For Immediate Release
For Immediate ReleaseApril 8, 2000
Pepco crews and its three, spill-response contract companies have been working through last night and today to vacuum about 126,000 gallons of oil that leaked from the company's pipeline Friday, April 7. The company that manages the pipeline detected and confirmed the leak from an underground branch at 6 pm. The oil is presently contained by more than one mile of floating booms in a wetland area alongside Swanson's Creek that borders Pepco's Chalk Point Generating Station in southern Prince George's County. The Creek's other shoreline is in Charles County.
The oil is Number 2 fuel oil , which is similar to home heating oil, and a slight amount of Number 6 oil. The pipeline management company was in the process of flushing and cleaning the pipeline with the Number 2 oil in preparation for its regular inspection. The pipeline normally transports a heavier weight Number 6 oil used to generate electricity during the peak-use summer and winter months.
"We are very distressed about this incident, however our emergency plans were activated immediately upon detection of the leak in order to contain the oil and minimize the impact," said Jim Potts, Pepco's Vice President--Environment. The company also immediately notified the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Coast Guard who have representatives on the scene overseeing the cleanup. EPA and Prince George's County officials have been notified along with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. The pipeline has been in operation since 1973, and Pepco has owned it since 1976.
Point of Contact:Nancy Moses