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EPA says Ohio oil leak at 20K gallons

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm •  Published: March 24, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal environmental officials now estimate more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil — double the initial estimates — leaked from a pipeline into a nature preserve in southwest Ohio.

Meanwhile, Sunoco Logistics said Monday that the pipeline has been repaired and re-opened. Sunoco shut off the stretch of Mid-Valley Pipeline from Hebron, Ky., to Lima, Ohio, early March 18 after a leak was confirmed.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said under a federally approved plan, a specially engineered clamp was placed on the 20-inch diameter pipeline, which had a 5-inch crack that leaked oil. The clamp was tested before oil flow resumed Sunday evening.

Shields declined to say how much of the oil supply was disrupted in the last week in a system that runs about 1,000 miles from Texas to Michigan. He said the information is considered internal company business.

"The cause is still under investigation," Shields added.

The oil leaked into an intermittent stream and acre-sized marshy area in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve just west of Cincinnati. Teams from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio EPA and other federal, state and local agencies responded after Sunoco Logistics reported the leak at about 1 a.m. EDT March 18.

Officials say no problems have been found with air quality or local water wells, but some small wildlife has been affected by contamination.

Cleanup worked continued Monday, with officials at the site reporting that 35,000 gallons of oil/water mix had been collected so far, with some 17,000 gallons of that being crude oil. Sunoco Logistics and federal officials last week used a figure of 240 barrels, or 10,000 gallons, for the leak, but the U.S. EPA increased estimates to about 500 barrels, or some 21,000 gallons, in its latest site update.

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