Monthly Archives: September 2020

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 capture more than 2,165 barrels (90,930 gallons) of product before it ever reached the soil and groundwater. 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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