Oil Leak Cleanup Continues

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 @ 06:12 PM gHale

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is monitoring the cleanup of an oil leak from an underground pipe near Chicago.
Officials with the Lockport Township Fire Protection District discovered the leak in an industrial area around 7 a.m. Tuesday after a complaint about petroleum odors.
The EPA said the pipeline is not operating right now. And fire district spokesman Rich Berndt says the leak has stopped. Federal officials said estimates show 21,000 gallons of oil leaked out.
West Shore Pipe Line Co. owns the pipeline. The company made temporary repairs and is working on a plan to restart the pipeline, said spokeswoman Colleen Kester.
The underground pipeline feeds into tanks in Lockport, about 35 miles southwest of Chicago.
They were able to salvage roughly 380 barrels of product as of Wednesday, and emergency response contractors will continue to work on excavating the ground around the leak, Kester said.
“Due to the frost and the cold temperatures, the (leak) was contained in the top six-inches of soil,” she said.
The section of damaged pipe will be cut and sent out for analysis to determine the cause of the incident, Kester said, adding that such an analysis takes between four and six weeks.
The pipeline runs from the Shell Tank Farm in Lockport to the Citgo Refinery in Lemont, Kester said.
The leak spread about 300 feet from its origin, but there was never any danger to the Illinois & Michigan Canal, which runs just to the north of the incident area, said Kathy Hoffmeyer, a representative for the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

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