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Pipeline Leaks 42,000 Gallons Into Indiana Stream
Forty-two thousand gallons of diesel spilled from a Marathon Petroleum Corporation pipeline into Big Creek in Posey Creek, Indiana before the leak was detected Tuesday evening, U.S. News & World Report reported Wednesday.
The pipeline was immediately shut off, and workers contained the spill with two booms before it reached the Wabash River.
Kevin Turner, the on-the-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told The Indianapolis Star that it was "considered a large spill."
Fortunately, Turner told The Star that he did not think the spill would impact wildlife. No fish deaths have yet been reported, and it is too early in the year for migratory songbirds to have arrived, he said.
The spill traveled four miles before it was stopped by the booms. "If the product had made it to the Wabash, then we would not be able to collect any of it," Turner told The Star.
Marathon was moving the fuel from its refinery in Robinson, Illinois to its terminal on the Ohio River in Mount Vernon, Indiana.
Turner told The Star that efforts were now underway to recover the fuel, a process that should take about a week. He expected 60 percent of the diesel to be skimmed.
According to The Star, this is not the first time that a Marathon pipeline has leaked. In April 2016, 48,300 gallons of oil spilled into the Wabash River from a pipeline near Mount Carmel, Illinois near the Indiana border.
That leak was caused by the fact that erosion had exposed the pipeline, which had been buried beneath the river, to the river bottom itself.
Marathon spokesperson Shane Pochard told The Star that the cause of the current spill is unknown but investigations are underway with help from the Indiana Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety.
The spill comes as pipelines are under increasing scrutiny in North America.
In 2017, environmental groups sued the Trump administration over the president's decision to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the decision by former President Barack Obama to cancel the project.
In 2016, Undark reported that there had been more than 1,300 crude oil spills from pipelines in the U.S. since 2010, averaging one every other day. While pipelines lead to fewer spills than transporting oil by rail, the other overland option, the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. State Department, International Energy Agency and the Fraser Institute found that pipeline spills release more crude into the environment, Business Insider reported.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.
On Friday, Seal Rescue Ireland released Sesame the seal into the ocean after five months of rehabilitation at the Seal Rescue Ireland facility. Watch the release on EcoWatch's Facebook.
By Jordan Davidson
Guinness is joining the fight against single use plastic. The brewer has seen enough hapless turtles and marine life suffering from the scourge of plastic.
People of all ages are spending more of their day looking at their phones, computers and television screens, but parents now have another reason for limiting how much screen time their children get — it could lead to behavioral problems.