Pa. fuel spill sig­nals cau­tion along the Susky

Not ex­pected to af­fect lo­cal wa­ter



— A bro­ken fuel line in Ly­coming County, Pa., late last week sent 55,000 gal­lons of gaso­line into a creek that flows into the Susque­hanna River.

Now wa­ter sup­pli­ers in Ce­cil County are wait­ing and watch­ing to see if the lo­cal sup­ply will be con­tam­i­nated. The Susque­hanna River is the main source for cus­tomers of Arte­sian Wa­ter in Port De­posit and Per­ryville also draws di­rectly from the river.

So far tests have shown no traces of the gaso­line ap­proach­ing lo­cal wa­ter sup­plies that draw from the Susque­hanna.

Joseph DiNun­zio, ex­ecu-


tive vice pres­i­dent of Arte­sian, said the Delaware­based util­ity re­ceived word from the Mary­land De­part­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment about the spill. Be­cause of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion and weather con­di­tions, DiNun­zio said ac­tion is not needed un­til later this week.

“By Thurs­day, it would reach Port De­posit,” he said. “We’ll just make sure all the stor­age is topped off. Then we’ll turn off the in­take and let it pass by.”

DiNun­zio said Arte­sian and other sup­pli­ers got plenty of ad­vanced no­tice.

“It was so far up­stream and they re­acted quickly,” he said. “Peo­ple did the right thing.”

Jay Ap­per­son, MDE spokesman, said wa­ter sup­ply of­fi­cials from the state have been in con­stant con­tact with op­er­a­tors of the sys­tems in Per­ryville, Per- ry Point and Port De­posit as well as Havre de Grace.

“At this point it does not ap­pear Mary­land will see any re­sults from the spill,” he noted, adding, “All wa­ter sys­tems in Penn­syl­va­nia are open, even those clos­est to the spill.”

Gwyn Roland, spokes­woman for the Susque­hanna River Basin Com­mis­sion, said Mon­day that the heavy rain­fall over New York and Penn­syl­va­nia at the top of the river on Thurs­day and Fri­day is help­ing na­ture do the cleanup.

“There was so much rain in the up­per basin and high flows ... it’s prob­a­bly long gone and very dis­bursed,” she said.

Per­ryville of­fi­cials are tak­ing no chances though.

In a state­ment re­leased Mon­day on the town web­site, Per­ryville said it is also mon­i­tor­ing the spill and planned to place a 100-foot ab­sorbent boom around the in­flow to the mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter plant.

“If gas is de­tected, we will shut our in­take valves un­til the gas passes our sys­tem,” the state­ment reads.

Town of­fi­cials also as­sured res­i­dents that no traces of the fuel have been found.

Jeff Shields, com­mu­nica- tions man­ager for Sunoco Lo­gis­tics which owns the line, said while the cause is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the break ap­pears to have hap­pened dur­ing last week’s storm event, which dumped up to 10 inches of rain on the basin.

”The pipe­line was un­der a stream bed in Wal­lis Run,” he ex­plained.

Dur­ing the storm a bridge washed out and Shields said it’s likely that de­bris from the bro­ken bridge struck the 8-inch line car­ry­ing the fuel from the re­fin­ery.

Penn­syl­va­nia en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cials re­ported Sun­day that the wa­ter lev­els in Wal­lis Run and Loy­al­sock Creek had fallen, al­low­ing for more work to be ac­com­plished on site.


An ae­rial pho­to­graph shows the washed out bridge over Wal­lis Run in Ly­coming County, Pa. as a re­sult of tor­ren­tial rain last week. De­bris from the bro­ken bridge is sus­pected of caus­ing a gas line rup­ture that sent 55,000 gal­lons of fuel into the wa­ter­shed that feeds the Susque­hanna River.

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