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Cook Inlet Gas Leak Continues, Lawsuit Looms

Rashah McChesney

Hilcorp is continuing to monitor a gas leak in Cook Inlet, but has not yet been able to stop it.

According to a Feb. 21 news release from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the leak is over 98 percent methane.

Hilcorp says they are monitoring the pressure and flow rate on the line. The company reduced the line pressure from 195 psi on Feb. 13 to 165 psi on Feb. 19.

The company estimates somewhere between 210,000 and 310,000 cubic feet of methane is escaping through the leak every day. The exact amount of gas released is currently unknown.

Hilcorp conducted flyovers on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, but were not able to detect bubbles from the gas leak because of ice pans in the area.

Local environmental group Cook Inletkeeper says Hilcorp is violating the federal Clean Water Act and has threatened to sue the company within 60 days.

Shahla first caught the radio bug as a world music host for WMHC, the oldest college radio station operated exclusively by women. Before coming to KBBI, she worked at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and as a science writer for the California Environmental Legacy Project. She is currently completing her Ph.D in ecology at the University of California-Davis, where she studies native bees.