Officials continue to monitor pipeline spill near Williamsport

Associated Press


There has been little impact to the water supply so far from a ruptured pipeline during a freak storm in Pennsylvania that sent nearly 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a creek tributary, officials said Saturday.

But authorities are continuing to monitor the water supplies that serve thousands of residents around Williamsport.

A storm late Thursday into Friday dumped up to 7 inches of rain on areas in western and central Pennsylvania, triggering mudslides, turning roads into rivers and sweeping away at least two homes.

Hundreds more were damaged in Centre County, home to Penn State’s main campus. One man was killed when a tree crashed into his home.

The flooding caused an 8-inch Sunoco Logistics pipeline that carries gasoline, diesel and home heating oil to rupture, spilling an estimated 54,600 gallons of gasoline into a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek.

The creek runs into the west branch of the Susquehanna River, but the company said Saturday that “no petroleum-related compounds” had been detected in the river.

“We don’t have any indication that water supplies have been affected at this point, but we’ll continue to monitor that,” said Sunoco Logistics spokesman Jeff Shields, who said the company was working with state and federal environmental departments.

Crews have deployed skimmers to try to pick up gasoline from the surface of the water and booms to contain and absorb it.

“But we really haven’t found much of the product so far,” he said. “There was a lot of water that came down that night.”

Crews are waiting for the water to recede and expose the pipe so they can access it and formulate a repair plan, he said.