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Crews Clean Up Brown County Fuel Leak

February 21, 2012, 6:04 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Crews Clean Up Brown County Fuel Leak
ABERDEEN, SD - Crews are busy cleaning up a fuel spill in Brown County. NuStar Energy found a leak in its diesel pipeline just a few miles north of Aberdeen Monday.

Given the line's capacity, NuStar first thought it might have spilled between 15,000 and 16,000 gallons of diesel. The company doesn't have final numbers yet but it looks like the amount spilled will be less than that.

The area where a pipe leaked diesel is in a frozen slough north of Aberdeen. But NuStar Energy says it will not have an impact on nearby property or the local water supply.

"Right now, we've got straw on top of the product, on top of the ice. That's going to absorb the product and we'll take that to a registered landfill," Jim Johnson said.

Johnson works with NuStar and says he doesn't know what caused the leak yet. The company's monitoring system detected a leak in the line Monday night, prompting a controller to shut it down. Crews were repairing that line and cleaning up the mess Tuesday.

NuStar doesn't have a set timeline for the work to be completed, but it does insist the public is not in danger during the clean-up process. A U.S. highway runs near the site. Homes sit within a quarter to half mile as well.

"The situation is under control. It's contained; it's not going anywhere," Johnson said. "We're in the process of picking it up and we're trying to investigate as to what caused the accident."

In the meantime, the company says it still has an abundant supply of diesel in the area, including the Aberdeen terminal. So this won't affect the diesel supply in the northeast as NuStar works with officials from the local to federal level to put the incident in the past.

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