Crude oil spill at Colerain Township preserve more than twice as large as officials first reported

'Who knows how long ago it started?'

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP—Estimates of the amount of crude oil that spilled into a Colerain Township nature preserve continue to rise as the pipeline restarted Sunday with a 20 percent reduction in pressure, according to the EPA and a spokesperson for Sunoco Logistics, which owns the pipeline.

So far, about 17,000 gallons of an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil spilled have been recovered from the site in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve, a Hamilton County park, according to an EPA report. Original estimates put the spill amount at closer to 10,000 gallons.

After testing a specially engineered clamp placed over the five-inch crack in the 64-year-old crude oil pipe, the Department of Transportation approved a plan to resume operations.

The goal is to run the pipe for six to nine weeks so customers at the end of the line can stock up on crude oil. Then Sunoco will shut down the line again, this time to remove and replace the damaged pipe, according to Steve Conn, chief and spokesperson for the Colerain Fire Department.

At that point, the cracked pipe will be sent to a lab for testing to determine why, and when, it failed. Officials agree that a leak of an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil through a five-inch crack likely did not happen quickly.

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