A lubricant line ruptured at NV Energy’s Reid Gardner Generating Station causing more than 1,000 gallons of oil to spill Oct. 5 at the coal-fired power plant, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, a company spokesman said.
The spill , which was reported to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, occurred the day after Southern Nevada Health District officials held a public meeting in Moapa to discuss the company’s plans to expand a landfill for disposing coal-ash waste.
“We did have a ruptured seal in a lubricating oil line and leaked more than 1,000 gallons of oil into a building, which has since been cleaned up,” NV Energy spokesman Mark Severts wrote in an e-mail Monday.
He said a small amount of oil leaked onto gravel and dirt outside the building but there was no impact to groundwater because that area is above a layer of asphalt.
The contaminated area was dug up and the tainted soil and gravel “will be disposed of properly,” Severts said.
The threshold for reporting such a spill to state environmental officials is if it affects 3 cubic yards of ground materials, or about as much as could be hauled in the bed of a full-size pickup. The amount of dirt affected by the spill was between 3 cubic yards and 4 cubic yards, according to NV Energy’s estimate.
Because the leak appears to have exceeded contamination limits under state law, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection requested an evaluation of the spill no later than Nov. 19, according to an Oct. 6 letter to the company’s environmental services supervisor, Michael Rojo.
“Community health and safety concerns require that you undertake rapid recovery and remediation efforts,” wrote Shannon Harbour, staff engineer for the division’s Bureau of Corrective Actions.
Contact reporter Keith Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0308.