STOCKBRIDGE TWP - Gasoline is leaking from an unknown source northwest of Stockbridge, however it is coming from the same area where there are gasoline storage tanks owned by the Wolverine Pipe Line Company and other companies.
The leak is located in the area of Mt. Pleasant road. It is not known how much gasoline has leaked or if there has been any contamination of the water system.
The owner of the property smelled gas a few days ago and again Wednesday. This time he called the Enbridge/Wolverine Pipeline hotline after his wife investigated.
"She hopped off her quad and went down to the creek," said Marvindawn Speer. "She saw the gas coming from the soil into the creek."
A statement from Wolverine Pipe Line Company says that between 6 and 7 o'clock Wednesday evening the company received the call from Speer. Wolverine sent crews to investigate, and found some petroleum-based substance coming from the bank of the drain.
The Ingham County Drain Commission describes the substance as gasoline.
"It's coming out like a faucet," said Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann. "Not like a firehose, but it's enough to be concerned about."
Wolverine used absorbent booms and pads to capture the substance. They say their crew has stopped the petroleum from entering the country drain. Wolverine Pipe Line Company workers, as well as the county drain commission and DEQ are still searching for the source.
Wolverine president Alan Sawyer was at the site Thursday and spoke to News 10.
"We want to protect the groundwater," he said. "We want to protect the safety of the public and not make this bigger than it is and try and resolve it."
"It could be a major problem or it could be a small problem," said Lindemann. "Anytime gas gets into the water, it's a problem."
As of Thursday night, testers had not found any gas in nearby wells.
Below is Wolverine Pipe Company's entire press statement and the update it sent News 10 at 10:37 p.m. Thursday:
White Oak, Township, Michigan
3:30 p.m. EST
Between 6:00 p.m.-7:00 pm last night, Wolverine Pipe Line Company (WPL) received a call from a farmer in White Oak Township after smelling gasoline in the Bauer Drain. Wolverine immediately sent crews to investigate. Absorbent booms and pads were deployed to capture any substance and protect the environment. The crews found a minimum amount of a petroleum-based substance coming from the bank of the Bauer Drain.
At this point, the source of the substance is unknown but Wolverine is responding in a proactive fashion to help determine the source location and protect the public. Wolverine is working with the Ingham County Drain Commissioner, Ingham County Health Department, Ingham County Emergency Management, the Michigan Department of Environment Quality (MDEQ) and the EPA.
The location is near the Stockbridge petroleum storage facilities. WPL operates four storage tanks in the area. Gasoline, diesel, and blendstock products are stored in the 100,000 - 180,000 barrel tanks.
Wolverine reported the incident to the National Response Center (NRC) hotline, Michigan Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) and 9-1-1 last night. At this point, Wolverine crews have stopped product from entering the county drain and crews are deploying additional boom and continuing to determine the source. Wolverine is bringing additional equipment to the site to help determine the origin of the product. Wolverine is treating this situation as a top priority and will continue to assist the agencies to determine the source and to protect the environment.
10:37 p.m. EST
2 Geo-Probes (core drilling machines) arrived late Thursday afternoon and began drilling holes around the Stockbridge tank farm. The drilling continued throughout the evening and will commence again early Friday morning. Wolverine Pipe Line is testing to find the flow of material.
Absorbent booms and pads have captured all gasoline that has been discovered. Wolverine Pipe Line Company is working with Superior Environmental and Ingham County Health Department to test wells in the immediate vicinity (within one mile) of the Stockbridge tank farm. Please call 269.217.5158 to arrange to have your well tested at no cost. Bottled water is also available to residents in the immediate vicinity (within one mile) of the Stockbridge tank farm. Please call 269.217.5158 to receive bottled water.