Shutdown of Alabama pipeline could raise Virginia gas prices, cause shortages

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The temporary shutdown of a major gas pipeline which serves the Southeast and East Cost has the potential to cause a rise in gas prices in Virginia.

According to press releases from Colonial Pipeline Company, someone noticed the smell of gasoline on Friday, Sept. 9 in rural Shelby County, Alabama, near one of Colonial Pipeline's pipelines in the area.

The company shutdown the line to evaluate and make repairs.

Known as "Line 1," the pipeline is a major artery for the distribution of gas from Houston to New York.

The company says distribution points north of the Birmingham-area repair site have the potential to see a decrease in gas supply.

On Thursday afternoon, Colonial Pipeline put out a statement saying in part, "parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina will be the first markets to be impacted by any potential disruption in supply."

According to AAA, gas in Virginia is hovering around $1.98 per gallon with no significant increase in price over the last week.

Colonial Pipeline says Line 1 is expected to be repaired and restarted sometime next week.

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter to Governor Bill Haslam and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal saying the agency was relaxing environmental standards in specific Georgia and Tennessee counties through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 15, in order to maintain the gas supply to those states.

The governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, issued a state of emergency Thursday,which should free up resources to increase gas to the area.