Update #18: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, November 16, 2020, 9:30 PM EST

Colonial Pipeline Update

This evening, Colonial Pipeline had the privilege of providing an update on our response and remediation activities during the Huntersville Board of Commissioners meeting.  We appreciate this opportunity to update the community, as we know the incident has caused inconvenience and concern among our neighbors.

We remain committed to regaining the trust of those with whom we’ve been neighbors in this community for more than 50 years.  Colonial remains steadfast in our priorities of safety and environmental protection and to keeping residents, regulators and the broader public informed, which includes meeting with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) twice weekly.

 Operational Update

As we shared during the meeting, we recently completed the removal of the impacted pipe segment for metallurgical analysis.  Advance notice of this work was provided to public safety officials, as well as impacted area homeowners, some of whom were offered temporary relocation so our operations and related traffic would not disturb them.

Representatives from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), as well as NCDEQ, were on site to observe the pipe removal; the impacted pipe segment was then sent to an independent laboratory for metallurgical analysis.

The analysis is a key step in determining the cause of the release. In fact, the removal of this segment of pipe was not required, as a permanent sleeve had been installed during the initial emergency response phase of the incident.  However, Colonial took this additional step as part of its commitment to further assess the condition of the pipe and the cause of the release.

 Environmental Update

In addition to operational activities at the site, which will continue over the next several weeks, environmental remediation and recovery work at the site is ongoing.  To date, we have installed more than 100 monitoring and recovery wells.

Colonial continues to coordinate all aspects of the remediation with NCDEQ and is working to file our next required report, a Comprehensive Site Assessment, by the January 20, 2021, deadline.

In the meantime, weekly testing of residential drinking water wells within the 1,500-foot radius established by NCDEQ continues. There have been no detections of any petroleum constituents in any of the water supply well samples. Air and noise monitoring continues.

 Product Volume Estimates

Estimating volumes in an event such as this is an intricate, highly technical process that requires gathering and analyzing technical data from a variety of sources (e.g., geotechnical, metallurgical, operational, environmental), and it takes considerable time to complete.  We are working to collect as much data as possible, and to analyze that data as expeditiously as possible, to ensure the release volumes we share are accurate and verified by multiple models.

We have also engaged third-party experts to provide support to Colonial’s in-house team of experts as we work to revise the estimated released volume.

For additional information on Colonial’s response efforts, please visit our FAQs section, which we will continue to update periodically as a follow-up to questions received.

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UPDATE #17: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, November 5, 2020, 7 PM EST

Colonial Pipeline Update – Assessment Work Continues

Colonial Pipeline is continuing our environmental assessment and remediation activities at the release site off Huntersville-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County, N.C.  Our focus remains our commitment to the safety of people, environmental protection and respect for community assets.

Colonial has been in constant communication with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) since the response began.  Colonial voluntarily meets with the Department twice per week and provides Department staff with information about Colonial’s remediation and assessment efforts at the site, including details about the volume of gasoline that has been recovered to date from the recovery well network that Colonial has installed.  We also provide the Department with detailed reports on a monthly basis about groundwater sampling results.  Additionally, we continue to have an open dialogue with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg environmental team including stormwater, water supply well, air and other county divisions that are part of the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Colonial’s reports to NC DEQ and other regulatory agencies continue to meet, and in many cases exceed, regulatory requirements for site assessment and remediation.  On Friday, October 30, 2020, Colonial submitted its Initial Assessment Report (IAR) to NC DEQ.  Colonial was not required to submit the report until November 12, 2020, however, provided the detailed report in advance of the deadline so that NC DEQ could begin reviewing the extensive site remediation and assessment data Colonial has gathered.

In the IAR, Colonial noted that, as it had previously discussed with NC DEQ staff, Colonial is in the process of reviewing additional data from the site, and the estimated volume of released gasoline is under review and subject to change, as that additional data is reviewed.  Due to the complex nature of liquid pipeline operations and the geological conditions at the release site, calculating an estimated released volume is an intricate task that requires the thoughtful and detailed analysis of several different data points.

