Colonial Pipeline Update
Colonial Pipeline Company continues to make progress recovering product at the site of the August 2020 release, with data collection from a growing network of monitoring and recovery wells, and other measurements, informing our ongoing recovery and remediation efforts.
A network of 168 wells has been installed over the past nine months, which includes a series of wells at different depths located around the perimeter of the site. Information collected from those wells indicates that product remains contained to the general vicinity of the release location, and there is no evidence at this time of free product in the perimeter wells.
As previously noted, we have reported that additional data, including the results of a geological analysis completed last month, show there are areas where product is located deeper than originally modeled. We anticipate product can be recovered with the existing remediation technology utilized at the site, and we have made adjustments to our plan as needed.
The additional data also brings more clarity to where the product is located and therefore assists in safely recovering product and remediating the site, which remains our top priority. This data also shows our recovery plan is working as designed; however, it does not indicate the volume of product located deeper in the soil.
Previous environmental modeling estimated that a total of 28,571 barrels of product were released from the pipeline in August. As of May 25, 2021, we have collected 27,217 barrels. Based on continued recovery rates, we have notified the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) that the previous volume estimate will likely be exceeded. Each volume estimate that Colonial has provided since discovering the release has been based on the best available data at that time, and we will continue to follow the science and communicate what we find with the public and our regulators. We will also continue to provide NCDEQ updates of volume recovered on a regular basis.
Conducting an updated environmental assessment of the total volume released would require halting product recovery for a period of time, possibly several weeks. We believe that doing so would not be in the best interest of protecting human health and the environment and would impair the goal of completing product recovery as quickly and safely as possible to minimize the risk of migration.
Colonial continues to evaluate alternative methods to estimate the total volume released. Those methods are complex and require multiple data points and assumptions, and the calculations from those models must be validated and reviewed. Because of those complexities, and the potential adverse impact of halting recovery efforts, we have notified NCDEQ that we are unable to provide an updated volume estimate at this time as we continue to focus on safely recovering product.
An updated estimated release volume is not needed to complete the conceptual site model or the Comprehensive Site Assessment, and has no impact on remedial design and ongoing remediation efforts. Colonial has collected more than 600 surface and water supply well samples since last August. No petroleum constituents have been detected in those water supply well samples. In addition, none of the surface water samples have exceeded applicable state standards. Environmental monitoring, including air quality and noise, continues.
Colonial remains committed to protecting human health and the environment and is taking full accountability for remediation of this location. We will be here for as long as it takes to safely remediate this area.
(Updated June 3, 2021)
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