A cleanup process is under at the Radnor Lake State Park after Piedmont Natural Gas reported a drilling site spill that leaked about 300 gallons of clay and water, according to initial assessments.
A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman said Piedmont first reported the incident Saturday morning, adding that TDEC personnel responded to the scene at that time. TDEC is overseeing the cleanup as well as the investigation into what happened.
The incident happened where Piedmont has contracted with a drilling company, Southeast Directional Drilling (SEDD), to install a 20-inch natural gas pipeline to pass through the natural area and wildlife refuge.
The discharge, a mixture of Bentonite clay and water used by SEDD workers to drill in the area, has at least reached Otter Creek, according to TDEC.
The drill rig that caused the release was shutdown and is expected to remain so until TDEC officials determine that steps to prevent a similar incident have been taken.
On Tuesday, Piedmont provided TDEC with an incident report from SEDD.
According to a site contingency plan drafted last fall, “Bentonite is a non-toxic, naturally occurring clay commonly used for agricultural purposes such as decreasing water loss in ponds and soils. Note that there will be no hydraulic fracturing associated with this method of drilling on the site.”
Click here to view a copy of that contingency plan.