N.C. environmental leaders file action against Colonial Pipeline over state’s largest gasoline spill in Huntersville
To date, Colonial has more than 1.23 million gallons of petroleum from the site, but has failed to provide DEQ with an updated volume estimate of the release, according to DEQ.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality filed action Tuesday against Colonial Pipeline for their responsibility in the state’s largest gasoline spill.
According to the DEQ, a complaint and motion for injunctive relief was filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court to force Colonial Pipeline to meet their obligations following the August 2020 spill in the Oehler Nature Preserve in Huntersville.
To date, Colonial has more than 1.23 million gallons of petroleum from the site, but has failed to provide DEQ with an updated volume estimate of the release, according to state environmental officials.
“Colonial owes it to the people of North Carolina to cooperate with DEQ and be forthcoming with the information required by our statutes, starting with an accurate estimate of how much fuel was released into the environment,” said Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “DEQ is committed to holding Colonial accountable and we now seek a court order directing Colonial to comply with their obligations to cleanup and restore the communities impacted by the release.”
Two teenage ATV riders chanced upon and reported the Huntersville leak in August, according to WBTV’s news partners at The Charlotte Observer.
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The DEQ’s complaint seeks a judicial action requiring Colonial Pipeline to take the following actions:
- Remove, treat or control any source of petroleum, per- and polyfluoroalkyl PFAS or other contaminants that have the potential to contaminate groundwater
- Provide DEQ with a current, revised estimate of the volume of petroleum released
- Submit a comprehensive conceptual site model for both the petroleum release and the PFAS contamination
- Complete site assessment activities, and submit and receive DEQ approval for a corrective action plan and proposed schedule for implementation
- Conduct monthly sampling of nearby surface water for petroleum, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, Volatile Organic Compounds, total lead and PFAS at locations determined by DEQ
- Provide evaluations of Colonial’s leak detection system statewide, provide locations of all pipeline Type-A collar repairs within North Carolina and remove or replace them with approved alternatives if necessary. Colonial has cited corrosion related to a Type-A sleeve repair as the cause of the Huntersville release.
The full complaint can be read here.
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