The Milbank Fire Department was dispatched at 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, to the Highway 12 overpass on the west edge of Milbank where a semi trailer rolled off the road and down an embankment. According to Milbank Fire Chief Kevin Schuelke, a truck owned by Agri-Trading Fats and Oils Transportation from Hector, Minnesota, was transporting corn oil from an ethanol plant in Mina, South Dakota, when the tractor-trailer went off the highway.
The trailer rolled and ended upside down in shallow water with the non-pressurized insulated tank leaking its cargo of corn oil into the water and surrounding area. The driver was not injured.
The Shop Towing from Big Stone City removed the tractor. Trees were removed by Berkner Excavating to allow The Shop wrecker to lift the tanker to limit the seepage. The Milbank Fire Department cut a hole in the rear of the tank to allow the remainder of clean oil to be pumped to another tanker. “Oil that leaked into the water was pumped to another tanker and disposed of in a dairy lagoon,” Schuelke said.
The tanker was left overnight and acted as a dam to prevent oil from draining into nearby waterways and creeks. “Zero oil was leaked to nearby water sources,” Schuelke said. The remaining cleanup was done the next day by West Central Environmental Consultants (WCEC) of Morris, Minnesota.