Rapid Response to Jet Fuel Pipeline Release

Surface water sampling
spill response efforts in impacted stream

Client Challenge

Approximately 8,000 gallons of jet fuel were released from an 8-inch pipeline situated beneath a river crossing. The client was challenged with having to immediately mobilize multiple resources to a rural area more than 2.5 hours from the nearest a major city. The client also needed to address public health and safety concerns from regulators, municipal officials, fire, and law enforcement. Initial abatement activities consisted of identifying the pipeline rupture location, shutting down pipeline operation, and deploying boom stations and vac trucks over a 2.5-mile stretch downstream of the release.

GES Solution

GES was managed rapid response activities, including participation in daily briefings with the client, US EPA, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and local fire, police, and other municipal authorities. GES generally deployed seven people per day, seven days a week, for a three-week period. Resource challenges existed due to this rigorous work schedule and GES’ stringent fatigue management policy, which requires constant monitoring of staff hours, suitability to work, and staff experience level, versus the changing client and regulatory directives. A remote management team worked daily to schedule resources from six different GES offices to maintain a steady stream of manpower during ever-changing conditions in the field.

The GES team performed potable/municipal well sampling; frac tank gauging; absorbent boom sampling; stream monitoring and chemistry readings; pond sampling; ambient air sampling; monitoring residential areas with odor complaints; equipment decontamination oversight; monitoring and sampling river and bank sediment; documentation of Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT); and off-site pond response for the collection of dead fish.

Client Benefits

GES drew from a deep bench of experienced technicians, scientists, engineers, and management staff to provide the workforce and rapid response expertise necessary to address public concerns in a responsive manner. The client expressed gratitude and satisfaction GES’ performance under challenging conditions. Future work activities include monitoring, regulatory reporting, formal environmental investigation of the release area and riverbanks, and remediation of the remaining source material.