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Pipeline shut down for underground spill cleanup, investigation underway

An underground gasoline spill discovered in Walnut Creek last month is prompting a cleanup effort and investigation by several agencies.

Kinder Morgan, the pipeline operator, is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and other local agencies to address the spill.

A compromised pipeline was first reported on Nov. 20 in the area of South Broadway in Walnut Creek. Preliminary findings determined the pipeline was compromised by a tree root system.

A report of gasoline odor was later made Dec. 2 in the Walnut Creek Flood Control drainage canal at the intersection of Walnut Creek and Arroyo channels, near the Iron Horse Trail footbridge south of Ygnacio Valley Road.

Initially the reports were thought to be unrelated, but recent analysis determined the reports were connected to the same source.

To facilitate the containment and cleanup process, the pipeline has been temporarily shut down from Concord to San Jose as remediation and air monitoring operations take place.

Preliminary analysis from the responding agencies found a potential discharge of between 31,500 to 42,000 gallons of gasoline.

No impacted wildlife have been reported or observed, but crews continue to monitor surrounding wildlife.

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