A company that is already cleaning up a decades-old jet fuel spill in south Bibb County plans to start cleanup of a second old spill nearby.
San Antonio-based NuStar Energy has been using a soil vapor extraction system to remove benzene and other contaminants from ground water in the Feagin Road area.
The company plans to install a similar system to deal with the same type of contamination at Barnes Ferry Road, according to state environmental regulators.
The pollution comes from an 11-mile pipeline supplying Robins Air Force Base with jet fuel from a bulk fuel storage terminal in south Macon. The pipeline was purchased by NuStar in 2005, years after the leaks occurred. The cleanup is not required under Georgia law, but the company has voluntarily agreed to it, said Mark Smith, land protection chief for the state’s Environmental Protection Division.
NuStar has proposed installing the first phase of a soil vapor extraction system in October, Smith said in an e-mail. He said the original timeline for this cleanup was slowed down because the extent of contamination couldn’t be determined until NuStar was able to purchase a 100-acre tract last summer where 40 to 50 percent of the plume was centered, Smith said. The property is across Barnes Ferry Road from most nearby homes, he said.
Smith said future removal phases will include wells on nearby residential properties as NuStar is able to negotiate access.
NuStar did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
The company began cleaning up the Feagin Mill Road spill in 2007, first using skimmer pumps and then a soil vapor extraction system. The spills are about the same size, Smith has said.
The company has tested drinking water wells near the spills and has paid to switch some residents to city water, which is available in the area.
Greg Matula with NuStar wrote in an e-mail that the company has spent about $1 million so far on the Barnes Ferry Road cleanup.
To reach reporter S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.