Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Koch’s MPC line spills 210,000 gallons of crude oil in central Minnesota

STAPLES, Minn. - Crews in central Minnesota are cleaning up 210,000 gallons of crude oil after a pipeline leak during the night of Dec. 3-4.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) estimates 210,000 gallons (5,000 bbls.) of crude oil leaked out near Philbrook.
Minnesota Pipeline Co. (MPC) owns the pipeline and Koch Pipeline Co. operates the line. Koch Pipeline is a division of Flint Hills, which in turn is owned by privately held Koch Industries.
Representatives from the Koch Oil Co., Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MOPS) were on-site to oversee cleanup of the spill.
According to MOPS, pipeline workers on Dec. 3 had been repairing sections of the 16-inch pipe in a rural area of Todd County two miles south of Staples, near Philbrook, Minn. They left on the afternoon of Dec. 3, and the spill occurred during the evening hours of Dec. 3-4.
MPCA Information Officer Steve Mikkelson noted that equipment installed to stop the flow of oil and allow work on the pipeline actually caused the leak, and that the trench dug to repair the pipeline also helped contain the spill.
"The size of the oil spill is quite significant," Mikkelson said. "But in this particular case it was a real fortunate situation because due to the maintenance work they had excavated a large trench and the oil basically filled it up."
According to Mikkelson, the oil-filled trench measures 20 feet wide by 150 feet long and 12 feet deep, and was overflowing into a wooded area when the pipeline's maintenance crew reached the site at 6 a.m. on Dec. 4
Mikkelson also said no area surface area waters had been contaminated and only one home had to be evacuated due to the spill.
The pipeline in question runs from the Clearbrook Pumping Station to the
Flint Hills Refinery near Inver Grove Heights.
Representatives of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety were on the scene to investigate the
cause of the leak.

No comments:

Post a Comment