Posted: Jul 6, 2013 9:19 AM by David Jay - MTN News
FORT SMITH - Crow Tribal officials, along with federal and state agencies and Phillips 66, remain on scene to investigate and repair the pipeline that broke on the reservation Tuesday.
The amount spilled is a little less and the affected area is *smaller than originally estimated." Crow Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote first told us 42,000 gallons of gasoline spilled on a 10 acre area.
The estimate is now at about 25,000 gallons on two acres, with Old Coyote saying the gas spilled on private land near Fort Smith, destroying some alfalfa.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are both on scene, along with a 45-man Phillips 66 crew.
Old Coyote says the pipe is on a slope and four inspections since 1998 determined the hill was stable.
A strong smell of gasoline is in the air, but it's not close to homes.
"All gasoline dissolved into the air and slipped into the ground," Old Coyote said. "But there are no standing pools of gasoline. The concern is little minimal, but at the same time there was damage done to the land. And so our concern that the landowners and the crow tribe receive a due process in getting some of this mitigated."
"Phillips 66 is working with state and federal authorities and tribal leaders to develop a plan that will ensure the site is cleaned up properly and in a way that protects the health and safety of the community, employees and responders," company spokesman Dennis Nuss said.
He added a plan will be developed and approved before the work on the pipeline can begin, adding that Phillips 66 has not determined when it will restart the pipeline.