AUGUSTA —
Traffic delays continue along Interstate 95 between Augusta and Waterville after Maine
State Police say a tractor trailer carrying chemicals crashed early this morning. One lane is getting through.

Utility crews and state engineers will monitor the city’s water supply and Bond Brook this weekend after the tanker spilled hundreds of gallons of a paper-making chemical during the crash, which occurred near the Bond Brook overpass on Interstate 95.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection Spokesperson Samantha DePoy-Warren said the truck was hauling 3,800 gallons of Nopcote. The chemical, which contains calcium stearate, is a finishing agent used in paper making.

The DEP and hazardous waste disposal company Clean Harbors was able to offload about 3,400 gallons, but approximately 400 gallons spilled into a nearby ditch.

“Dams were set up by DEP responders to prevent the product from reaching Bond Brook, but apparently an unknown portion of product went from the ditch into the stream and created a skim milk white plume,” DePoy-Warren said.

The chemical threatened three wells that supply water to the entire Greater Augusta Utility District, said General Manager Brian Tarbuck. The three wells were immediately shut down, Tarbuck said. Two of the wells furthest from the crash were turned back on Friday afternoon after officials determined they were not threatened by the  chemical.

The third well, located underneath the Bond Brook Bridge, will remain off until Tuesday when the utility district is fully staffed.

“Everything I’ve seen so far there’s no reason to believe there’s anything in that spill that would cause short or long-term health effects,” Tarbuck said. “We just turned the wells off out of an abundance of caution. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”

The crash occurred shortly before 2 a.m., Friday just north of the Bond Brook Bridge. The truck went off the right side of the road and tipped onto its side.

The truck driver, Rudy Baldeo, 39, of New Jersey, was treated for non life-threatening injuries at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta and released, said Maine State Police Spokesman Steven McCausland. “He likely fell asleep,” McCausland said.

Traffic was reduced to one lane for much of the day as crews continued the cleanup effort. The traffic jam in the northbound lane stretched five miles more than 13 hours after the crash, which was reported just before 2 a.m.