Colonial Pipeline issued the following update this morning (Wednesday Sept 21, 2016) regarding its response to a product release in Shelby Co., Alabama, and ongoing efforts to restart Line 1.
Following construction and positioning of the 500-foot bypass segment of pipeline around the leak site yesterday, Colonial Pipeline performed a successful hydrostatic test to confirm its structural integrity and completed the connection/“tie-in” of the bypass segment to the main line (Line 1) this morning.
With the structural integrity of the fully completed and connected bypass line tested and confirmed, Colonial Pipeline will remove inline plugging devices that were installed at points on both sides of the impacted pipeline segment during the initial incident response operations and perform other work necessary to safely return Line 1 to service. Based on operational progress made overnight and the anticipated schedule of work ahead, Colonial Pipeline projects that Line 1 will be restarted this evening.
Subsequent to restart, it is expected to take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions. Colonial continues to move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as possible and will continue to do so as markets return to normal.
The safety and protection of the public, responders and the environment remain paramount in all activities associated with these efforts. Throughout 13 days of incident response, only one minor first-aid injury has been recorded; environmental protection efforts have successfully contained the release to the immediate release site; and there have been no impacts to the safety of the general public.
Line 1 Release Site Excavation and Investigation
The focus of Colonial Pipeline and the Unified Command continues to be on remediating the site and safely returning Line 1 back to service via the bypass and resuming the delivery of vital gasoline and other transportation fuels to markets along the pipeline. Following the resumption of service on Line 1, Colonial Pipeline will work in close consultation with federal, state and local officials to excavate and remove the impacted segment of the pipeline so that a full and complete investigation can be conducted to determine the cause of this incident. It would be premature to speculate on the cause of the September 9 release until the pipe has been excavated, inspected, and investigations are complete.
About Colonial Pipeline Company: Colonial Pipeline delivers more than 100 million gallons of refined products each day to markets between Houston and New York City, serving more than 50 million people. We transport refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, home heating oil and fuels for the U.S. military. Our pipeline system consists of more than 5,500 miles of underground pipe and above ground storage tanks and pump stations. The company is based in Alpharetta, Ga. For additional information visit www.colpipe.com