DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — A portion of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline has restarted, days after it was shut down by a diesel fuel leak in Virginia, Colonial Pipeline said.
The spill at the Witt booster station near Danville was discovered Tuesday, prompting a shutdown of the line, the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company said. The affected line returned to normal operations Sunday evening after crews completed repairs, spokesperson David Conti said in an email. The restart was initially expected Saturday.
An equipment failure caused the spill that was detected during a routine station check and appears to be contained to the property, the company said. The company did not say what caused the leak.
While this particular line was shut down, the rest of the system was operating normally, Conti said.
About 2,500 gallons (9,464 liters) of diesel fuel spilled, but the spill was contained on site between soil and an adjacent stormwater retention pond, according to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Aaron Proctor. There’s been no sign of impacts to state waters or wildlife beyond fish and animals living in the retention pond.
About 20 trucks of contaminated soil were expected to be removed from the site this week, Proctor said in an email. Colonial has begun sampling groundwater wells within a 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometer) radius for contamination and is coordinating those tests with landowners, he said.
Colonial transports gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil from refineries located on the Gulf Coast through pipelines running from Texas to New Jersey. Its pipeline system spans more than 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers), transporting more than 100 million gallons (378 million liters) a day. The line affected by the shutdown carries about 885,000 barrels of product a day from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Linden, New Jersey, the Danville Register & Bee reported.
In May 2021, the company temporarily shut down its operations after a ransomware attack.
The halt to fuel supplies for nearly a week led to panic-buying and shortages at gas stations from Washington, D.C., to Florida. The company disclosed that it paid a ransom of $4.4 million to retrieve access to its data and the Justice Department later announced that a ransomware task force recovered most of the ransom.