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Pennsylvania Pipelines Bursts, Leaks 55,000 Gallons Of Gas Into One Of US’ Most Endangered Rivers

A Dakota Access-owned pipeline has leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a major river causing possible contamination of drinking water in up to 6 million homes.

The pipeline that is managed by Sunoco logistics burst Thursday night after heavy rainfall in Pennsylvania. It reulted in the dumping of 55,000 gallons of gasoline into Wallis Run, a nearby  tributary of the Loyalsock Creek which drains into the Susquehanna River. 

The spill was found at 3 am when the pressure of the pipeline dropped significantly, which lead to Sunoco shutting down the pipeline. Due to the continuation of the heavy rains that led to the leak, the actual break in the pipeline is expected to remain unidentified until the downfall stops. The Pennsylvania water authorities have warned customers against using water from the river as a precaution. There has been no official data yet been released regarding how long the ban on water use will continue.

The Susquehanna has previously been declared the third most endangered river in the US by the NGO American Rivers. This is due to the nearby development of the natural gas industry, particularly the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Fracking has caused major problems in the US due to the so-called “Cheney’s loophole” which exempts natural gas companies from US environmental regulations imposed on other companies. 

American Rivers has said that fracking “poses one of the greatest risks our nation’s rivers have faced in decades. We are taking a major gamble on the clean drinking water for millions of Americans.”

A previous Sunoco spill dumped 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kentucky river.   Credit – Fortune

Although the recent heavy rainfall has been blamed for this spill, Sunoco’s poor history of pipeline management has been called upon.Pipelines managed by Sunoco Logistics are known to spill more frequently than many others, with more than 200 recorded leaks since 2010. 

It’s not even the first spill of a Sunoco pipeline in Pennsylvania. In 2008, there was an incident where an incorrectly  installed valve “blew out” a pipeline in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection said that the area affected by the spill may never completely recover.

Sunoco is also a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners Limited, the same company who owns the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. The Dakota Access pipeline has been the site of a major protest against its construction, led by the Standing Rock Sioux with support from environmental activists and the United Nations. The opposition argues that the pipeline threatens their water supply as well as their sacred sites. The protests have lead to violence on several occasions and have had to be restrained by both private security and state police. 

There are also worries due to the fact that both US  presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are known to be in favour of fracking, and so the problem might get a whole lot worse in January when the winner is sworn-in.

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Pennsylvania Pipelines Bursts, Leaks 55,000 Gallons Of Gas Into One Of US’ Most Endangered Rivers Pennsylvania Pipelines Bursts, Leaks 55,000 Gallons Of Gas Into One Of US’ Most Endangered Rivers Reviewed by C C on 15:58:00 Rating: 5