A major East Coast pipeline leaked around 250,000 gallons of gasoline, or roughly 6,000 to 8,000 barrels, in Alabama last week and is expected to raise the price of gas by five to ten cents in the surrounding states, according to local CBS station WIAT.
Colonial Pipeline Co., the operator of the leaking pipeline, was forced to delay digging and repair operations for a week due to the dangers of gasoline vapors at the site of the leak, which was discovered in Shelby County, Alabama on September 9th.
Around 250,000 gallons of gas reportedly pooled into a water retention pond, and there is so far no apparent threat to public safety. Multiple state agencies are already involved in ensuring a minimal effect on the environment.
Edited to add: A local creek has been dammed to contain the spill and the skimming process on the retention pond is underway.
The pipeline runs from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, North Carolina and is critical in sustaining the East Coast gasoline supply. Now the gasoline will have to be shipped via a roundabout supply line or via large tanker vessels from the Gulf Coast, but at a higher cost which will slightly impact consumers at the pump, according to The Huffington Post.
The states of “Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina” are expected to be affected the most, according to WIAT.
The effect should be minimal with the workaround solutions and the East Coast gas supply currently being above the 5-year average, as long as the recovery doesn’t face any more setbacks. This is the largest spill from this pipeline since 1996, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.