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Burst Pipeline In Pennsylvania Threatens Drinking Water

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A gasoline pipeline in Pennsylvania owned by Sunoco -- the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline -- has burst, possibly contaminating drinking water for millions of people.

In October, an estimated 55,000 gallons of gasoline spilled into a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek in Lycoming County, located in the central part of the state, reported State Impact. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA are sampling water downstream from the pipeline break.

Although a great deal of gasoline has seeped into local waterways, officials insist the water hasn't been contaminated.

"There is no concern for safe drinking water from the Sunoco pipeline spill, and DEP is not aware of any impacts to aquatic life in the affected streams," said Neil Shader, press secretary for the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to the Sunbury Daily Item.

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Sunoco explained that the pipeline burst was the result of a bridge over the waterway spanning out.

“Given the position of the pipe and the location of the bridge before and after the event, it’s clear that the bridge was responsible for the damage to the pipe,” said David R. Chalson, Sunoco Logistics senior vice-president for operations.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said the investigation will continue and the company plans to bury sections of the pipe deep into the ground.

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell and Gov. Tom Wolf visited the site in October.

“DEP staff will continue to monitor water systems that could be affected by this spill,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, according to State Impact. “And looking forward, DEP will be working with the communities affected by these floods to rebuild bridges and culverts in the area.”

Sources: State Impact, Sunbury Daily Item / Photo credit: jasonwoodhead23/Flickr, Sunoco Logistics via State Impact

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