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Repairs complete, jet fuel pipeline near Tampa up and running four days after leak

TAMPA — A damaged pipeline that caused a jet fuel spill over the weekend has been repaired and is up and running again.

Officials did not find any problems with the pipeline during a 7 a.m. test, conducted after repairs were completed late Monday night. By 8:15 a.m., the U.S. Department of Transportation had the line working.

The 10-inch line, which supplies jet fuel from Tampa to Orlando, ruptured Friday night for unclear reasons near Broadway Avenue and Williams Road near Mango.

Crews worked around the clock since Friday to repair the line and clean up an estimated 31,500 gallons of jet fuel that spilled into a creek.

Officials overseeing the cleanup said they did not find evidence of water or air contamination. An investigation of the cause continues. Central Florida Pipeline officials declined to comment on how long it will take.

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted and monitored the cleanup Tuesday. Responders were sent to help prevent oil from leaking into surrounding waterways, Petty Officer John Paul Rios said.

The amount of jet fuel that may have leaked is the equivalent of four spilled tanker trucks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The effort to prevent fuel from entering the Tampa Bypass Canal, which runs into the Tampa Bay, was ongoing even after the repaired line was deemed safe to use, according to Central Florida Pipeline.

Air and water samples will continue to be taken and tested, although officials said Tuesday they had found no sign of contamination.

Crews had also begun to flush fuel from vegetation found in the surrounding area to "collection points," according to Florida Central Pipeline.

Repairs complete, jet fuel pipeline near Tampa up and running four days after leak 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:38am]
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