Kinder Morgan experiences another mishap | SierraSun.com

Kinder Morgan experiences another mishap

Sun staff reports

Kinder Morgan, the company that owns a petroleum pipeline that crosses Donner Summit, is dealing with yet another mishap.

On April 2, a Kinder Morgan consultant contacted the Nevada County Environmental Health Department to notify that an overflow from a Baker tank, used for site clean-up for a previous spill, had been discovered in the Caltrans right of way of Interstate 80 westbound between Kingvale and Soda Springs. The location is the site of a former Kinder Morgan spill where remediation work has been underway since August of last year.

Janet Mann, with Nevada County Environmental Health in Truckee, said Wednesday that the department did not know the amount of liquid spilled and does not have sufficient information to determine the extent to which the contaminant has spread.

The consultant told the county that workers found a containment tank ” in place since last summer’s spill in the same location ” was full to capacity and petroleum-contaminated liquid was overflowing onto the ground and into a drainage under the snow.

Nevada County performed a site visit and issued a cleanup notice to Kinder Morgan. It is unknown whether waterways have been impacted at this time, Mann said.

Emily Mir Thompson, Kinder Morgan spokesperson, said the liquid overflowing the Baker tank was snowmelt, and that the fluid has been found to contain no fuel contaminants. The company will continue to test and monitor the site.

A Kinder Morgan pipeline leak in April 2005 released more than 1,700 gallons of gasoline and diesel into the Donner Summit snowpack. The leak occurred on the trans-Sierra Nevada line that links Rocklin with Sparks, Nev. The gas and diesel, which spilled into Summit Creek, was contained with oil-absorbent booms and removed by dipping it out of the water.