Fuel spill closes Goldbelt Building

Employees expected to be able to return to work by Thursday

Posted: Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More than 200 employees were unable to go to work Monday after a weekend fuel spill at the Goldbelt Building.

Only a minor amount of fuel spilled, building manager Tracey Ricker said, but fumes got into ventilation ducts and spread throughout the building.

Ricker said the fuel spilled when an automatic valve on the roof became stuck open and caused a small tank to overflow. She estimated about 40 gallons spilled before it was discovered Sunday.

"It probably had been going on for a very short time, only a few hours, so we were very lucky as far as that goes," Ricker said.

The Goldbelt Building houses the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., as well as offices of the Department of Education. It is owned by the Permanent Fund.

Permanent Fund spokesperson Laura Achee said stock trading is contracted out to managers elsewhere, but bond trading is done in-house. The fund has backup facilities, but its employees can also work from home, she said.

"They are at home today, and are actively trading," she said.

Ricker said the cleanup was going well, but some fuel-saturated Sheetrock will have to be replaced. She expects employees will be able to return to the building by Thursday.

Environmental engineers are sampling the air quality in the building, she said, and already have found dramatic improvement.

Ricker said there are no damage estimates yet.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 586-4816 or patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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