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State presses Colonial Pipeline for more answers on historic gas leak

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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality has released its response to a revised Comprehensive Site Assessment on last summer’s Colonial Pipeline gas leak in Huntersville.

The response, which was dated May 5, laid out a number of required corrective actions Colonial must address related to the leak, which has become the largest in the state’s history.

Among other things, the state is requiring the state to provide a revised estimate of the total amount released from the pipeline. 

Colonial Pipeline recently said their 1.2-million gallon estimate would likely be adjusted upward, as a result of gas product being found in a deeper location than expected near the site.

The state is also said Colonial needs to provide a specific model or predictive calculation for their reasoning for any new estimate.

Both the revised amount and calculation model are due to the Department of Envionmental Quality by May 28.

Colonial has also requested an extension until the end of August to address lingering issues associated with a Notice of Continuing Violation.  The state requested a “complete justification” for the extension.

The gas leak was discovered by two teens riding an ATV near the Oehler Nature Preserve in August.

Colonial Pipeline said a ‘through-wall crack’ that was defined as “inches long” was the cause of the product leaking into the nearby ground.  Colonial officials also said the leak may have been present for “days or weeks” before it was discovered.

The discovery has led to months of work near the corner of Huntersville-Concord Road and Asbury Chapel Road.

So far, more than a million gallons of gas product have been recovered.

Colonial has said previously that they are committed to cleaning up the leak to the extent where it is possible.  Most of the work to clean-up the leak is happening underground.

Colonial has said repeated water well tests have shown no contamination of residential well water to nearby homes.

Colonial acknowledged, however, that they have purhcased homes and property closest to the path of the pipeline, which have dealt with continued noise and work within the area, as a result of the leak.

The Colonial Pipeline is a 5,500-mile gas pipeline, which extends from Texas to New Jersey.  The path of the pipeline takes it through parts of Mecklenburg County.

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