The estimated released volume number that Colonial reported to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in September was based on the best available data at that time.  Since then, Colonial has continued to collect the additional operational and environmental data that is critical to our ability to calculate the estimated released volume.  Colonial has also engaged third-parties who are experts in the field to work collaboratively with our internal resources to analyze all of the data points.  Colonial is committed to providing a revised estimate of the released volume to our regulators as soon as that work is complete.

Environmental Update

As of Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Colonial had installed 100 monitoring and recovery wells at the site.  Sixty of those wells are monitoring wells, and 40 are recovery wells.  Neither monitoring nor recovery wells are used for potable water.  Residential water well sampling for homes within a 1,500-foot radius of the incident location, which is the monitoring radius established by NCDEQ, are completed weekly.  The samples are analyzed by an external laboratory, and there have been no detections of petroleum constituents in any of the samples taken from any of the residential water wells.

Current Operations Actions

 Currently, Colonial is continuing preparation work associated with the removal and replacement of the impacted pipe segment.  The section will be isolated, product will be removed, and the pipeline will be shut down so that work can be completed safely.  As part of this process, in addition to the incident site, two other segments of the pipeline will be excavated.  After the impacted pipe segment is removed, it will undergo laboratory analyses so that Colonial can better understand the cause of the release.

Crews and other personnel will be present at these sites periodically through mid-November.  Residents may also notice excavation equipment and additional truck traffic in the area.  Colonial is communicating directly with residents who live near the work areas to keep them informed.

Colonial remains committed to protecting public safety and restoring the natural environment, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory standards.

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UPDATE #16: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, October 8, 2020 5:00 PM EST

Assessment Now Underway and Ongoing Environmental Remediation Update

Colonial Pipeline’s response and remediation efforts continue to focus on our commitment to the safety of people, environmental protection, respect for community assets, and continual communication.

In addition to our ongoing site assessment and environmental remediation activities, this week, Colonial began preparation work associated with the removal and replacement of the impacted pipe segment.

Removing the pipe segment will enable Colonial to conduct laboratory analyses, which will help determine what caused the pipe failure.

As this work occurs over the next five to six weeks, residents may notice excavation equipment and additional truck traffic in the area.

Colonial will be communicating directly with residents who live near the work areas.    We appreciate the patience of the community as we continue our assessment, remediation and analysis activities.

Restoration of Oehler Preserve

Colonial will continue site restoration activities in coordination with Mecklenburg County.  As stated previously, Colonial is committed to meeting all state standards as established by the NCDEQ for site remediation and to restoring the natural environment of Oehler Nature Preserve, and any other areas affected by our operational activities.  We will continue to work with local partners to remediate Oehler Nature Preserve, and will expand area partnerships as part of our ongoing Environmental Partners Program.  To find out more about Colonial’s Environmental Partners Program, you can also watch this video.

Current Actions and Environmental Update 

Colonial provides regular updates on the status of our environmental monitoring and remediation efforts to NCDEQ and Mecklenburg County.

As of Thursday, October 8, 2020, Colonial had installed 100 monitoring and recovery wells at the site.

  • 60 of those wells are monitoring wells, and 40 are recovery wells.  Neither monitoring nor recovery wells are used for potable water.
  • When Colonial encounters product in a monitoring or recovery well, product recovery begins immediately in an effort to control and limit any further migration.
  • Colonial also is supplementing our current recovery systems with additional equipment and technologies.
  • We have completed seven rounds of residential water well sampling for homes within a 1,500-foot radius of the incident location, which is the monitoring radius established by NCDEQ. There have been no detections of any petroleum constituents in any of the samples that we have taken from any of the residential water wells.

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UPDATE #15: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, September 25, 2020 4:00 PM EST

Colonial is steadfast in our incident response priorities – the safety of people, environmental protection, respect for community assets, and communication.  We continue to make daily progress on our environmental monitoring and remediation efforts, and we are committed to keeping the public informed.

Commitment to Regulatory Standards

Our environmental monitoring and remediation efforts continue to be conducted under the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), in accordance with all regulatory requirements for the state of North Carolina.

