HOLLY SPRINGS: Authorities search for cause of Holly Springs gas - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Authorities search for cause of Holly Springs gas leak

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Officials said the extent of the leak in Holly Springs won’t be known until the ruptured tank is dug up. Officials said the extent of the leak in Holly Springs won’t be known until the ruptured tank is dug up.
HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. - The owner of a gas station in Holly Springs said thousands of gallons of gasoline were lost in a leak discovered Wednesday afternoon.

Initially, the leak was thought to have been caused when a construction crew accidentally punctured an underground tank near the intersection of N. Main Street and Holly Springs Road while installing fiber optic cable. But authorities aren’t sure if the crew caused the leak or if it was already present.

Chanu Patel, the owner of the Exxon station, said the underground tank initially contained 7,500 gallons but only 900 currently remain.

Firefighters measured levels of gas to see if the leak was creating explosive fumes while crews pumped the remaining gas from the tank.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said more than 26,000 underground storage tanks were present in North Carolina as of September 2013.

In 2003, there were more than 7,100 sites that needed to be cleaned up, according to the EPA. In 2013, that number had been cut to around 4,500.

The EPA said North Carolina ranks 24th when it comes to removing spills from underground tanks.

Officials said the extent of the leak in Holly Springs won’t be known until the ruptured tank is dug up.
 

“The next step is to drill some wells and vents to determine where the unaccounted for gasoline may be located,” said Holly Springs Fire Chief Leroy Smith. “Then, we'll start remediation activities.”


Authorities plan to bring in ground penetrating radar Monday to locate the tank and spilled gasoline.

North Carolina's Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources will over see the cleanup.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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