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Emporia, KS
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Two more weeks of cleanup may be needed after gas condensate blowout near Olpe

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment estimates about 1,300 gallons of natural gas condensate was released near Olpe on Thursday.

Workers were cleaning out a pipeline near the intersection of Roads 90 and "K," near Panhandle Eastern's plant just north of Olpe, when the condensate was blown out of the pipeline. KDHE Communications Director Sara Belfry says the condensate contains trace amounts of chemicals like hydrogen sulfide and benzene.

Belfry says at least 25 cars will need detailing as a result of the incident and at least four farm ponds will need to be decontaminated. The full scope of the blowout is still being determined. The Emporia Municipal Airport and Emporia Golf Course, about three miles away from the blowout site, both reported some vehicles had a light coating of the condensate but say there was no significant damage to the vehicles and no damage to vegetation.

At this point, Belfry anticipates it could take another two weeks to fully clean up the area. Another update could be coming by Thursday.

Panhande Eastern has not returned calls from KVOE News seeking comment, but Belfry says the company has contracted with a cleanup crew for the work ahead. Belfry also says folks affected should contact Panhandle Eastern at 800-275-7375. If you have questions about the materials involved or if you have noticed issues at your property, call the KDHE emergency spill hotline at 785-296-1679.

KVOE NEws reporter AJ Dome contributed to this report.

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