Today, September 25, 2020, we received a notice from NCDEQ outlining certain steps that NCDEQ wants Colonial to take as part of the remediation and monitoring process.  While we are still evaluating the notice, Colonial remains committed to working in cooperation with the NCDEQ and responding to the release consistent with all regulatory requirements.

Commitment to Community

We have completed five rounds of residential water well sampling for homes within a 1,500-foot radius of the incident location, which is the monitoring radius established by NCDEQ.  There have been no detections of any petroleum constituents in any of the samples that we have taken from any of the residential water wells.

Colonial has offered to connect homes within the 1,500-foot radius to the public water system and to pay for the costs associated with doing so.  That offer, which was not required by NCDEQ or any other government or regulatory agency, and was first made by Colonial to residents several weeks ago, is consistent with our proactive and conservative response to the incident and with our company values and commitment to the community.  Colonial will continue to monitor and test the water wells for any homeowners within the radius who do not wish to connect to public water at a scheduled interval developed in conjunction with NCDEQ and at no cost to the homeowners.

Colonial Current Actions and Environmental Update 

Each day, Colonial provides an update on the status of our environmental monitoring and remediation efforts to NCDEQ.  Colonial also provides similar updates, several times a week, to Mecklenburg County.  As of Friday, September 25, 2020, Colonial had installed 87 monitoring and recovery wells at the site.

  • 52 of those wells are monitoring wells, and 35 are recovery wells. Neither recovery nor monitoring wells are used for potable water.
  • When Colonial encounters product in a monitoring or recovery well, product recovery begins immediately in an effort to control and limit any further migration.
  • Colonial also is supplementing our current recovery systems with additional equipment and technologies.
  • As of Thursday, September 24, 2020, Colonial had recovered 4,464 barrels of product (187,487 gallons). Colonial was able to recover more than 2,165 barrels (90,930 gallons) of product during initial response activities.  Colonial has recovered an additional 2,299 barrels (96,557 gallons) of product from recovery wells that have been installed at the site.
  • Surface water sampling continues to be conducted weekly and after any storm events resulting in rainfall greater than one inch. To date, no petroleum impacts have been observed at the surface water sampling locations.

Commitment to Pipeline Safety

Operating our pipeline safely is at the core of every decision we make and everything we do at Colonial.  Colonial invests a significant amount of resources on system integrity each year.  We also participate in ongoing industry research and development efforts used to keep the nation’s critical pipeline infrastructure operating safely.

Colonial will work with our regulators and industry partners to study this incident and determine the cause, and we want to reiterate Colonial’s commitment to conducting a full analysis of the incident.

Ongoing Remediation

Colonial remains committed to protecting public safety and restoring the natural environment, while meeting all required regulatory standards.

For additional information on Colonial’s response efforts, please visit our FAQs section, which we continue to update periodically as a follow-up to questions received.

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UPDATE #14: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, September 13, 2020 8:30 PM EST

Colonial remains committed to the Huntersville community and the health and safety of its residents and the environment. We value the relationships that we have built here over 50+ years, and we want to continue to build on that foundation as we move forward.

Commitment to Community

Colonial is steadfast in our incident response priorities – the safety of people, environmental protection, respect for community assets, and communication – and we are committed to sharing information about the incident and our remediation efforts with residents, regulators, and the broader public on an ongoing basis.

Our environmental and remediation efforts are being conducted under the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).  As of Friday September 11, a fourth round of residential water well sampling was completed last week for homes within a 1,500-foot radius of the incident location, which is the monitoring radius established by NCDEQ.  We want to assure the community that there have been no detections of any petroleum constituents in any of the samples that we have taken from any of the residential water wells.

Nevertheless, as a proactive measure, we have offered to connect residents within the 1,500-foot radius to the public water system and to pay for the costs associated with doing so.  We are not required by NCDEQ, or any other government or regulatory agency, to take this step; however, it is consistent with our proactive and conservative response to the incident, as well as with our company values and our commitment to the community.  Homeowners who have been offered the opportunity to connect to public water are free to decline the offer, and if they do so, Colonial will continue to monitor and test their water wells, at no cost to the homeowners, for the foreseeable future.

