Lycoming County, PA — On Friday, a broken pipeline in Pennsyvlvania dumped 55,000 gallons of gasoline into the Susquehanna River.
Charlotte Katzenmoyer, director of public works for Lancaster said in a statement that it is unclear whether or not the local drinking water supplies have been contaminated.
“With the amount that spilled, we certainly could see some impact on our intake along the Susquehanna River, We’ll continue to monitor it,” Katzenmoyer said.
Randy Gockley, director of the Lancaster Emergency Management Agency added that, “Certainly it’s something to be concerned about. We don’t know yet the speed it will travel down the river.”
“I’m sure they’re dealing with high velocity water flows because of the flooding. My gut tells me it will take a few days to reach us, but I can’t say that for sure. This far downstream, it’s hard to know,” he said.
According to Lancaster Online, the pipeline ruptured sometime around 3 am on Friday morning.
Hours after the breach, Sunoco Logistics, the company in charge of the pipeline, estimated that 1,300 barrels of gas, amounting to roughly 55,000 gallons spilled into Wallis Run, a tributary to the Susquehanna River.
The Department of Environmental Protection voiced concerns about the potential of drinking water contamination.
In a statement, the agency said:
“Sunoco Logistics emergency response crews are in the process of containment and collection efforts following a release of gasoline from an 8-inch pipeline in the vicinity of Wallis Run near the intersection of Wallis Run Road and Butternut Grove Road in Gamble Township, Lycoming County. Wallis Run is a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek.
The area received heavy rainfall overnight, resulting in flash floods, landslides and riverbank erosion. Crews will use skimmers to remove gasoline from the top of affected waterways and will erect containment booms downstream.
A drop in pressure in the pipeline was detected by the Sunoco Logistics Control Center shortly after 3 a.m. Friday, October 21. The pipeline was shut down and emergency response personnel were dispatched to the scene. Federal, state, county and local officials were notified and a Unified Command Center was established at the nearby Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Company. The agencies on scene include: Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Safety and environmental crews are meeting with affected residents. Residents who have been impacted by the release can call a Sunoco Logistics representative at 1-800-759-5644.”
This spill comes at a time of great controversy for pipelines, with many rupturing across the country this year, and a massive protest surrounding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
What makes this spill so highly controversial is that Sunoco Logistics is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners — the company behind the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline.
According to their website, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. is a master limited partnership that owns and operates a logistics business consisting of a geographically diverse portfolio of complementary crude oil, refined products, and natural gas liquids pipeline, terminalling and acquisition and marketing assets which are used to facilitate the purchase and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and refined products. Sunoco Logistics’ general partner is a consolidated subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
While Energy Transfer Partners continues to tout the safety of their pipelines, this spill hardly provides faith in their word.
Pipeline companies, like Enbergy Transfer Partners, do not want you to know the enormous amounts of oil and other toxic materials that spill from supposedly “safe” pipelines on a daily basis. The fact is, since 2009 when domestic oil production began ramping up, “the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly matching the rise in U.S. crude oil production…”
The numbers are staggering. A 2015 analysis by the Center for Effective Government found:
“Since 2010, over 3,300 incidents of crude oil and liquefied natural gas leaks or ruptures have occurred on U.S. pipelines. These incidents have killed 80 people, injured 389 more, and cost $2.8 billion in damages. They also released toxic, polluting chemicals in local soil, waterways, and air.”
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, these spills and ruptures released over 7 million gallons of crude.”
The website displays a map of oil pipeline spills from 2010 to present, and it is discouraging to say the least.
Most of the spilled crude oil originates in Texas and…you guessed it…North Dakota – where DAPL will be carrying a half million barrels a day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks fracking fields.
Clearly, the main selling point put forward by Energy Transfer Partners, and those who stand to reap billions from its construction, is a lie. Put in terms of the amount of crude oil spilled, pipelines are more dangerous than rail cars or trucks.
But this is not an appeal to continue relying on railroads and highways for transporting oil. The shocking data on oil spills, the threat to human health and the environment, and the assaults on the rights of landowners and Native Americans brought about by the DAPL construction point to one conclusion.
Now, more than ever, we need to speed our transition away from fossil fuels and fully embrace renewable energy. The technology is there, and the free market is making great strides to make this happen. But the corporatocracy still has an enormous grip in perpetuating the oil era, as we can plainly see in the construction of DAPL and the increased oil production through fracking.
The corrupt partnership of corporate behemoths and government players is keeping us mired in the era of oil, putting human and environmental health in ever greater risk with more and more pipeline construction.
Please help us combat the disinformation campaign of oil companies and the willful ignorance of mainstream media by sharing this article so the truth can be known about oil pipelines.