, 2021, on U.S. 36 near Lyons. The state conducted a year-long damages assessment and identified injuries to aquatic life and habitat within a five-mile stretch of river downstream of the crash site.

The Oil Pollution Act mandates the settlement funds be used to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources injured by the spill.

The trustees will consult with local stakeholde­rs, including Lyons officials and community groups, to identify and fund appropriat­e restoratio­n projects.

“This accident damaged the local habitat and harmed an already vulnerable river ecosystem still recovering from the 2013 flood,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser, who also serves as chairman of the Colorado Natural Resources Trustees. “With this result, we are holding accountabl­e the responsibl­e party and we are in a position to remediate the damage. The trustees look forward to working with the Lyons community and finding projects that once again restore the St. Vrain River to health.”

Insurers for MTY Trucking paid the state’s natural resources damages claim, as well as a separate $18,000 payment to the

federal government resolving a similar claim.

The trucking company’s insurers also paid two other state claims; a $55,000 Water Quality Control Act penalty assessed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environmen­t and a $30,000 invoice from Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Division for the illegal take of over 800 dead trout.

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