Department of Environmental Quality takes Colonial Pipeline to court over oil spill

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources(North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality filed a complaint and motion for injunctive relief against Colonial Pipeline Tuesday.

The DEQ filed the complaint and motion in Mecklenburg County Superior Couty saying Colonial needs to meet its obligations as the “responsible party in the state’s largest gasoline spill.”

The DEQ says it outlined in the complaint that Colonial has not provided the agency with the essential information needed to rectify the damage done to the site.

“Colonial owes it to the people of North Carolina to cooperate with DEQ and be forthcoming with the information required by our statutes, starting with an accurate estimate of how much fuel was released into the environment. DEQ is committed to holding Colonial accountable and we now seek a court order directing Colonial to comply with their obligations to clean up and restore the communities impacted by the release.”

NC DEQ Secretary Elizabeth Biser

The Colonial Pipeline spill was discovered in Aug. 2020 in the Oehler Nature Preserve in Mecklenburg County and the DEQ says Colonial has recovered more than 1.23 million gallons of petroleum product to date.

However, the DEQ claims Colonial has not given it an updated volume estimate of the release, not defined the depth of contamination in soil and groundwater at the site and has not fully investigated the extent of per- and polyfluoralkyl contamination (PFAS) at the site.

More on the complaint and motion for injunctive relief can be found here.

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