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RUBICON TRAIL: OIL SPILLS
and FLUID CLEANUP TECHNIQUES

Carry the right gear with you to clean up any fluid discharges from your rig. Do not leave fluid messes, oil spills, or even oil shadows on rocks if you can at all help it. This will not only help keep our trail open, but it will also be much better for the long term health of the trail and its environment. It's the right thing to do.

Spill management is critical to sustainable OHV and trail system management.  The Rubicon Trail (Friends of the Rubicon) started managing spills in 2001 and continues setting the example today.  Because the Rubicon is a county (local government) road, El Dorado County has official spill policies and procedures that are perfect for any trail.
http://www.edcgov.us/Rubicon/Oil_Spil_Kits.aspx

Here is one spill kit ($25) that is off-road related: http://store.sdhqoffroad.com/off-roadoilspillkit.aspx

Here is a video from an OHV group promoting home-made spill kits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKlgjdYZD2o

New Pig is a company that specializes in spill containment, from big to small, but their kits are kinda bulky.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq7SckfEktc

Here is some good info on toxic spills: http://www.4x4training.com/Articles/EnvironmentalImpact/ToxicSpills.html

And one more source of kits for 4x4/OHV: http://www.bre-products.com/FourWheelKits.html

 

 

 

 

WE hope to have some small give-away type kits (grant funded), as well as a new product from Blue Devil -- Vehicle Spill Recovery Kits that we will be selling. We are suggesting you carry something like these to contain any vehicle fluid spills. It will help keep our busy trail healthy and open!

Some of my rock crawling competition friends told me about PIG (www.newpig.com) products. Sandee McCullen, AZ, gave me this report:

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All of the P.I.G. products are oil absorbent........... some of the "tubes" are for large spills but the towels/pads hold a quart or more of oil AND do not absorb water. We used them for the Cal Rocs event in Phoenix in March 2003 where we had water running through the wash.

We had a roll over and the judges immediately "dammed" the water flow and threw an absorbent pad into the collected water. The pad was left there overnight, sitting in the oil/water puddle.

The BLM official picked it up the next morning and was amazed to find that ALL the oil was absorbed but that the pad was not also water soaked.  It truly absorbed the oil from the water and dirt.

We also found if we rub the rocks with the pads right immediately after a spill, it absorbed the oil and we didn't end up with any "oil shadow."

For oil stains and/or residue from prior trips we scrub the rocks with a biodegradable cleaner and then spray with a microbial cleaner that will continue to work by "eating" the residue over time. We have been using Micro Blaze for several years now. The Arizona BLM are fully behind the use of this product and we have seen good results. Micro Blaze doesn't seem to work well, however, for the original heavy spill.  You're better off with the PIG products or somethin else to get the heavy spill cleaned up.

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Baby diapers have been used by some folks to absorb fluid leaks. Kitty litter has worked for many folks. Old ice chests have been used to collect leaking fluid (by one tool-less doctor I know). One wheeler acquaintance of mine uses Simple Green and blue paper towels.

We are also going to be giving out oil spill kits as provided by El Dorado County Envrionmental Health, obtained through an OHV Trust Fund grant.

The point is that you do something to clean up any mess you leave behind. Just as you pick up your trash and properly dispose of your human waste, it's important that you also not leave behind fluid leakage on our trail. Thanks for your help and cooperation. Email me if you have any questions. Thanks, Del

Trail Sanitation
and portable toilets. Carry one!

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