DANVILLE, Va (WFXR) — A diesel fuel leak near Danville has shut down a part of the Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest fuel pipeline which supplies a majority of the east coast. According to Colonial, the leak was discovered during a routine station check. The line has been shut down while the crews work to fix the leak.
A statement from Colonial Pipelines says the leak appears to be contained to the property.
Chair of Environmental Sciences and Sustainability at the University of Lynchburg, Brooke Haiar, says effects from fuel leaks highly depend on the type of fuel, and the amount lost. Haiar says assuming the repair is successful– it is unlikely that a leak of this size will have major effects on the community.
“I don’t think there’s a huge concern about fuel prices or fuel shortages because of this,” said Haiar.
Haiar adds that one of the main concerns with fuel leaks is the possibility of it getting into nearby waterways and while as of right now colonial says that the leak is contained in a detention pond, Haiar says that diesel leaks may actually be less concerning than some other fuels.
“It is diesel, which means it is going to float on the surface, so the types of remediation if it did make it to the river, is going to be easier than if it was something more complicated or more volatile,” Haiar adds.
Colonial says they hope to have the line up and running again by midday Saturday– adding that in the meantime they are coordinating on-scene activities with state and local authorities– and working with customers to coordinate deliveries.
They say that the safety of their workers and the public along with protecting the environment are their top priorities.