The week’s top stories on NC Policy Watch
1. Memo to Biden critics: We’d all love to see the plan The attacks on the president are relentless, but the political right offers no plausible policy alternatives Since Joe Biden assumed the presidency 21 months ago, the United States has, by any fair estimate, enjoyed a remarkable recovery in an array of vitally important […]
Colonial Pipeline contamination spreading in Huntersville; MVP Southgate natural gas project on ice, and more
A plume of polluted groundwater is spreading in Mecklenburg County, where Colonial Pipeline is responsible for the largest gasoline spill in the U.S. since the early 1990s. On Aug. 14, 2020, two teenage boys found gasoline bubbling from the ground at the Oehler Nature Preserve, in Huntersville. The company now estimates 2 million gallons leaked from a section of pipeline that had broken roughly a month before.
Colonial Pipeline now says it spilled 2 million gallons of gasoline in NC — 31 times greater than original estimates
This story has been updated with further response from Colonial. Colonial Pipeline has announced it spilled 2 million gallons of gasoline in Huntersville — 31 times greater than original estimates, and now the largest onshore accident in U.S. history. The spill happened nearly two years ago, on Aug. 14, 2020, in the Oehler Nature Preserve […]
Colonial Pipeline would pay $4.75 million in fines, according to proposed consent order with DEQ
Colonial Pipeline will pay a $4.75 million fine in connection with a massive gasoline spill in in 2020 in Huntersville, according to a proposed consent order between the company and the NC Department of Environmental Quality. The document was filed in Mecklenburg Superior Court, where a judge would have to approve the order. The hearing […]
Federal pipeline standards backed by top energy regulator after Colonial Pipeline hack
New federal powers are needed to prevent major energy disruptions like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that left the East Coast short of gas at the pumps for days, the chairman of the federal commission overseeing energy and some U.S. House Democrats said Wednesday. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed a proposal by […]
Colonial Pipeline buying more land near massive gasoline spill in Huntersville
Colonial Pipeline has bought yet more property in Huntersville, near the site of North Carolina’s largest gasoline spill in history — 25.8 acres for nearly $1.7 million, according to Mecklenburg County real estate records. This brings the total spent by the company on property buyouts near the spill site to roughly $2.5 million. The purchase, […]
DEQ takes legal action against Colonial Pipeline over Huntersville gasoline spill
The NC Department of Environmental Quality is taking Colonial Pipeline to court for allegedly “failing to meet their obligations” in its clean up of a 1.29-million gallon gasoline spill in Huntersville, the nation’s largest such accident since 1991. According to the complaint, filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court, Colonial has failed to provide DEQ with […]
DEQ cites Colonial Pipeline for continuing violations regarding Huntersville gasoline spill, the fourth such notice this year
The NC Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Notice of Continuing Violation to Colonial Pipeline regarding with ongoing contamination from a major gasoline spill in Huntersville. The spill, which occurred in August 2020, released an estimated 1,289,190 gallons of product, equivalent to 30,695 barrels, the nation’s largest such spill onshore since at least 1997. However, […]
State officials investigating source of Cleveland County PFAS contamination
Tests show high PFAS levels at site that received contaminated soil from massive Colonial Pipeline spill, as well as nearby stream Julia Hughes was walking her dog near Shelby, in rural Cleveland County, last winter when she spotted a mysterious foam in a culvert by the side of the road.
Colonial Pipeline cuts deal with federal pipeline officials over Huntersville gasoline spill
Colonial Pipeline has signed a consent agreement with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which allows the company to avoid federal civil penalties in connection with a 1.2 million gallon gasoline spill in Huntersville — the largest onshore fuel spill in the U.S. since 1997. According to the consent agreement, Colonial “neither admits nor […]
A 303-mile hole in claim that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is critical to energy security
After the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, fossil fuel industry advocates have redoubled their efforts to frame the completion of other U.S. pipeline projects as a critical energy security issue. However, there is a 42-inch wide, 303-mile long gaping hole in this line of argumentation: the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
DC update: Senate examines Colonial Pipeline meltdown; millions for NC included in House transportation bill
Colonial Pipeline CEO: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’ to pay a $4.4M ransom WASHINGTON—The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations.