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Tanker crash potentially endangers New Jersey water supply

A single vehicle accident in New Jersey that spilled high quantities of a chemical has led state officials to continue monitoring the state's water supply to ensure it is safe for local residents to use.

A tanker truck accident reportedly occurred after the driver fell asleep and the truck ran off Interstate 95 and tipped over. The driver was brought to a hospital to be treated for injuries while the truck leaked out 400 gallons of Nopcote, a chemical used for making paper. The chemical leaked out into a ditch where the truck came to rest. The truck was hauling 3,800 gallons of the substance.

The accident held up traffic on the busy interstate as the road was narrowed down to one lane so rescue crews could clean up the mess.

The location of the spill posed a threat to three different wells, which supply water to a nearby and far-reaching district. All three wells were shut down after the accident. However, officials investigating the crash and spill said that the chemical does not pose any short- or long-term ill effects on the health of local residents. The wells were deactivated simply as a precaution.

After an investigation, officials gave a green light to open up two of the wells the next day as they were located a safe distance from the spill site. The other well, which is believed to be the only one affected, did not immediately open back up.

Source: The Portland Press Herald, "Crews monitor water supplies near site of tanker truck crash," Craig Crosby, Oct 8, 2011.

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