AUBURN (CBS13) — A contamination catastrophe for one Auburn man, after a local company spills 150 gallons of diesel fuel onto his land. More than a year later, the homeowner says not only is the clean up not complete, but he says he hasn’t anything about the status in months.
“This is my dream, my retirement and to see it destroyed. It just breaks my heart,” said Auburn homeowner Dave Campbell.
Campbell has lived in his lakefront home for 30 years, but today parts of it are unrecognizable.
“I’m disappointed, I’m frustrated,” said Campbell.
Campbell says Robinson Sand and Gravel, an Auburn company was delivering material last March, but as the truck was halfway down his driveway, the brakes failed, and it crashed into Campbell’s home, spilling 150 gallons of diesel fuel onto his land.
“It was pouring out of the tank.”
By the time hazmat crews showed up more than a week later, Campbell says the fuel had already seeped underneath his home. Now, a year later, the toxic spill still hasn’t been taken care of and Campbell’s house- inside and out- is still in shambles.
“There’s damage to the home like there was an earthquake,” said Campbell.
On top of leaks that have led to black mold, Campbell says the upstairs heating and air was also ripped out during excavations, and inside his daughter’s old bedroom is now a hole in the ground, four feet down that turns into a small lake when it rains. But, it’s a different lake Campbell is most worried about if the contamination isn’t cleared up soon- the Lake of the Pines, that he shares with his neighbors.
“It’s going to continue to move like gravity down a hill,” said Campbell.
Campbell says testing shows most of the soil on his property now meets the EPA’s minimum diesel level standards, but since he can still smell fuel, Nevada County officials say they requested more cleanup seven months ago to bring those levels even lower. They confirmed Wednesday they are still waiting on approval from Robinson Sand and Gravel’s insurance company.
Campbell said, “I feel the whole system has let me down.”
For now, the wait continues, as Campbell hopes his home and life will be restored soon.
“My dream has become a nightmare.”
Nevada County environmental officials told CBS13 they have given the insurance company until this Friday to respond. They also say they are prepared to issue a violation to the local company who spilled the diesel in the first place if this problem isn’t cleaned up soon.