massive leak from Colonial Pipeline’s Line 1 recently prompted both Alabama and Georgia to declare a state of emergency
over concerns of fuel shortages after an estimated 346,000 gallons of
gasoline spewed from an underground section of the pipeline. The leak,
which was discovered on September 9, 2016 south of Birmingham, Alabama after a worker smelled gasoline fumes,
led to a 12-day shutdown of the 1.3 million-barrel-a-day pipeline, sparking
a massive fuel shortage throughout a majority of the Southeast United States.
While the pipeline has now been restarted, considerable work still remains
to clean up the leaked fuel, much of which flowed overland to a mining
retention pond roughly 500 feet away. High levels of unsafe gasoline vapors
have thus far prevented efforts to dig out the leaking section of the
pipeline. The extent of the environmental impact of the spill has yet
to be determined, though reports from the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) indicate that seven dead mammals have been recovered at the site,
along with four turtles and two birds. The United States Department of
Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
is currently investigating the cause of the leak, as well as any indicators
of a potential failure of operators to adhere to pipeline safety standards.
This incident serves as a prime example of why petroleum companies must
regularly inspect pipelines for corrosion and closely monitor their structural
integrity to ensure the safety of people throughout the United States.
As a result of the spill, nearby residents as well as sensitive wildlife
and endangered species native to the Cahaba River may be at risk of exposure
to dangerous levels of volatile petroleum fumes. While much of the spill
was contained to a relatively small area, its proximity to a nearby major
water intake has prompted concern from many over the safety of local drinking
water. As it stands, the EPA has yet to issue any sort of formal safety
warnings related to the incident.
Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one have become ill from gasoline exposure in connection
with the Colonial Pipeline spill or suffered property damage, contact
Glenda Cochran Associates Attorneys at Law. Our AV Preeminent® Rated
Birmingham personal injury attorneys have fought to protect the rights
of injured clients for more than 25 years and have secured millions in
verdicts and settlements along the way.
To find out if you are eligible to receive compensation, we invite you to contact our office online
or call us today at (888) 906-3955.