Pictured: Gas Leak Response; Photo by Julie McClintock of the Booker Creek Watershed Alliance
CHAPEL HILL – The State Department of Environment and Natural Resources will charge the Family Fare BP’s owner for the gasoline spill on August 2.
According to the Chapel Hill News, state officials will cite the owner with a certified letter Monday; fines will reportedly depend on the owner’s response to the citation.
Bishop Construction Company was renovating the BP station on August 1 and needed a pump to drain the rainwater from a footing hole connected to a pipe leading to a Town storm drain. The accumulation of rainwater caused the footing hole to cave in, resulting in falling concrete, which punctured one of the fiberglass tanks below sometime between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. on August 2.
The breached compartment held approximately 3,200 gallons of gasoline at the time of the incident, though the full amount was not leaked. Because the pump connected to the storm drain, gasoline flowed directly into Crow Branch Creek, a feeder of Booker Creek and Eastwood Lake.
Regional supervisor for surface water quality, Danny Smith, said the exact amount leaked is unknown, but that an unnamed tributary to Crow Branch near Critz Drive and Booker Creek at N. Lakeshore Drive registered levels of toluene—a substance found in gasoline—that equated to a Stream Standard Violation. The report stated that no gas reached the Eastwood lake.
Smith reported that most of the gas was cleaned up, and the EPA previously praised the Chapel Hill Fire Department and other responding crews for the quick response.