Cleanup of Eagan Gasoline Leak to Continue Into Tuesday

January 08, 2018 10:38 PM

Crews will continue cleanup and decontamination of the area surrounding a strip mall in Eagan through the night and perhaps into Tuesday following a gasoline pipeline rupture Monday.

That's after a subcontractor for STS Enterprises LLC, based in Norwood Young America, was digging in a parking lot by Lifetime Fitness in Eagan and ruptured a pipeline that carries gasoline from Rosemount to Minneapolis. Gasoline immediately gushed into a street, traveled into a nearby storm water system and into a pond. 


Eagan police said via Twitter Monday night that Lifetime and Thomas Center Drive would be closed until at least noon on Tuesday, and that businesses there have been notified.

Emergency responders got the call just after noon on Monday. Five-hundred barrels worth of gasoline was spilled, according to Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Magellan Midstream Partners, which owns the pipeline. That amounts to as much as 21,000 gallons.

RELATED: 500 Barrels of Gasoline Leak After Pipeline Ruptures in Eagan, Company Says

"There was a pretty good flow of gas coming down the parking lot, which is not something I've ever seen before in my 37-year career," said Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott.

Jason Moran, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, called it "a significant spill, the type that maybe happens only a couple of times a year in our state." Moran said the MPCA is providing assistance to Eagan fire, which is the lead response agency. He added there appeared to be adequate resources to contain the cleanup, and that the response effort was going well. 

Magellan spokesman Bob Heine said in a statement Monday night that "over 50 personnel, including Magellan representatives, emergency responders, regulators and environmental specialists are on site and cleanup activities remain underway. The cleanup will continue through the night and environmental specialists will continue to monitor air quality in the area. It is unknown when repairs on the pipeline will be completed, however, Magellan does not anticipate any interruptions in supply at our Minneapolis area facilities."

Max Balun of Burnsville was surprised by the roadblocks as he pulled into the complex, hoping to get in a workout.

"It looks scary, but with all the vehicles out here it seems like they know what they're doing," he said. "This means I get to go home, eat pizza and watch Netflix."

For hours, firefighters and other specialists monitored the air Monday.

"The smell of gas could come up through the drains and the businesses," Scott said. "That's why we are doing so much air quality testing at this point."

Scott said the two main concerns were the smell of gasoline, which he maintains isn't harmful, and the flammable nature of gas, which could increase the risk of explosion or fire. The Eagan Police Department emphasized the public is safe. "There is no significant threat to public safety; this is more of an environmental concern," said Officer Aaron Machtemes.

No one was injured and all the necessary regulatory agencies have been notified, according to Magellan Midstream Partners. 


Beth McDonough

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