Pipeline leaks on Summit | SierraSun.com

Pipeline leaks on Summit

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

The owner of a pipeline that carries fuel over the Sierra Nevada discovered a diesel leak Thursday on the line as it crosses Donner Summit.

The apparent rupture about two miles east of Kingvale is the third time the section of pipeline on Donner Summit has leaked fuel in the last 10 years. Officials have not calculated how much diesel leaked from the line, said Janet Mann with the Nevada County Department of Environmental Health.

The pipeline was immediately shut down when an odor and stain was noticed during a check on the line. Contractors for Kinder Morgan have been at the scene of the leak cleaning up the site, Mann said.

No streams are near the leak, except for a dry drainage path, she said.

The pipeline was shut down for about 24 hours at the end of last week, said Helen Wells, spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

The leak follows an April 1, 2005 rupture near Donner Ski Ranch that released an estimated 1,700 gallons of diesel and gasoline into the snowpack. Some of the fuel drained into Summit Creek, where workers skimmed fuel from the water. Absorbent booms were also placed in the creek and at the inlet to Donner Lake to contain the fuel.