Gas leak repaired at Starkville Sprint Mart


Alex Holloway


The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.


No major issues have been reported after the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality investigated a reported gasoline leak at the Sprint Mart at the corner of Highway 12 and Airport Road in Starkville Friday. 


Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Director Kristen Campanella said store officials estimated 5,000 to 10,000 gallons may have leaked. However, she said there is no indication the gasoline leaked into water or sewage systems. 


Brad Ratcliff, an emergency responder with MDEQ, said some sheen was noticeable in water from a ditch behind the store. He said recent rains likely pushed the gasoline up from deeper in the ground and to the surface.  


The situation was certainly far from ideal, he said, but the leak was not as bad as it could have been. 


"I was scared that we were going to have a lot of vapors and I knew where it was -- high traffic areas -- and it was just going to be a nightmare," he said. "But it's not too bad." 


Lisa Durchfield, district manager for Sprint Mart, said the store discovered the leak and repaired it on Thursday. She said the leak was from a line that connected to the station's storage tank, and not the tank itself.  


While the leak had been repaired, Durchfield said the store was still required to contact MDEQ, which store representatives did on Friday. 


"We have monitors in the store and any time there's the slightest change in pressure we pick it up," she said. "Any time there's the slightest leak, we have to contact the state and fire department." 


Campanella said MDEQ contacted emergency management to send a hazmat team to the scene. Starkville Fire Department also responded to the scene early Friday afternoon. 


Ratcliff said the department would clear vegetation out of the ditch and put down chemicals to clean up the gasoline and control the odor that wafted over the station's parking lot Friday afternoon. 


He added MDEQ will continue to monitor the situation. 


"We'll take care of it," Ratcliff said. "The emergency response team will continue to monitor to make sure there's not any more product coming up. If there is, we'll address that."




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