What Could Have Been in the North End and Downtown Boston … HazMat Truck Rollover and Fuel Spill

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This story is another reminder why the North End / Waterfront HazMat Task Force fought to ban hazardous material (hazmat) trucks from the streets of Downtown Boston and the North End / Waterfront.

The latest rollover by a hazmat truck happened yesterday when a JP Noonan fuel tanker truck flipped in Medford. The accident occurred on Friday afternoon at 4:15 pm spilling 10,000 gallons of fuel.

As a result of the daytime ban, hazmat trucks cannot cut through Downtown Boston from 6am to 8pm. After 8pm, hazmat trucks are still allowed to take the “downtown shortcut” on Atlantic Ave., N. Washington St., Cross St. and Commercial St. Fuel trucks can also deliver and do business within Boston at any time.

Recently, we have been receiving more photos of hazmat trucks that are illegally defying the daytime ban. If you get a photo of a hazmat truck going through the North End or Downtown Boston between 6am-8pm, email it to us at We will record it and forward to the authorities.

6/1/13: Correction to remove a reference originally made to a fire and evacuation that was associated with a previous incident.

2 Replies to “What Could Have Been in the North End and Downtown Boston … HazMat Truck Rollover and Fuel Spill

  1. I live near the accident site, yet somehow missed any alleged fire and burning houses. All North End residents have done is moved the problem elsewhere. Another solution is to raze many Boston and Cambridge neighborhoods to finally build the inner belt Interstate needed for commercial transport. Making trucks getting low MPG drive out to 128 and back burns too much fossil fuel, producing excess pollution and CO2 greenhouse gas.

    1. The original reference to the report of a fire was corrected and removed from this post.

      Routing issues were thoroughly studied last year from a public safety standpoint and public hearings were held in Boston and the suburban 128 communities.

      Should more be done to reduce these risks for any community? Absolutely. The Medford incident is very troubling. However, a rollover and fuel spill like this in the North End would likely have caused much more damage than the environmental harm experienced in this incident. As noted in the post, the downtown Boston shortcut is only restricted during the daytime and rush hours.

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