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Dec 6, 2016

DANGEROUS ROADS * USA: On Alaska highways

* Alaska - Tanker-truck crashes and spills an increasing worry on

--- Federal and state regulators in Alaska say they're working to stem what has been a growing number of tanker-truck accidents in recent years — including three big rollovers since September that dumped thousands of gallons of diesel fuel into woods andangerous rd wetlands... Observers blame the wrecks on factors such as warming winters that increasingly glaze roads with ice, plus less highway maintenance amid Alaska's fiscal crisis and human errors by truck drivers and other motorists... But double-tanker-truck traffic is also up since 2009, when state regulators required that ultra-low sulfur diesel be trucked to the North Slope oil fields to be used there, in line with federal regulations implemented in 2006 elsewhere in the U.S. ... The rules required use of the new fuel to replace diesel fuel with air-polluting high sulfur oxide emissions... Several factors contribute to the accidents, including drivers who aren't attentive enough and periods of thawing and freezing in recent winters that have kept roads slick... Reduced road maintenance is also an issue, Thompson said... The Alaska Department of Transportation has reduced its budget by $60 million over two years, a 22 percent drop. That led to the elimination of 14 maintenance positions on the Richardson and Dalton, about a 15 percent drop... 
(Photo / ADEC - Big State Logistics response crew offloading fuel from a rolled and damaged secondary tank, Mile 42 of the Richardson Highway. Tsaina River bank is in the background. Oct. 21, 2016) -- Juneau, Alaska, USA - ADN - 27 Nov 2016

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