Fact Sheet #2
Harristown, Illinois – Macon County
The Harristown Terminal site is located at 600 E. Lincoln Memorial Parkway immediately south of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, just north of Old Route 36 in Harristown, approximately five miles west of Decatur. It is owned by Buckeye Partners, a Pennsylvania-based company. The site receives gasoline and other fuels through a pipeline from a refinery in Wood River, Illinois. It stores the product in tanks and pumps it into tanker trucks to be delivered to retail gas stations.
A leak from storage tank piping on June 12, 2006 allowed approximately 150,000 gallons of product to fill an earthen reservoir around tanks on the property, and most of it infiltrated the ground. Later, product was found floating on groundwater underneath the site, and field tiles had transported some of the material to a field southeast of the site.
Surface water in the area flows west-northwest. Buckeye hired a contractor to clean up product that had flowed to a drainage ditch near a small pond one mile northwest. The contractor used oil booms to contain the spill, skimmed it off the water, and removed it for proper disposal.
Illinois EPA continues to evaluate samples of both the Niantic and Harristown public water supplies. In addition, water and soil samples have been collected by Illinois EPA, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and contractors for the site owner.
Are the public drinking water supplies safe?
Yes. Illinois EPA collected samples right away for both the Niantic and the Harristown water supplies, which are supplied by wells located west of the Buckeye site. No gasoline-type chemicals were found in either water supply initially, and continued monitoring of the wells continues to show no impact.
Additionally, Illinois EPA required that Buckeye sample along the distribution line for the Harristown Public Water Supply. Results from soil and water tests show no impact to the distribution line.
Are toxic chemicals present in gasoline?
Gasoline contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), some of which are considered to be toxic. Many VOCs, when inhaled, cause headache and nausea. In addition, benzene is a known human carcinogen. At this point, however, Illinois EPA does not believe there is a route of exposure for the general population to the vapors or gasoline from the spill.
What have the test results from private wells shown?
The private wells closest to the spill area have consistently tested negative for gasoline-related chemicals. The wells have been tested more than ten times since the spill occurred, and they will continue to be monitored until contamination at the site is cleaned up.
t is the current work being done to clean up the gasoline that is underneath the facility?
Buckeye hired a consultant that is cleaning up spilled product and stained soils around a field tile that transported some of the product away from the site toward the southwest. The consultant has also constructed an interceptor trench at the south of the facility where it captures product floating on the groundwater before it leaves the site. The water is treated to remove hydrocarbon product and then is reintroduced to the bermed areas on-site to effectively flush more product from contaminated soils. A building is being constructed now to house the treatment system during the winter months.
much of the spill has been cleaned up?
Approximately 123,000 gallons of the spilled gasoline have been recovered from the interceptor trench. The estimated spill was 150,000 gallons. However, some of the recovered product may be from old spills under the site.
What have you learned from the samples taken on the site?
There are elevated levels of chemicals found in gasoline in both the groundwater and soils at the site. Cleanup activities are needed to remove chemicals from soils to stop contribution to the groundwater. Some further investigation is necessary before a work can plan be developed for a comprehensive cleanup.
Will there be a long-term investigation and cleanup?
Yes. Once a thorough investigation of the areas of contamination is complete – hopefully by spring 2007 - Illinois EPA will require a clean up action for site soils. Sampling results after the cleanup will need to show that appropriate cleanup values for the site contaminants are met for all areas where gasoline has affected surface water, ground water or soil.
For more information, you may contact:
Illinois EPA Office of Community Relations:
Bureau of Water – Project Manager