Creek Fishing… It’s A Gas

A creek in Washington County, Pennsylvania – obviously – has been polluted with nearly 6,000 gallons of gas leaked from a Kwik Fill gas station.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission said about 5600 gallons of gasoline spilled into a Washington County creek on Sunday afternoon. The spill happened near the corner of Route 519 and Route 136 in Somerset Township.

Officials called it “a very significant pollution” that had already killed 1000 fish by Monday afternoon along Little Chartiers Creek.

The source of the gas was an underground storage container at a nearby Kwik Fill gas station. Company officials said they were working with local and state agencies to clean up the spill. People living in the area reached out to Channel 11 and said they have been extremely sick from the intense fumes.

If 1,000 fish were killed on Monday, I’d wager thousands more are dead by now. Way to go, Kwik Fill; Exxon thanks you for getting them off the hook.

5 thoughts on “Creek Fishing… It’s A Gas

  1. Underground storage tanks (USTs) sometimes fail, especially as they age. Most new ones are double walled and have leak detection in the annular space That isn’t an indictment of the people running the station or the gas supplier any more than a weapons or vehicle failure is the fault of the police officer wielding it. “Your patrol car got a flat tire? Thanks for that, officer.” We live in a mechanical/electrical world and things break down. Stuff wears out, stuff breaks. That’s life.
    Not a good excuse for know-nothings to get all high and mighty as if it would have been any different if they ran the gas station. There’s a federal tax on all UST to cover these kind of events. Probably the Commonwealth has something similar. Just clean it up, replace the tanks, and move on.

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  2. Most, if not all states require gasoline & diesel tanks to be buried. Above ground storage was allowed as far back as 1966 in Louisiana. That was the year the retailer where I worked as a teenaged grease monkey had to move his newly acquired tanks underground in that year due to a new law (state or federal, I do not know).

    That being said, I still see a lot of LPG/propane/butane tanks above ground in several states. So, why are these tanks allowed above ground and gasoline & diesel tanks not?

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    1. One group are liquid, and the other are gas when they leak out at atmospheric pressure and temperature. The propane and butane tanks are under pressure; gasoline and diesel are not.

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  3. RC – Didn’t think about that, but it makes sense.

    TXNick – Good question. There are a lot of above-ground propane tanks in the Philly suburbs, and I always wonder why? If you’re a retailer and something goes up in flames, you do, too.

    Gary – Plus the fumes will make you forget all your troubles.

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