One month after a primarily Sunoco Logistics-owned pipeline leaked more than 20,000 gallons of oil into a nature preservative in Ohio, the road to recovery still appears bleak. While cleanup efforts continue daily, the 374 acre area still shows plenty of leftover oil that needs to be flushed out of the creek.
Reports have noted that the waters have cleared up substantially since the initial spillage. When the 20-inch Mid-Valley pipeline first ruptured, the creek appeared to be "solid black," according to onlookers. Now the main evidence of oil can be found primarily under rocks or on trees surrounding the creek. According to officials with the Great Parks of Hamilton County, who are the owners of the Oak Glen Nature Preserve, while estimates of how the cleanup process is going project that 90 percent of the oil has already been cleared, evacuating the remaining 10 percent could be the most difficult aspect of the operation.
The first reports of the oil spill projected the leakage to amount to somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 gallons being discharged into the creek. Because the final result was doubled their initial estimate, crews are still guessing that the Oak Glen Nature Preserve will need at least several more weeks to be fully restored.
Cleanup activity has also apparently noted that two endangered species in the nature preserve, the lark sparrow and the cave salamander, have had their natural habitat disturbed, particularly since spring usually marks their respected mating seasons. While there has been no noted impact of overall air quality, a number of different animals have already been collected for oil cleanup, leading to speculation that a variety of species may have suffered casualties. Another major concern for park officials is the impact leftover oil deposits might have on the trees in the area that control erosion.
The importance of proper equipment monitoring
The pipeline was discovered to have a five-inch crack that resulted in the spill, serving as a reminder to how crucial crack detection can be for efficient equipment monitoring. For the thousands of miles of pipeline carrying oil throughout North America every day, failure to detect faulty equipment can lead to devastating results.