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Friday, December 19, 2008

DEP ORDERS SUNOCO TO CLEAN UP GASOLINE SEEPING INTO TURTLE CREEK

PITTSBURGH – The Department of Environmental Protection has issued an administrative order to Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. to collect and properly dispose of gasoline that continues to seep into Turtle Creek a month after approximately 12,000 gallons of gasoline was released because of a failed valve.

Virtually all of the aquatic life along a three mile stretch of Turtle Creek was killed when the gasoline flowed into the stream. The valve failed while Sunoco employees worked on the eight-inch, interstate pipeline.

Gasoline entered the stream primarily through the storm sewer system, but the fuel that the ground absorbed continues to seep into Turtle Creek.

The order was issued under the authority of the Clean Streams Law and requires Sunoco to maintain existing emergency measures like absorbent booms and pads until more effective capture and removal measures are installed.

The company is also required to submit weekly reports that document how the gasoline was properly disposed, all actions taken to comply with the order, all sampling and monitoring data, and a description of clean up activities planned for the following week.

Sunoco is required to take samples of Turtle Creek daily beginning the week of Dec. 29. Samples will be tested for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and Xylene—all found in gasoline.

DEP is considering further action that may include a civil penalty.

For more information on water quality, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Water Quality.

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