In its ongoing investigation of last week's Potomac Electric Power Company pipeline fuel leak at Chalk Point electric generating plant near Aquasco, Maryland, the National Transportation Safety Board excavated the damaged portion of the pipe this morning. The location is about 120 feet upstream of a block valve at Swanson Creek. The pipe was buried about 3 feet 6 inches below the surface in a marsh area.
At that location, the pipeline made a bend in which a vertical crack that is 5 inches long and ½ inch wide was found. A bulge in the pipe at the same location extends about ½ inch above the top plane of the pipe.
On April 7, 2000 a release of approximately 3,000 barrels of a mixture of #2 and #6 fuel oils was discovered from the PEPCO pipeline.
The Safety Board will oversee and coordinate with emergency response personnel as to when the damaged section of pipe can be safely removed. Once removed, the pipe will be brought to NTSB laboratories for further examination.