Colonial Current Actions and Environmental Update 

Colonial continues to provide information about the incident and our remediation efforts to various regulatory agencies on a regular basis.  An immediate notification, based on the best available data at that time, was provided to the National Response Center (NRC), per regulatory requirements, on August 14, 2020. This evening, an additional report will be filed with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). That report will indicate that Colonial now estimates that approximately 6,490 barrels or 272,580 gallons of gasoline were released from the pipeline during the incident, and approximately half of the released amount has been recovered to date.  These numbers, which are still an estimate, are based on additional data that Colonial has obtained and analyzed over the course of the last several weeks.  The numbers may need to be revised again as the remediation project continues, and we are committed to keeping the public informed.

  • We continue to sample residential water wells within a 1,500-foot radius of the release site. There have been no detections of petroleum constituents in any of the samples that have been taken from any of the residential water wells.
  • As of Saturday, September 12, 2020, Colonial had installed 77 wells at the site specifically as part of the response process.
    • Of the 77 wells installed, 47 have been installed as monitoring wells, and 30 are recovery wells. Neither are used for potable water.
    • When Colonial encounters product in a monitoring well, product recovery begins immediately in an effort to control and limit any further migration. Colonial also is supplementing our current recovery systems with additional technologies.
  • Surface water sampling continues to be conducted weekly and after any qualifying storm events.
  • Colonial is working to develop and submit an Initial Abatement Report, Comprehensive Site Assessment Report, and a Corrective Action Plan to NCDEQ.

Ongoing Remediation

Colonial remains committed throughout the remediation process, working under the guidance of our regulators, to protect public safety and restore the natural environment, while meeting all regulatory standards.

For additional information on Colonial’s response efforts, please visit our FAQs section, which we continue to update periodically as a follow-up to questions received.

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UPDATE #13: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, September 9, 2020 7:30 PM EST

Colonial Pipeline extends our appreciation to the Town of Huntersville for inviting us to provide an update on our response and remediation activities at the Tuesday, September 8, Huntersville Board of Commissioners Meeting.

We remain committed to our response priorities – the safety of people, environmental protection, respect for community assets, and communication.  Colonial remains steadfast in our response priorities and to sharing information with residents, regulators, and the broader public on an ongoing basis.

Environmental Update

We want to assure the Huntersville community that, at this time, all data has indicated no detections of petroleum compounds in residential water wells.  Colonial continues to prioritize health, safety and environmental protection, and we are working to ensure residential drinking water remains unaffected.

As of Wednesday, September 9, 2020, Colonial has installed 39 monitoring wells.  Monitoring wells are not used for potable water.  They are specifically installed as part of the response process to monitor and remove product, if any is encountered.  These wells also allow us to monitor any migration of the release to collect data and provide information for our recovery/clean-up plans. We refer to these wells as “our eyes underground.”

If Colonial encounters product in a monitoring well, product recovery begins immediately in an effort to control and limit any further migration. We have installed 22 recovery wells to date.  As with monitoring wells, recovery wells are not used for potable water.

In addition, surface water sampling continues to be conducted weekly and after any storm events.  No petroleum compounds have been detected in any surface water samples.

Commitment to Community

Colonial remains committed to the health and safety of residents, and we continue to work towards ensuring residential drinking water remains unaffected. A third round of residential well sampling was completed last week for homes within a 1,500-foot radius of the release site.  No petroleum compounds have been detected in any water well samples to date.

Nevertheless, as a proactive measure, we have offered to connect residents within the 1,500-foot radius who have active water wells to the public water system and to pay for the costs associated with doing so.  We are not required by NCDEQ or any other government or regulatory agency to take this step, however, it is consistent with our proactive and conservative response to the incident, as well as with our Company values and our commitment to the community.  Landowners who have been offered the opportunity to connect to public water are free to decline the offer.  If they do so, Colonial will continue to monitor and test their residential water wells, at no cost to the homeowners, for the foreseeable future.

