UPDATE: Gasoline leak caused by a burst pipe - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Gasoline leak caused by a burst pipe

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© Credit: Ely Echo © Credit: Ely Echo
ELY, MN -

The Mayor of Ely says a cleanup is underway for a 5,000 gallon gas spill into the city's storm and sanitary sewer system. 

Mayor Chuck Novak says responders from the Ely Fire Department, Public Works, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, as well as clean up contractors, are at the Holiday Station store after a pipe burst on Monday. 


"When the Holiday gas station opened they realized there was gas on the ground and going down into the storm sewer," said Mayor Novak.

Gasoline vapor levels are being tested around the area. 

"The MPCA is up here and right now they are here in oversight as the government oversight entity but every other contractor in town is contracted directly by Holiday to do the assessment and the entire cleanup," said Mayor Novak.
 

Ely residents are being asked to stay clear of venting equipment installed across the city at storm and sanitary sewer outlets.

It's unknown at this time how long the venting process will take. 

"The major affected areas are east of the Holiday gas station and North," said Mayor Novak.

Mayor Novak says the leak has been stopped, and if anyone smells gasoline fumes in buildings, you're asked to open basement or ground floor windows, and then leave until the air quality improves. 

Anyone exposed to breathing in the fumes could suffer dizziness, headaches, nausea, or nose and throat irritation. 

Novak says the Holiday station store reported 30 gallons of gas spilled on concrete to the State Duty Officer on Monday, and no surface water was impacted at that time. 

On Tuesday, the spill amount then increased to 4,800 gallons, and Holiday estimated 99 percent of the gas went into the ground.

Gasoline then also flowed into the city's storm and sanitary sewer system, and some gas was detected on Miner's Lake. 

Novak says the sheen on Miners Lake was spotted about a mile and a half from the station, and was retrieved with absorbent booms. 

Vapor readings and sewer system ventilation equipment arrived on Wednesday, with emergency crews working to prevent any gas migration into nearby homes. 

On Thursday, Novak says borings are being taken to determine the underground affected areas at the gas station. 

Novak says that the majority of the gas spill is on site and will be recovered.

Novak says extraction will be done as necessary on Monday, as well as excavation.

By Monday morning they should have a determination on where they're at with clean up and how to move forward.  


The Holiday store remains open but the gas is not accessible at the moment.


The Ely Echo reports Ely City Council members learned Wednesday night that an unknown amount of gasoline has spilled into the city's sanitary and storm sewer systems, as well as Miners Lake. 

The paper reports the 4,854 gallon gas leak started at the Holiday store on East Sheridan Street, and an Ely resident on East Washington Street reported a smell of gas. 

Ely Mayor Chuck Novak says anyone who smells an odor should call 911, or the city's utility emergency number at 1-800-890-8713.

The paper reports the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency emergency management unit has outlined a prioritized response, which includes ventilating the sanitary sewer system and monitoring the storm sewer for both vapor and gasoline. 

Representatives with the MPCA and the State Fire Marshal's Office were in Ely on Wednesday, according to the Echo.

According to the paper, Novak says there's no panic to be held, and there's no explosion concern.  

The Echo reports the leak was found Monday after the fire department was sent to the area, but no source has been found as of Thursday afternoon.

An update is expected around 5 p.m. on Thursday. 

KBJR 6 will continue to update this story as we learn more. 


Officials are investigating a leak of 4,854 gallons of gas at a Holiday Gas Station in Ely.

The Ely Echo reports the MPCA learned about the leak after it was reported Monday morning after looking at gas statistics for the store. 

The Echo says Mayor Chuck Novak said the gasoline "has permeated in to the ground somewhere - we don't know where."

City officials will be meeting at 5 p.m. to address the gas leak, and the paper reports the MPCA is looking at a sanitary sewer on Washington Street. 

The gas station has been asked to temporarily close as a safety precaution. 

The Ely Echo reports some of the gas leak wound up in an Ely storm sewer, and then flowed into Miners Lake.

Novak told the Echo there "is no explosion concern" over the leak.

KBJR 6 will have more information as it becomes available. 

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