Huntersville holds public hearing almost 3 years after Colonial Pipeline spill

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Almost two and a half years after the largest gasoline spill in the United States happened in Huntersville, residents finally got the opportunity to weigh in on final clean-up efforts.

The State Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Resources held a public forum Thursday night at Central Piedmont Community College.

Colonial Pipeline has asked state regulators for a permit that would allow safely treated water from the spill to be moved from the Oeler Nature Preserve to a nearby creek.

Before the meeting, Channel 9 spoke with state Sen. Natasha Marcus, who says the pipeline must truck contaminated water offsite, which creates a lot of emissions,

“So that could be eliminated if we could treat the water safely on site and release it into the creek that flows nearby,” Marcus said. “If we can do that safely, I would not be opposed to the permit, but it’s not really up to me. It’s up to the public.”

Residents at the meeting were upset to learn the leak went undetected for months.

“I understand what Colonial’s in the business of doing, and what they provide is important for us,” resident Scott Hensley said. “You know, to move gasoline, oil, petroleum throughout the country. I get that. But now we’re in a situation where they also need to take responsibility and we just have to figure out how to solve it together.”

(WATCH BELOW: Colonial Pipeline to ask for permit to move treated water to nearby creek)

Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.