More than 2,500 tons of soil removed from Shively neighborhood after pipeline spill
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Workers have removed more than 2,560 tons of soil tainted by jet fuel after a Marathon Petroleum Corp. pipeline ruptured in a Shively neighborhood earlier this year, documents show.
Marathon told state regulators Oct. 14 that it plans more excavations leading up to final repairs this month on the line that carries fuel between the company’s Algonquin Parkway terminal and Louisville International Airport.
The additional work will include digging up soil with higher-than-recommended levels of some chemicals, according to the report obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act.
The report sheds new light on the largest spill of hazardous liquids in Jefferson County since 2009. The February leak behind a house on D-Lue Court in Shively happened when a suspected electrical arc cut a ¾-inch-by-1/8-inch-hole into the line, releasing about 6,700 gallons of jet fuel.
Tests on soil samples from the area and other analyses show there is “currently” a minor exposure risk to residents, Marathon consultant ARCADIS U.S. wrote in its report.
But in five locations not yet excavated, Benzo(a)pyrene and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene were detected in levels above those recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. Benzo(a)pyrene is a known carcinogen, according to the American Cancer Society; the Centers for Disease Control considers dibenzo(a,h)anthracene to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” over a long period.
Still, the report found that the “response and remediation efforts to date have been effective in mitigating potential risks” connected to the spill.
Final repairs to the line were scheduled to start this week, a Marathon spokesman said in an email.
Shively Mayor Sherry Conner said Marathon officials invited residents and public officials to an August event at Louisville Slugger Field as a “thank you for being patient.”
The incident was the largest spill of hazardous liquids in Jefferson County since more than 8,700 gallons of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel leaked from a Chevron storage tank on Bells Lane in 2009, federal data shows.
Despite the magnitude of the Shively spill, Conner said no residents have contacted her with questions or concerns.
“I haven’t heard from any resident about it – good, bad or indifferent,” she said. “So I go with no news is good news.”
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