Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clearwater River oil leak still being monitored

By Alannah Allbrett

The underground petroleum leak discovered in the Clearwater River Monday, December 26, is still under investigation Earl Liverman, a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), identified the leak as being located near Atkinson Distributing, Inc. That business includes an unmanned gas station as well as above-ground storage tanks.

The underground lines at the station were pressure tested as recently as 2011, and no leaks were found at that time. On November 11, a small earth quake, of 2.3 – 2.6 magnitude, occurred in the area which may have triggered a leak.

The EPA listed, among possible causes, an abandoned underground storage tank, a broken gas line, something flushed into the river, or something buried in a sandbar. Another possible cause might have been substances that leached out of an old landfill which used to be in that area.

The leak has been contained by booms, and Atkinson representatives continue to monitor it.

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