260 Gallons of Oil Released From Mobley Plant During Spill
MarkWest Energy Partners was able to confirm Friday, Feb. 26, that about 260 gallons of heat transfer oil was released from a Mobley processing plant valve during a spill that occurred on Feb. 20. Officials are unsure of how much of the 260 gallons reached Fishing Creek, which serves as Pine Grove’s water source.
The news concerning the amount of oil came approximately three days after a water conservation order was lifted for the town of Pine Grove. Pine Grove had been under the order since Saturday, Feb. 20, the day of the spill.
A broad set of additional local water samples were drawn Sunday, Feb. 21 and Monday, Feb. 22 after initial sampling on Saturday revealed that while heat transfer oil did reach the inlet of Pine Grove fresh water treatment facility, the oil was contained within the facility and did not enter the public drinking water.
In its Friday statement, MarkWest reported that it was working alongside federal, state and local officials and was continuing to lead and coordinate environmental remediation efforts associated with the inadvertent heat transfer oil release.
The company further stated that remediation efforts in North Fork of Fishing Creek continue as well as water sampling analysis both in the creek and at homes of any resident who requested testing. Amounts of heat transfer oil found initially in the North Fork of Fishing Creek water samples have rapidly declined, consistent with ongoing clean-up efforts.
MarkWest reported that “environmental response personnel, working with the Pine Grove Water Works, are also making substantial progress in servicing the affected tanks and related infrastructure at the water treatment facility.”
Furthermore, “MarkWest continues to provide the Pine Grove Water Works with alternate water supplies to ensure the system remains at full capacity in the interim.”
As part of its response to the spill, MarkWest, in coordination with Pine Grove Water Works, delivered 90,000 gallons of potable water to holding tanks not impacted by the event.
MarkWest also deployed protective booms in Fishing Creek at a number of locations.
After Saturday’s spill, Pine Grove officials notified each resident via their reverse 9-1-1 system of a water conservation advisory, asking residents to only use water for sanitation purposes (i.e. flushing the toilet).
Pine Grove Mayor Roy Justice later noted that MarkWest has went “above and beyond” with its response. “They are stepping up and doing everything possible,” he noted. “You couldn’t ask for a better company. They are fantastic.”