Article courtesy of Lauren Baheri | November 6, 2014 || Shared as educational material
The owner of a gas pipeline that runs through Gaston is preparing to clean up Gastonia groundwater after discovering contamination near South New Hope Road. Petroleum from an underground gas tank and the large underground pipe somehow seeped into groundwater surrounding the Plantation Pipeline location at 2740 S. New Hope, according to Brad Newton, a hydrogeologist with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
Newton said no leaks were found. Melissa Ruiz, a spokeswoman for Plantation Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan, said the contamination was not the result of any specific event. “It is the result of hydrocarbon impacts from historical operations that were not uncommon in the industry,” she said. Hydrocarbons are the chief components in gas. Large amounts of it were found around the pipe and tank, Newton said.
The contamination is close to two wells. Small amounts of petroleum were found in those wells, but neither of them is used for drinking water, Newton said. The state is working with the gas company to clean up the contamination. Plantation Pipeline is erecting a temporary building from which to perform the work. It’s expected to be built in December. Ruiz doesn’t have an exact time for when the cleanup will be complete. “We will not have an estimate for the amount of time the cleanup will take until we have had an opportunity to operate the system being constructed and evaluate its effectiveness,” she said.
Newton said once the company found out about the contamination, officials notified the necessary agencies to get it cleaned up. “They have been very proactive about it,” he said. Plantation Pipeline operates a 3,100-mile pipeline network that runs from Louisiana to the Washington, D.C. area. It delivers gas, diesel, biodiesel and jet fuel to regions around Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala. and D.C.