Statement: New data show 2020 NC gas leak largest on-shore spill in US history

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A new analysis of the August 2020 Colonial pipeline failure estimates that the volume of gasoline leaked was far greater than original estimates — the largest on-shore spill in U.S. history. Initially, investigators determined that about 63,000 gallons spilled into the Oehler Nature Preserve, outside of Charlotte. However, new data released Friday by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), suggests that the spill started 18 days earlier than it was discovered and released more than 1.2 million gallons of gasoline.  

In response to this new information, Katie Craig, the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group’s state director, released the following statement: 

“When it comes to using fossil fuels, we know by now that when we extract and transport oil and gas, we spill oil and gas. Gas infrastructure creates accidents waiting to happen that pollute our water, harm our environment, cost consumers and taxpayers money to clean up, and threaten public health. But these spills are preventable. We need to move away from our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and move toward a cleaner, healthier future powered by green, renewable energy.”