Refined Fuel Products Clean-up Continues in Nemaha Area
Work continues on clean-up after a Dec. 10 incident during which an individual operating a bulldozer (not working on behalf of Magellan Midstream Partners) struck the Magellan Pipeline system which caused a release of refined petroleum products in a rural Nemaha location.
Bruce Heine, Director of Government and Media Affairs with Magellan, previously said a landowner hit the pipeline with a bulldozer with a ripper attachment. The farmer was removing trees and brush at the time of the incident. On Dec. 10, Magellan’s control room in Tulsa, Okla. noticed a drop in pressure and quickly shut down the line. There are two refined product pipelines that run through the area and both were impacted in the incident. Both pipelines originate in the Kansas City area and provide transportation services in the northwestern region of Magellan’s pipeline system.
The Magellan pipeline supplies refined products to terminals in Bellevue, Omaha, Sioux City, Iowa, and points north, and from a branch pipeline to Lincoln and Doniphan.
The repairs to the pipelines struck by the bulldozer were completed as of Dec. 12 and the company safely resumed pipeline transportation services later that day.
On Dec. 13, Magellan officials reported that the actual volume of petroleum products released (determined by volumetric metering and pressure loss data) to be as follows: diesel fuel, 650 barrels; jet fuel, 655 barrels; and gasoline, 1,529 barrels; which made a combined loss of 2,834 barrels (119,028 gallons). Each barrel represents about 42 gallons of fuel.
It was reported that most of the fuels soaked into a crop field, but some drained into an unnamed creek that is a tributary to the Little Nemaha River.
One-Call Notification: The state of Nebraska has a requirement for persons to contact its One-Call Center prior to excavating or digging. The bulldozer owner(s) who caused the damage to Megellan’s pipelines didn’t contact the One-Call Center, according to Heine. Magellan will be providing information to appropriate regulatory authorities regarding a potential violation of the state’s One-Call requirements.
This Week’s Update
Heine told the newspaper on Dec. 19 that the emergency phase of this incident has concluded and personnel are working with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality on a longer-term clean-up plan. “We have continued to deploy resources to contain the petroleum products to the immediate area around the release site. These efforts have been successful to date.”
In response to a question as to how many people were working on the incident scene as of Dec. 19, Heine said, “We have approximately 25 representatives on site today. We are currently working on (1) containment, as referenced above; (2) adding appropriate infrastructure which will provide the ability to transport equipment in the general area; and (3) other activities associated with the incident.