September 10, 2018 / 7:31 PM / a year ago

Buckeye Partners says fuel pipeline repair delayed after spill

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Buckeye Partners LP said on Monday it expects to begin full repair work this week on a closed jet fuel pipeline that breached over the weekend, spilling 8,000 gallons of fuel into the St. Marys River in Indiana.

Clean-up efforts are underway but replacing the broken line has been delayed because of rain storms that have raised the river’s level near Decatur, Indiana, said Buckeye spokesman Marty White.

“We’re dealing with the elements,” White said. “We’re hoping to get the pipeline back up and running this week, but it’s too soon to tell.”

The Houston-based pipeline operator’s line carries jet fuel to connection points in Lima, Ohio, Huntington, Indiana, and into Indianapolis.

In a statement on Monday, Buckeye said workers have removed “the significant majority” of the fuel from the water and said it is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other local government agencies to recover the fuel and address health and environmental concerns.

The company does not yet have an estimate of its clean-up costs. It is also not clear when the clean-up will be finished or when the pipeline will be brought back online, White said.

The pipeline is buried beneath the channel and it would be impossible to fully repair it before water levels recede to normal levels, he said.

Reporting by Collin Eaton; Editing by Paul Simao

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