ASSESSMENT ONGOING OF 3,000 GALLON FUEL LEAK AT AREA CREEK
OWNERS OF A PIPELINE THAT LEAKED DIESEL FUEL
INTO SHICKSHINNY CREEK REVIEW ENVIRONMENTAL
DAMAGE TO AQUATIC LIFE
By TOYA STEWART; Times Leader Staff Writer
Saturday, July 06, 1996 Page: 3A
UNION TWP. -- Investigations and environmental assessment of the diesel
fuel leak at Shickshinny Creek will continue until the impact is known, said a
spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
"So far there's no major environmental impact," Mark Carmon said. "We have
notified the down water river users that take water from the river but it
doesn't look like the oil has gone that far down the river."
A 6-inch-diameter pipeline was leaking Thursday from a 1/8 inch area into
the Shickshinny Creek, which flows into the Susquehanna River. Owner of the
pipeline, Sun Company of Philadelphia, had a helicopter fly over the river
looking for oil on the water's surface.
Sun Company officials say 3,000 gallons of oil leaked from the small area,
and although they don't know the cost of cleanup, the cost of the lost fuel is
estimated to be around $2,500.
According to Sun Company the pipeline, which runs from Reading to Syracuse,
N.Y., was built in 1936 and reconditioned in 1965. There had been no previous
problems with the pipeline, officials said.
By early afternoon Friday the helicopter identified three possible areas on
the river that might have been contaminated, but when the DEP investigated the
areas it didn't find any oil on the water surface.
"We will be checking to see the impact on aquatic life and the extent of
contamination," said Bud Davis, spokesman of Sun Company. "We will do whatever
Area residents called the Shickshinny Fire Department Thursday to complain
about an oil smell. The volunteer fire department investigated and discovered
the pipeline leak.
The fire department notified the DEP emergency response team at 9 p.m.
Thursday and by early Friday morning the leak was contained.
Sun Company responded immediately by flying workers to the site to
investigate and assist with the cleanup.
"We don't know the cause of the leak," Davis said. "The leak was in a pipe
that was exposed along the bank so it was easy to find."
Carmon said his agency has its own biologists on site to assist the oil
company workers with damage assessment.
TIMES LEADER RICHARD SABATURA
A workman starts to repair a diesel fuel pipeline that runs under the creek
bed of Shickshinny Creek off state Route 239 in Shickshinny near the Old