Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Magellan gas spill in Wisconsin located at site of 1998 contamination

KRONENWETTER, Wis. - An estimated 25,000 gallons of gasoline contaminated soil and groundwater in Kronenwetter in December when an underground pipeline ruptured, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The broken pipe was discovered Dec. 4 when an inventory of gasoline by the Magellan Pipeline Co. came up short at its Kronenwetter terminal, according to a DNR news release issued in late December.
The gasoline plume spread 20 feet below the pipeline, officials said.
Investigators with the state Department of Health and Family Services and the Marathon County Health Department determined there was no risk to the public, according to the news release. Gasoline vapors in the soil will be monitored, officials said
The compromised pipe has since been repaired and crews are pumping out gasoline floating on the surface of the groundwater, the DNR said. Once the gasoline is removed, Magellan will work with the DNR to remove the fuel dissolved with the soil and groundwater, according to the release.
Groundwater samples collected from wells on Magellan's property show the contamination has not spread to other properties, according to the DNR.Wi
The pipeline was the site of major contamination discovered in 1998 when a nearby resident detected a gas odor in the home's water. That contamination is suspected to have occurred in the 1970s when a fuel truck spilled over.
The town of Kronenwetter, as the area was known at the time, installed a new water and sewer system after the groundwater contamination seeped into residents' private wells.
Williams Pipe Line Co., which owned the pipeline at the time, reached a $3 million settlement with 140 nearby homeowners.

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