Next Steps

Environment:  Colonial is supplementing our current recovery systems with additional technologies.

Community Commitment:  Colonial is committed to continuing to work with residents within the 1,500-foot radius of the release site to address their concerns.

Initial Abatement Report:  Colonial is also working with NCDEQ to develop and submit an Initial Abatement Report, Site Assessment Report, and a Corrective Action Plan.  We will also submit a 30-day update report to Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

For additional information on Colonial’s response efforts, please visit our FAQs section, which we continue to update periodically in follow-up to questions received.

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UPDATE #12: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, September 3, 2020 7:30 PM EST

On behalf of Colonial Pipeline, we want to say “Thank You” to Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla for hosting and inviting Colonial to participate in last week’s Community Meeting, and to the many agencies and response partners that also participated.  We appreciated hearing from the residents who attended, and for providing Colonial an opportunity to listen, respond, and consider opportunities for improvement.

We understand that local residents have many questions.  We respect – and share – the interest of residents to ensure the health and safety of their families and neighbors, and admire the great pride and sense of comradery in the Huntersville community.

Colonial echoes the sentiment, expressed by so many, that the first responders and local officials have done an incredible job, many of them working around the clock, to ensure a safe response.

To everyone who has participated in this response – “Thank You.”

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY

Colonial has been in the Huntersville community for more than 50 years.  We are committed to working with the community, our response partners and our regulator, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to ensure the safety of residents and environmental protection – now and in the future.

The actions below outline our ongoing and sincere commitment to the Huntersville community.

Commitment to Health and Safety

We want to assure the community that, at this time, all data has indicated no detections of petroleum constituents in residential water wells

Nevertheless, Colonial is currently working with residents within a 1,500 foot radius with residential wells to execute a proactive strategy that should alleviate any concerns about access to drinking water.  State rules, enforced by NCDEQ, set a broad radius to be as protective as possible to water supplies. If data indicates a need to expand the residential well sampling radius at any point in the future, Colonial will adjust as needed under the guidance of the NCDEQ.

Colonial is committed to using a data-driven approach, guided by geological modeling, to determine placement of the monitoring wells in order to strategically track any potential migration of product.  

Colonial has installed 31 monitoring wells at a depth of approximately 30 feet and has recovered  product from ten of those wells (“recovery wells”) to the southeast of the release site.   Monitoring wells are not used for potable water and instead are specifically installed, as part of our response process, to monitor and remove product, if any is encountered.

When Colonial encounters product in a monitoring well, Colonial immediately begins product recovery in an effort to control and limit any further migration. We prioritize health, safety and environmental protection and are working to ensure residential drinking water is unaffected.

Commitment to the Environment

Colonial is committed to meeting all state standards as established by the NCDEQ for site remediation.  We will continue to work with local partners to remediate Oehler Nature Preserve and will expand area partnerships as part of our ongoing Environmental Partners Program.

Environmental remediation is something we take very seriously.  Not only does our pipeline run through this area, we also have employees who are members of, and take pride in, this community. Colonial is committed to restoring the natural environment of Oehler Nature Preserve and any other areas affected by our operational activities.

Colonial’s Environmental Partners Program establishes two-way dialogue and stewardship efforts with local environmental organizations. For example, Colonial has a longstanding partnership with the Catawba Riverkeeper.

Commitment to Ongoing Communication

Colonial is committed to providing consistent, factual information to the community.  We are working directly with local residents who request information and we continue communicating directly with residents related to well testing.

As requested during the Community Meeting, we are sharing additional information now, and are continuing with our assessment process and incident analysis.

In addition, to provide more background about our company, we also are sharing resources currently available on our public website. You may also wish to visit colpipe.com for access to a wide variety of information.

Colonial also continuously updates our FAQ section to reflect answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and will continue to expand responses on this page as information becomes available.

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UPDATE #11: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, August 27, 2020 9:00 PM EST

Colonial Pipeline continues to focus on our key priorities — protecting the safety of people and the environment.

