DLC repairs underground cable leak; Liberty Avenue reopen

PITTSBURGH — Duquesne Light Company announced Thursday it has completed permanent repairs to the underground cable leak on Liberty Avenue in the Strip District.

The company said it used a freeze process to temporarily stop the leak, which started on April 29, before making the preparations to completely seal it off.

>> Duquesne Light isolates source of underground transmission cable leak to Pittsburgh’s Strip District

DLC said the leak was of a non-toxic clear liquid used to cool down and insulate underground cables. The leaking liquid, known as a dielectric fluid, is non-toxic to humans but, in large quantities, can impact aquatic life. It is non-flammable and non-combustible, DLC says.

It’s estimated that 47,000 gallons escaped. Some sheen from the fluid did appear on the Ohio River that was contained by river booms and removed by absorbents.

“I can’t thank our team and partners enough for the thorough work that went into this process and for achieving a safe, successful outcome,” said John Hilderbrand II, vice president of operations at DLC. “We were able to complete these repairs while maintaining reliable service and keeping our community and environment top of mind. We will continue to investigate the cause of the incident and take any further necessary action based on the findings of that investigation.”

>> Duquesne Light working to pinpoint source of leak from underground transmission cable

Now that the permanent repairs have been made, Liberty Avenue between 26th and 28th streets in the Strip District has reopened.

DLC is continuing investigating the cause of the incident and will take further necessary action based on the findings of the investigation, the company said.

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