AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies are headed to the scene of a tanker truck leak at the rest area near mile marker 181 on I-20 EB.

The chemical leaking from the tanker truck is Ferrous Chloride.

The tanker truck is pulled off to a back spot off the interstate and not affecting traffic on I-20. The rest area is still open. 

Columbia County Hazmat is on scene and is working to keep the liquid from running into the creek nearby. 

It is Phosphoric Acid, Zinc Chloride Solution which is the same as Ferrous Chloride.

Savannah Riverkeeper, Tonya Bonitatibus says,

Savannah Riverkeeper is closely monitoring the chemical spill in Columbia County. We have confirmed that ferrous chloride, from a tanker, has leaked into Hawes Branch Creek. The chemical is known to be harmful to aquatic life. While it’s unclear the amount that entered the waterway, we know that emergency crews at the scene are taking every precaution to ensure that the creek is protected from further contamination. Georgia’s Department of Transportation has delivered dirt to the spill site and is working to construct a berm to contain the chemical spill. Ferrous Chloride can cause a Ph drop in a waterway, triggering what’s known as a fish kill. Our hope is the concentrated discharge is within non-fatal levels for aquatic life. Savannah Riverkeeper suggest that people avoid Hawes Branch Creek downstream of the spill, and avoid the spill location. We’re extremely thankful for the hard work of Columbia County’s first responders who quickly thought about this small waterway, and are continuing to work hard to protect it.

Tonya Bonitatibus

According to a spokesperson for Columbia County Administrator’s Office, Fire Rescue’s HazMat team has wrapped up their operation at that location, while Columbia County Environmental Management and HEPACO, LLC, an environmental and emergency services company based in Charlotte, remain on-scene for clean-up.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for more information on this developing situation.