Lycoming County pipeline leak caused by washed out bridge
GAMBLE TOWNSHIP, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania — A pipeline that released gasoline into Loyalsock Creek in Lycoming County appears to have been damaged by a bridge that washed out and traveled 100 yards down the creek.
Sunoco Logistics is finalizing repair plans in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies, for its section of pipeline passing under Wallis Run at the confluence with Loyalsock Creek in Gamble Township.
“Given the position of the pipe and the location of the bridge before and after the event, it’s clear that the bridge was responsible for the damage to the pipe,” said David R. Chalson, Sunoco Logistics senior vice-president for operations.
The pipeline section under Wallis Run was installed in 1994 at a depth of at least 5 feet below the stream bed. After excavating and removing the section of damaged pipe Sunday, all evidence indicates that an object of extreme destructive force caused a clean break of the pipe.
A preliminary estimate of 1,300 barrels of gasoline was released from the pipeline, which carries refined petroleum products from the Reading, Pa., area to markets in Williamsport and New York State, including Buffalo and Rochester.
Based on a review of the incident and input from local, state and federal officials, a 500-foot section of pipe will be replaced using horizontal directional drilling, which will allow the new pipeline to be placed approximately 25-feet under the stream bed. A repair timetable is being developed.
Water monitoring of Loyalsock Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River is continuing Tuesday under supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and results continue to show safe drinking water levels in the Susquehanna River.
Sunoco Logistics personnel continue to meet with affected residents and address any of their needs and concerns, including well-water testing. Residents who have been impacted by the release may call a Sunoco Logistics representative at 1-800-759-5644.
The U.S. EPA, Pennsylvania DEP, and Lycoming County Department of Safety have supervised the emergency response phase in a Unified Command with Sunoco Logistics. With no significant traces of gasoline found beyond odors in isolated areas, and water samples continuing to show safe levels for drinking water, the emergency phase has concluded and Unified Command was disbanded effective at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 25. Moving forward, Sunoco Logistics will lead repair activities in close contact with the U.S. EPA, Pennsylvania DEP, PennDOT, Lycoming County Emergency Management, Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Source: Sunoco Logistics Press Release