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Colonial Pipeline: 252,000 gallons of gasoline have leaked in Shelby County

Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 3:06 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2016 at 7:54 PM CDT
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Source: WBRC
Source: WBRC

SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Colonial Pipeline officials confirm that 6,000 barrels of gasoline have leaked from a gas line since Monday in Shelby County.

That's the equivalent of 252,000 gallons, an update to the number they released on Tuesday, which was 42,000 gallons.

Officials are getting that number based on daily models that are calculating the evaporation rate over the ponds, spokesman Bill Berry said.

Berry said the surface area of those ponds is two acres.

"It's not safe for our workers to recover much product off of the pond due to gasoline vapors. It's a challenge for us to do much because the vapors are not at safe levels for human health. So that presents a challenge to say how much has been released," Berry said.

Berry says the daily evaporation rate is partly calculated by looking at the temperatures and hours of daylight.

You can read the company's latest update about their response to the leak on their website here.

Company officials say the leaked gasoline is contained in one of three nearby water retention ponds.

"There has been no threat to public health or safety, and the safety of the responders remains the top concern," Colonial said in their Wednesday update.

According to Colonial Pipeline, some of the response to the leak includes:

  • The federal government is restricting airspace above the gas leak location to protect responders, personnel and public
  • A nearby shooting range has been closed as a precaution
  • Local law enforcement are preventing four-wheelers and ATVs from accessing the paths near the leak site
  • Air monitoring services are in place
  • Tri-State Bird and Rescue, Alabama Fish & Wildlife and the Cahaba Riverkeeper are responding to help protect wildlife in the area

As for cause for the leak, they say they still don't know. Colonial is still digging to get to the exact location of where the leak started, and until they get there they won't know what caused the leak.

The company says the gasoline is contained but not completely cleaned up yet.

Over 600 people are working around the clock to address the situation and they are projecting to have the repairs done by this weekend.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration says they will issue a corrective action order to Colonial Pipeline officials by the end of the week.

One thing that will do is outline any issues the company needs to address dealing with the integrity of the line that has leaked.

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