COAL TOWNSHIP - Authorities investigated a "small leak" in the Sunoco Logistics gas pipeline on the south face of Little Mountain, off Trevorton Road, Friday afternoon.

The public was not in danger, and gasoline was not visible on the surface, Steve Jeffery, Northumberland County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director, said.

The line transports 93-octane gasoline from Reading to Buffalo, N.Y. The pipeline, 14 inches in diameter, was installed in 1964

by the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) and purchased in 1990 by Sunoco.

Jeffery said a Zalar Drive resident walking on the mountain reported the leak after smelling gasoline in a remote area about three-quarters of the way up the mountain. In addition to representatives from county EMA, personnel from Northridge Group Inc., an environmental cleanup firm, and Sunoco traversed up a steep and muddy path to reach the site.

2007 spill

On May 16, 2007, what was later estimated to be some 63,000 gallons of fuel spilled when a heavy equipment operator from Mallard Contracting Inc., Mount Carmel, struck the same pipeline off a mining access road on the south face of Big Mountain. The break affected homeowners in the Edgewood section of Coal Township, not far from Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School and the Shamokin Area School District campus.

In 2009, the Department of Environmental Protection and Mallard reached an agreement on the cleanup of the site.