Pipeline spill in Ohio, 10,000 gallons in wetland

Repost from WLWT.com Cincinnati

5-inch break in pipe responsible for 10k gallon leak

Crews formulating plan to fix pipe

 UPDATED 8:39 PM EDT Mar 20, 2014
ColerainTwpOHIO-crude_oil_spill

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio —Thousands of gallons of oil have been recovered from the pipeline leak in Colerain Township, and repair efforts can start because the break in the pipe has been found.

Crews continued their efforts to clean up the mess and minimize the environmental effects Thursday.

The work reached a milestone Monday night, as crews discovered the site of the leak. A 5-inch crack on the underside of the pipe caused approximately 10,000 gallons of oil to leak.

Officials said they cannot tell how long the leak had been going on, but residents said that they had been smelling oil since late February.

With the exact break site located, crews are working to make repairs, but that could take some time.

Colerian Township Fire Captain Steve Conn said the repair crews have formulated a plan and will submit it for approved.

“Once it gets approved, then they can start the repairs,” Conn said.

The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency must weigh in on the repair plan.

“It could be anywhere from a day or a couple days before they get the plan resolved and ready to be implemented,” Conn said.

Crews have been working around the clock to remove the oil, which covers about an acre of wetland, officials said.

About 3,800 gallons of an oil-water mixture has been recovered by skimming a nearby pond. The work at that pond is ongoing.

There are concerns about the impact on wildlife, too.

Traps have been set to try to capture salamanders that migrate through the area, so they can be relocated away from the oil.

Conn said it shows the care that crews are taking in the cleanup effort.

“They’re paying attention trying to get this taken care of as quickly and cleanly as possible and try to get this area back to better shape than it was to begin with,” Conn said.

Officials said late Thursday night that cisterns used for drinking water by residents in the area were not contaminated and safe from which to drink.

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Cleanup after North Dakota explosion: 10,000 tons to landfill, no cost estimate

Repost from The Republic, Columbus, Indiana

North Dakota health official: Cleanup at oil train derailment site ‘all but complete’

By JAMES MacPHERSON  Associated Press
March 19, 2014 – 4:24 pm EDT

BISMARCK, North Dakota — Cleanup of an oil train derailment on the outskirts of a small southeastern North Dakota town “is all but complete,” a state health official said Wednesday.

“We’ve identified a couple of small spots that still smell of oil, but cleanup for the most part is done,” said Dave Glatt, chief of North Dakota Department of Health’s environmental health section.

The Dec. 30 collision occurred when a BNSF Railway train carrying soybeans derailed and caused another company train carrying crude oil to derail 1 mile west of Casselton. The wreck sparked massive explosions, towering fireballs and an ominous cloud that hung over the city of about 2,400 residents. No one was hurt, but about 1,400 people voluntarily evacuated.

The derailment highlighted worries about shipping crude by rail and led to a safety alert from the U.S. Department of Transportation warning about the potential high volatility of crude from the rich oil fields of western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

Federal investigators determined 400,000 gallons of oil was lost when the oil-carrying train derailed and caught fire.

Glatt, who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the crash site Wednesday, said about 10,000 tons of oil-tainted dirt and other material has been removed by contractors working for the railroad. The company, based on the inspection Wednesday, has permission to begin backfilling the site with new soil, he said.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2013, file photo, a fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D.  State Environmental Health Chief Dave Glatt says cleanup after the BNSF train derailed and caught fire in the small southeastern North Dakota town "is all but complete." Federal investigators determined that 400,000 gallons of oil was lost in the derailment. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2013, file photo, a fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D.  State Environmental Health Chief Dave Glatt says cleanup after the BNSF train derailed and caught fire in the small southeastern North Dakota town “is all but complete.” Federal investigators determined that 400,000 gallons of oil was lost in the derailment. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

“They are good to go,” said Glatt, adding that regulators had estimated the cleanup of the fouled soil would last at least through the first part of summer. “They wanted to backfill in with good soil before the spring rains come and turn the whole area into a quagmire.”

Glatt said the state requires the monitoring of water runoff from the site at least through spring. BNSF also will be required to monitor groundwater for at least two years, he said.

“We want to continue to monitor that site, as a precaution,” BNSF Railway spokeswoman Amy McBeth said. “We will continue to work with the state Department of Health, as we have from the beginning.”

Most of the fouled dirt was taken by truck to out-of-state landfills, McBeth said. The tangled and charred wreckage of 15 grain cars and 21 oil tank cars that had been strewn in the area also has been hauled away, she said.

McBeth said the railroad would not disclose the cost of the cleanup.

Casselton Mayor Ed McConnell said things were beginning to return to normal in the small town, about 30 miles west of Fargo.

“It’s better than it was,” he said of the wreck site. “But there still is a good healthy mistrust of that track.”

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California Senate hearing on crude oil train safety, Wednesday 3/19

Repost from Contra Costa Times
Agenda – Joint Hearing on Emergency Response to Rail Accidents 3-19-14 CA Senate
Background – Joint Hearing on Emergency Response to Rail Accidents 3-19-14 CA Senate

Sacramento: Train accidents and emergency response subject of state Senate hearing

By Tom Lochner  Contra Costa Times
Posted:   03/18/2014 02:48:11 PM PDT | Updated:   84 min. ago

SACRAMENTO — Amid public concern over several train accidents and explosions in North America over the past year, and increased transport of crude oil into California by rail, two state Senate committees will hold a joint public hearing on emergency response to rail accidents on Wednesday.

In Northern California, much of the crude-by-rail is headed for Contra Costa County, home to four oil refineries. A fifth refinery is located in nearby Benicia.

There will be presentations by officials of several state agencies responsible for emergency response:

  • Office of Emergency Services
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response
  • Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAS), including the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department

The hearing, by the Environmental Quality and Natural Resources and Water committees, will be at 9:30 a.m. in the California State Capitol, Room 3191, in Sacramento.

Public participation is invited.

The hearing will be televised. More information is available at http://senate.ca.gov/tvschedule. {To access the video, go to this link, note the correct ROOM number – 3191, then click on “Listen To Rooms” at left.  Find the correct room number again, and click. – BenIndy editor RS]

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For safe and healthy communities…