Colonial Pipeline Spill
This page will be used to post information and updates as they are available related to the Colonial Pipeline Spill that occurred at the Oehler Nature Preserve owned by Mecklenburg County in the Town's extra-territorial jurisdiction off Huntersville-Concord Road on August 14, 2020.
MOST RECENT UPDATES:
May 5, 2021 - NC DEQ issued a Notice of Continuing Violation about items not included in the revised Comprehensive Site Assessment and reevaluation of the estimated volume of gasoline released
April 26, 2021 - Colonial Pipeline Revised CSA Submitted to NC DEQ
April 17, 2021 - Colonial Pipeline Supplemental 7000.1 Report to PHSMA
April 16, 2021 - NC DEQ: Colonial Pipeline increases estimate of gasoline release near Huntersville. As of April 15, Colonial reports 944,400 gallons of gasoline (free product) and 1.15 million gallons of petroleum-contact water have been recovered from the site since the release was discovered on Aug. 14, 2020, at a rate of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of free product per day. Colonial has reported no petroleum constituents in drinking water well samples within the sampling radius to date. However, based on recovery rates and totals, DEQ raised significant concerns about the accuracy of the estimated volume and the modeling it was based on.
As the responsible party, Colonial Pipeline is required to provide an accurate estimate of the amount of product released. On April 15, Colonial verbally informed DEQ that the 1.2 million-gallon estimate was no longer accurate and that the model used was no longer appropriate. DEQ is requiring Colonial to provide: a revised estimate of total product volume released to the environment, the specific model/predictive calculation selected and reasoning for the selection, as well as all related calculations, data, assumptions, sensitivity, and calibration information and results.
Colonial was required to provide a revised Comprehensive Site Assessment (CSA) by April 26 in response to the February Notice of Continuing Violation, which identified 22 deficiencies in Colonial’s CSA and directed Colonial Pipeline to extend residential private well sampling radius an additional 500 feet.
March 2021 Monthly Monitoring Report sent to NC DEQ by Colonial Pipeline
On March 29, 2021, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Safety Order to Colonial Pipeline. "The Notice proposes that Colonial Pipeline Company take certain measures with respect to the Colonial Pipeline System to ensure pipeline safety." The Notice proposes 13 actions that Colonial Pipeline will have 30 days to provide a written response or it waives its right to contest the Notice.
February 2021 Monthly Monitoring Report sent to NC DEQ by Colonial Pipeline.
February 25, 2021: Following review of the Comprehensive Site Assessment submitted by Colonial Pipeline last month, NC DEQ cites deficiencies in Colonial Pipeline’s Comprehensive Site Assessment; directs extension of private well sampling radius.
Due to the size and scope of the release, estimated in the CSA at 1.2 million gallons, DEQ also has directed Colonial Pipeline to extend residential private well sampling 500 feet beyond the edge of the current sampling radius. The approximately six additional wells in the expanded sampling radius, many of which were tested in the initial response activities, will be sampled once every six months going forward. To date, Colonial has reported no gasoline products in drinking water well samples within the sampling radius.
The Notice of Continuing Violation identifies 22 corrective actions needed to remedy the CSA deficiencies. By April 26, Colonial must complete further actions, including but not limited to:
- Install at least 12 deep wells to fully define the vertical extent of the contamination;
- Supply free product volume estimate documentation;
- Provide additional subsurface cross-sections to further develop the conceptual site model;
- Describe the waste profile of excavated soil and permanent disposal location;
- Provide a report that identifies the potential for vapor intrusion in residences, buildings and utility conduits;
- Provide a detailed summary about air and noise monitoring sampling efforts; and
- Provide additional information about nearby surface water features, particularly neighboring springs.
January 21, 2021: DEQ reviewing Colonial Pipeline’s New Estimated Release Volume and Comprehensive Site Assessment - In this update from NC DEQ, Colonial Pipeline is now estimating the amount spilled into Oehler Nature Preserve at nearly 1.2 million gallons. View full Comprehensive Site Assessment (CSA)
The CSA identifies and describes the groundwater plume and soil impacts, and it is the next step in ongoing cleanup and remediation efforts. The CSA, and any additional information requested by DEQ, will dictate the direction of the Corrective Action Plan. DEQ must approve the CSA before Colonial Pipeline can prepare and submit its Corrective Action Plan, which details Colonial’s remedial actions.
Colonial Pipeline submitted its Initial Abatement Action Report to NC DEQ on Oct. 30, 2020. This report indicates recovery in excess of 330,000 gallons from the spill site and recovery wells to date. It does not include a revised spill total.
September 13, 2020 Update from Colonial Pipeline - 48-hour estimate of 63,000 gallons spilled revised to 272,580 gallons of gasoline released (they estimate approximately half has been recovered) as part of their 30-day report due to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) by September 14. As noted above, this number now stands at over 330,000 gallons.
(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
(Site will also be used for updates on this incident)
Surface Water Quality questions – Andrew DeCristofaro, 980-721-3565
- Mecklenburg County Health Dept – Environmental Health
Environmental Health / Groundwater questions – Shawna Caldwell, 980-314-1626
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management
Tony Bateman (email@example.com) or 980-214-7195 (call or text)
- US EPA, Region 4
Ken Rhame, Federal On-Scene Coordinator
- Colonial Pipeline Incident Page
DOCUMENTS FROM NC DEQ:
The Division of Waste Management through NC Department of Environmental Quality is the agency responsible for oversight of cleanup and remediation from this incident.
NC DEQ has created a webpage to track this incident: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/underground-storage-tanks-section/colonial-pipeline-spill.
May 5, 2021 - DEQ Issued Notice of Continuing Violation for Items not included in Comprehensive Site Assessment and reevaluation of estimated volume of gasoline leaked into ground.
April 26, 2021 - Colonial Pipeline submittal of revised CSA to NCDEQ
February 25, 2021 - DEQ Issued Notice of Continuing Violation after its review of the CSA found 22 deficiencies - for Colonial Pipeline to address by April 26.
On January 20, 2021, Colonial Pipeline submitted its Comprehensive Site Assessment to NC DEQ.
On Dec. 9, 2020, DEQ sent Colonial Pipeline a second Notice of Regulatory Requirements for additional information needed to carry out DEQ's investigation into the nature of the release.
Initial Abatement Action Report from Colonial Pipeline (Oct. 30, 2020)
On Sept. 25, 2020, DEQ issued a Notice of Violation to Colonial Pipeline for impacts to groundwater quality.
September 25, 2020 Press Release Announcing Notice of Violation
August 20, 2020 Notice of Regulatory Requirements
MO-88795_95827_G_NORR_20200820_Notice of Regulatory Requirements (8/20/2020)