The operator of the Keystone Pipeline System, which transports one type of crude from Canada to multiple provinces for refining, said over the weekend that its biggest breach ever was under control for now.
According to Pipeline, a pipeline failure 3 miles east of Washington, Kansas on Wednesday caused an estimated 14,000 barrels of crude oil, or 588,000 gallons of crude oil, known as tar sand oil, to spill into Mill Creek, a natural watercourse, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Hazardous Substances Safety Administration.
The administration has ordered that the affected section of the pipeline, about 160 miles north of Wichita, be closed until corrective action is completed.
The Canadian parent company of daily pipeline operator TC Oil, TC Energy, said on Saturday that the leak is no longer moving downstream. The company said it had mobilized 250 crews to handle the cleanup and deployed booms and vacuum trucks to stop the oil.
“The discharge has been contained and no drinking water has been affected,” the Environmental Protection Agency said on Saturday.
fault along a 96-mile segment in parts of Washington County, Kansas; Clay County, Kansas; and Jefferson County, Nebraska are reaffirming their concerns about pipeline safety following the conclusion of the contentious Keystone XL pipeline project.
The proposed pipeline, which will transport Canadian oil sands to Nebraska, polarized political leadersmostly those who line up to kill him or make way. It was blocked by the Obama administration, renewed by President Donald Trump, and corrupted by President Joe Biden. TC Energy withdrew its plans last year.
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, at least three significant leaks have occurred throughout the original Keystone Pipeline System in the past five years, with the most voluminous one on Wednesday.
Pipeline regulators also recorded accidents and breaches in the Keystone system in 2011, 2016 and 2020. The affected section is part of the 288-mile Cushing Extension, completed in 2011, that transports crude from Steele City, Nebraska to Cushing, Oklahoma. said the regulators.
Environmentalists argued that things come with such a pipeline and that in a world that is reckoning with global warming caused by its massive burning, the convenience of more direct transportation for fossil fuel is not worth it.
The Sierra Club said the pipeline, which it calls Keystone 1, has been the site of a leak, breach or accident for the 22nd time.
“There is no such thing as a safe tar sand pipeline, and this is another disaster that continues to prove that we need to put our climate and communities first,” Catherine Collentine of the Sierra Club said in a statement.
Many environmental organizations want Biden to ban new oil and gas infrastructure on public lands.
Alan K. Mayberry, associate director at the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, said in a letter to the TC Oil executive last week that the company had been ordered to keep the affected segment offline.
According to Thursday’s letter, Mayberry is asking TC Oil to identify the root cause of the breach and provide the names of decision makers who may have contributed to the leak. He also said that the company should repair or replace damaged or punctured sections and assess whether other sections of the pipeline have similar conditions or structural problems.
Federal pipeline regulators said before any restart, TC must lower the pressure to 80% of what it was just before the breach.
Mayberry wrote of the oil spilled as the company conducted an analysis of the nearby transporter using an “in-line inspection tool.”
“The ILI tool is currently below the fault location,” he wrote. “Defendant had bypassed the Hope, Kansas, pumping station, the next downstream station, in preparation for the device to pass when the malfunction occurred.”
Any possible cause-effect relationship was unclear. The letter also suggests that the fault is related to “failed pipe connections.”
TC Energy said on Friday that the pipeline is operating according to the rules. “It was working within pipeline design and regulatory approval requirements at the time of the incident,” the company said.
During President George W. Bush’s tenure, TC Oil was granted special permission to use higher-than-standard pressure along the Cushing Extension to transport thick crude from Canada.
Bill Caram, executive director of the nonprofit Pipeline Safety Trust, said: Associated Press The number of Keystone leaks, breaches and accidents that have occurred since then should warrant a reassessment of allowing higher pressure.
“I think it’s time to question that,” he said.
Michelle Acevedo contributed.
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