Plains personnel and first responders work together to boom Little Silver Creek. Image courtesy of Plains All American.

Cleanup efforts are underway in southwestern Illinois after a pipeline spill last Friday released an estimated 4,200 gallons of crude.

Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline confirmed that a crude oil release occurred on the morning of July 10 at its Pocahontas Pump Station near Mile Post 29, about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri.

The company said free oil and oil sheen at the nearby Silver Creek are being contained by protective boom to prevent it from reaching Highland Silver Lake.

“Plains sincerely regrets that this incident has occurred and apologizes for any inconvenience to area residents and impact to the environment,” the company said.

Third-party experts, overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, are performing air and water monitoring.

So far, results have shown no impact to the public water supply and no air reading that would impact public health.

A unified command has been established with participation from the EPA, the city of Highland and Plains.

In conjunction with the unified command, Plains has mobilized more than 120 response personnel, 2,700 feet of boom deployed, nine vacuum trucks, 17 response vessels and a helicopter for observation overflights.

“Plains’ objectives remain the safety of response personnel and residents as well as an effective response and remediation effort,” the company added.

The company estimates that about 4,200 gallons of crude spilled from the pipeline, although a “portion” of the oil was contained at the pump station.

In May, Plains operated pipeline Line 901 pipeline ruptured near Santa Barbara, California and released an estimated 101, 000 gallons of crude around Refugio State Beach.

Preliminary findings released by the Department of Transportation after the incident identified four areas of the ruptured line that showed “pipe anomalies requiring immediate investigation and remediation.”

The company also confirmed that it received a corrective action order for its Pocahontas Station from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Plains said it’s conducting an internal review into the incident and it remains “committed to implementing any changes to our procedures indicated by the findings.”


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