DEQ Statement on Volume of Colonial Pipeline’s August Gasoline Spill in Huntersville

Raleigh

RALEIGH – Based on current information, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has determined that Colonial Pipeline has significantly underestimated the volume of gasoline released from the August 14, 2020, spill in Mecklenburg County’s Oehler Nature Preserve near Huntersville’s town limits.

Colonial Pipeline estimated 272,580 gallons of product lost; however, the semi-weekly report provided on Tuesday, November 3, indicates 267,313 gallons have been recovered so far. The amount and continued rate of free product recovery, along with other data submitted by Colonial Pipeline, indicate that the spill is significantly larger than initially reported. Colonial Pipeline has not provided a new estimated release volume. DEQ is requiring Colonial to recalculate the estimated release, and they will verify with a third-party consultant.

Since the spill was reported, DEQ has required Colonial Pipeline to take all appropriate actions to protect the community and will continue to do so throughout the cleanup process. Efforts underway include the sampling of drinking water wells, installation of monitoring and recovery wells and recovery/removal of the free product (gasoline).

At this time, the horizontal extent or boundary of the free product area has been defined, and monitoring wells have been installed around that perimeter to monitor for any further migration. Colonial Pipeline has installed pumps in the wells within the free product area and is actively recovering approximately 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of free product per day.

DEQ meets with Colonial Pipeline as frequently as needed, and continues to closely monitor the progress of the site’s investigation and cleanup activities. DEQ will pursue appropriate enforcement actions as the investigation and remediation continues.  

For more information, go to: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/underground-storage-tanks-section/colonial-pipeline-spill.

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