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Diesel Spilled Onto Buellton Road, Storm Drain May Be Stolen, Sheriff Says

The 55 gallons of diesel fuel that leaked onto a road and into a storm drain in Buellton Friday morning may have been stolen, according to authorities. 

The leak was reported at 8:21 a.m. Friday on Kendale Road and Odense Street, and responders found a trailer carrying nine 55-gallon drums, with one completely empty, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

Crews set up a dirt berm to stop more fuel from entering the storm drain and dispatched a hazardous materials team, he said.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene and discovered the trailer was unregistered and abandoned, and the 440 gallons or so of fuel may have been stolen from an agricultural or industrial user, spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. 

"It is suspected that the driver of a light colored Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC SUV unhooked and abandoned the trailer when he discovered the diesel spill," she said. The department is looking for any information and ask residents with large quantities of red diesel to check their inventory and report any missing fuel to 805.683.2724.

To clean up the fuel, Buellton Public Works personnel and a private vacuum truck were on the scene. The rest of the fuel containers were “somewhat compromised as well” and crews will unload the rest of those during the response, Zaniboni said.

There were no evacuations or road closures. 

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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