Open the Latest Newspaper Edition- FREE- Click HERE TO READ

sunoco-logistics-logoThe cause of a gasoline pipeline rupture which released 55,000 gallons of gas in a Loyalsock Creek tributary on Friday, October 21st, was a washed out bridge.

The pipeline ruptured in Gamble Township after a day of heavy flooding. According to Sunoco Logistics communications manager Jeff Shields in a news release, the damage to the pipeline occurred when the bridge moved 100 yards downstream in a tributary. Shields explained that the bridge was an addition of Wallis Run Road. The bridge went across the tributary which flows into Loyalsock Creek immediately before Butternut Grove Road located in Montoursville.

Sunoco Logistics senior vice president for operations David R. Chalson issued the following statement, “Given the position of the pipe and the location of the bridge before and after the event, it’s clear that the bridge was responsible for the damage to the pipe.”

In 1994, the part of the pipeline that ruptured was installed at a depth of not less than 5 feet beneath the stream bed. Sunoco Logistics said the new pipeline will be put approximately 25 feet beneath the stream bed. By using a 500-foot pipe with horizontal directional drilling, the pipeline can be installed at a greater depth.

According to Shields, Sunoco Logistics is working with agencies on a federal, state, and local level during the repair process. An announcement will be made to let the public know when the repairs will be done.

As of Tuesday, October 25th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were monitoring the water in Loyalsock Creek and the Susquehanna River’s West Branch. A news release states that the Susquehanna River’s drinking water levels are safe.

In an October 22nd news release, the DEP said it had collected water samples to see if volatile organic compounds were present. Gasoline compounds were found in samples that were taken downstream from where the pipeline ruptured. The DEP says drinking water is safe because “water systems will use stored water and alternative sources until the plume has passed.” Residents may call Sunoco Logistics representative at 1-800-759-5644 if they were affected by the gasoline pipeline rupture.