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WFAE reporter David Boraks explores how the way we live influences climate change and its impact across the Carolinas. You also can read additional national and international climate news.

Huntersville Gasoline Spill Passes Estimates As Recovery Continues

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David Boraks
Workers examined a map Tuesday showing testing and removal wells at the site of Colonial Pipeline's massive gasoline spill in Huntersville .

More than 1.2 million gallons of gasoline have now been recovered from the site of a massive pipeline spill a year ago in Huntersville. That's more than the total that Colonial Pipeline estimated six months ago, and more is being recovered daily.

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David Boraks
Colonial has installed a total of 281 testing and removal wells on a 12-acre site around where the leak happened.

The spill happened when a repair failed on one of two pipelines that runs through the Oehler Nature Preserve, off Huntersville-Concord Road east of downtown Huntersville. Two teens on ATVs discovered the incident, which is the largest leak of its kind in North Carolina and one of the largest in the nation.

Back in January, Colonial estimated the spill at nearly 1.2 million gallons. As of July 31, the total recovered was 1.225 million gallons, according to an incident update Tuesday.

Spokesperson Angie Kolar said in a video on the Colonial incident site Tuesday that new testing and recovery wells have helped better define the area of the spill.

"We continue to make considerable progress and have recovered more than 1.2 million gallons of product to date. However, we know there is still more work to do," Kolar said.

Colonial says no contamination has been found in private or public water supplies.

The company says workers are still recovering about 1,000 gallons a day - down from a high of 5,000 gallons - and it offers no new estimate of the total.

As for how long the cleanup might take, Kolar said only "as long as it takes."

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.