California Fuel Line Leak Stops Delivery to Las Vegas, Phoenix

California Fuel Line Leak Stops Delivery to Las Vegas, Phoenix
A motorist fuels up at a gas station in Santa Cruz, Calif., on March 7, 2011. A leak in a fuel pipeline facility in California has forced a shutdown of deliveries of gasoline and diesel from Los Angeles to areas including Las Vegas and Phoenix. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)
Efthymis Oraiopoulos

A leak in a fuel storage and pipeline facility on Thursday in California forced a stop to fuel delivery to Las Vegas and Phoenix, Nevada, authorities said.

The pipeline company, named Kinder Morgan, that delivers petroleum products to Las Vegas and Phoenix areas said in a statement that a leak was discovered on Thursday afternoon in one of its stations near Los Angeles.

Local authorities of the affected areas said that their fuel supplies are enough, but a fuel emergency was declared Friday night on Clark County, Nevada over the incident.

“Tonight, I am declaring a state of emergency for the fuel pipeline leak impacting Southern Nevada,” a statement from Gov. Joe Lombardo said, which will allow the area to “receive federal waivers and resources as we navigate the evolving repair timeline, and it will allow us to increase transportation of fuel by other means during this time.”

The Governor’s office is cooperating with Kinder Morgan to get updates on the situation.

Clark County said in a statement that “the leak has not impacted the supply of fuel, but rather the method in which this fuel normally comes into Southern Nevada.”

Lombardo urged the citizens to avoid “panic buying” to avoid unnecessary shortages.

Kinder Morgan did not specify how much fuel has leaked nor the cause. The incident forced its CALNEV and SFPP West pipelines to shut down.

“There are no injuries or fire reported as a result of this incident,” said a company statement, provided by Katherine Hill, communications manager for the publicly traded company. It did not say how much fuel leaked or when service would be restored.

“The appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified, and an investigation into the cause and quantity of the release will be conducted,” the statement said. “We are working closely with our customers on potential impacts.”

The county said the pipeline provides fuel storage facilities in Southern Nevada with unleaded and diesel fuel. Another pipeline operated by UNEV Pipeline LLC serves the Las Vegas area from northern Utah.

The Kinder Morgan website says its 566-mile (911-kilometer) CALNEV pipeline transports gasoline, and diesel and jet fuel from Los Angeles refineries and marine terminals through parallel 14-inch (35.5-centimeter) and 8-inch (20-centimeter) diameter pipelines to Barstow, California and the Las Vegas area.

Hill said later that only the larger, 14-inch pipeline to Las Vegas had been shut down.

Airports it serves include Nellis Air Force Base and Harry Reid International in Las Vegas and Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, the company said.

Kinder Morgan’s SFPP West pipeline runs approximately 515 miles to transport petroleum products from the Los Angeles area to Colton and Imperial, California, and east to Phoenix.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Efthymis Oraiopoulos is a news writer for NTD, focusing on U.S., sports, and entertainment news.
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