Work Continues On Oil Clean-Up
Work continues to clean up the oil spill that occurred southeast of Amherst on Nov. 16.
TransCanada workers continue to clean up after an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline. Excavation activities are underway to remove contaminated soil.
During the excavation process TransCanada applied for a water discharge permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that was approved. The water was tested and not contaminated and just more than 24,000 gallons of ground water was discharged into Crow Creek, which runs into the James River.
TransCanada reports that it has recovered about 50,000 gallons of oil from the spill site as of the end of last week. Approximately 6,000 yards of contaminated soil had also been excavated by mid-week last week. When the cleanup work is complete the land will be returned to its original CRP capability.
Based on the sample contamination levels of the soil, TransCanada has chosen to haul the soil to a Clean Harbors’ landfill site near Sawyer, ND, about 270 miles northwest of Amherst. New soil and topsoil will be brought to the site and replace the contaminated soil.
The pipeline leak could have been the result of a rupture caused by mechanical damage during construction in 2008, according to a corrective action report released by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. But testing is continuing on the pipe that was removed and a full report will be coming out when that testing is completed.