Key activities at this time include:

  • Colonial participated in the August 27 Community Meeting in Huntersville. Greg Glaze, Colonial Pipeline Southeast District Director of Operations and Incident Commander for the SR2448 Response, joined the meeting remotely on behalf of Colonial due to COVID-19 and Colonial’s on-going response to Hurricane Laura.
  • The area around Line 1 was backfilled with clean soil after the repair was made on August 19. The repair was tested and monitored to ensure the safety of the pipeline.
  • At this time, 23 residential water wells have been tested for petroleum products with zero detections of petroleum constituents. In alignment with NCDEQ guidance, and based on current data, Colonial will continue sampling residential water wells within 1,500 feet going forward. These results will be shared with individual landowners and NCDEQ.
  • As part of Colonial’s ongoing site assessment and remediation activities, we are currently conducting multiple types of testing, including advancing soil borings to determine impacts to soil and installing groundwater monitoring wells to determine the nature and extent of groundwater impacts. In addition, we have installed four fixed recovery wells in close proximity to the site.
  • As we continue our assessment process, to date, more than 100 soil borings have been taken.
  • Soil is currently being removed from site and properly disposed. To date, Colonial has excavated approximately 780 tons of soil for off-site disposal.

In an ongoing effort to update the public of our response efforts and answer questions, Colonial is continuously adding to the FAQ section of our response site and posted additional Q&As today.

UPDATE #10: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response, August 26, 2020 – 2:00 PM EST

Colonial continues to work in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) and Mecklenburg County agencies, as we keep safety and environmental protection at the forefront of our assessment and remediation activities.

According to the plan approved by Mecklenburg County Emergency Management, Huntersville-Concord Road re-opened to all traffic the morning of Monday, August 24, as scheduled.

Ongoing Remediation Efforts

To date, Colonial has excavated approximately 780 tons of soil for off-site disposal, installed more than 100 soil borings as part of the site delineation, installed groundwater monitoring wells and recovery product points, sampled surface water, and collected water samples from 17 residential water wells within a 2,000-feet radius of the release site.

At this time, all residential water wells tested have indicated “non-detect” for gasoline or dissolved-phase gasoline components.

Residential Well Sampling & Monitoring/Recovery Wells

We are currently conducting multiple types of well testing – one for residential wells and the other for borings/monitoring wells.  Soil borings are used as part of our assessment efforts to identify the location of product. Three borings where product was measured, have been converted to temporary product recovery wells.  The recovery wells are part of our ongoing investigatory and remediation activities in the area of the site and will be replaced with fixed recovery wells in the near future.  As an interim measure, vac trucks are being used to remove product.  The assessment is ongoing, and it is anticipated that additional recovery wells will be installed as part of a NCDEQ-approved remediation approach.

Colonial will continue to sample residential water wells within the 1,500-feet radius of the release site, under the direction of the NCDEQ, and will communicate results directly with these landowners. Results from the initial residential water well sampling are being hand delivered to these residents, and we have also shared these results with the NCDEQ.

Community Meeting

Colonial has also confirmed its participation in the August 27 Community Meeting in Huntersville. Greg Glaze, Colonial Pipeline Southeast District Director of Operations and Incident Commander for the SR2448 Response, will join the meeting remotely on behalf of Colonial due to COVID-19 and Colonial’s response to Hurricane Laura.

Rest assured, we have been in the Huntersville Community for more than fifty years and remain committed to our path of environmental remediation and keeping stakeholders informed.

UPDATE #9: Colonial Pipeline – SR2448 Response August 24, 2020 – 5:00 AM EST

According to the plan approved by Mecklenburg County Emergency Management, Huntersville-Concord Road re-opened to all traffic the morning of Monday, August 24, as scheduled. The road had been closed as part of Colonial Pipeline’s repair and remediation response, following a product release on Colonial’s gasoline pipeline near Huntersville-Concord Road between Lawther Road and Asbury Chapel Road.

Colonial Pipeline continues to work on site remediation while remaining focused on our key priorities — protecting the safety of people and the environment.