Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fuel Leak Cleanup in Progress

The Air Force has located and repaired a fuel line leak along Highway 12, and officials expect any residual fuel that escaped to be cleaned up this spring.

Air Force Lt. Col. Wade Lawrence gave the Suisun City Council an update on Tuesday regarding the status of the remediation resulting from the small fuel leak discovered in a Travis Air Force Base pipeline last week.

An AT&T subcontractor detected the odor of jet fuel in an underground utility vault along Highway 12 last week. The Suisun City Fire Department responded to the scene and verified the finding. Firefighters secured the area, and notified various officials, including Travis Air Force Base, Solano County and California Fish and Game.

Air Force personnel arrived on scene quickly and identified a small leak in a valve on a drain pipe attached to the pipeline, which is owned and operated by the Air Force. Travis engineers called a private environmental contractor to the scene to help contain and control seeping fuel. There was no risk to public health or safety, and the fuel did not compromise either the drinking water system or nearby sensitive environmental habitats.

A small amount of fuel was detected in the storm drain system along Lawler Ranch Parkway. Because this storm drain empties directly into the Suisun Marsh, extreme caution was used to control any possible migration of fuel into this sensitive environmental area. Lt. Col. Lawrence noted that no fuel was detected in the Marsh.

Environmental crews remained in the area 24 hours a day to remove all water from the storm drain system to ensure the protection of the Marsh.

A total of 175 gallons of fuel that leaked from the valve was collected and hauled away for disposal. Travis engineers plugged the valve to seal off any further leaks. The pipeline was pressured tested three times last Thursday. No leaks in the system were found. Environmental specialists continue to monitor test holes in the area for signs of fuel migrating through the soil.

Travis Air Force Base officials are working in cooperation with the Solano County Environmental Health Department to remove any fuel remaining in the soil as a result of this leak. Lt. Col. Lawrence expects all work at the site to be completed in May.

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