Colonial Pipeline Spill
On August 14, 2020, local and state response agencies and Colonial Pipeline were notified of a smell of gasoline associated with an underground pipeline just outside the town limits at the Oehler Nature Preserve off Huntersville-Concord Road. The 48-hour estimate of 63,000 gallons was revised a month later to 272,580 gallons released. That estimate grew to 1.2 million gallons in a report to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality in January 2021. As of June 2022, we await a revised estimate from Colonial Pipeline as the total in-situ recovery volume (measured from the frac tanks on site) was more than 1.4 million gallons of free product and over 9 million gallons of Petroleum Contact Water (PCW).
Since that incident began, the Division of Waste Management with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been active in their oversight of the response to ensure Colonial Pipeline stopped and repaired the leak, and is the responsible agency for oversight of cleanup and remediation efforts, including sampling/testing and monitoring based on evaluation of environmental impacts. NC DEQ has created a website to provide updates and information on actions taken since August 2020 related to their oversight for this incident, ranging from monthly monitoring reports to legal and regulatory action as they work to make sure Colonial Pipeline provides essential information required for appropriate remediation at the site.
A variety of Mecklenburg County agencies have also been and remain actively involved since August 2020, including Air Quality, Water Quality and Parks & Recreation since this occurred on nature preserve land owned by the county.
- NC Department of Environmental Quality - Division of Waste Management - (919) 707-8200
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater - https://charlottenc.gov/StormWater/AboutUs/Pages/Newsroom.aspx
- Mecklenburg County Health Department – Daniel Ortiz, Environmental Health Director | (980) 314-1636
- Colonial Pipeline - https://sr2448.colonialresponse.com/
- Town of Huntersville - https://www.huntersville.org/
A community meeting was held August 27, 2020 to provide updates on the immediate impacts of the incident.
(Note: this is the virtual feed and shares what the audience saw that night. While you can't see the audience, you can hear their questions and statements. Feed begins just after start of meeting with introductions by regulatory agencies, starting with Tony Bateman from Charlotte-Mecklenburg EM).
Contact information for agencies represented are included below:
Additional Resources and Contact Information from August 27 Community Meeting:
- North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services /Water Quality
Surface Water Quality questions – 980-721-3565
- Mecklenburg County Health Dept – Environmental Health
Environmental Health / Groundwater questions – Shawna Caldwell, 980-314-1626
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management
Tony Bateman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 980-214-7195 (call or text)
- US EPA, Region 4
Ken Rhame, Federal On-Scene Coordinator
- Colonial Pipeline Incident Page
NC DEQ Incident Response Website:
Colonial Pipeline Incident Response Website: https://sr2448.colonialresponse.com/