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pipeline 76 articles

Burning Death of Pipefitter Leads to Safety Fines For Refinery, Welding Contractor

Federal safety regulators said critical safety violations led to the gruesome death of a 38-year-old pipefitter in South Dakota who suffered fatal burn injuries after ethanol spilled from a process pipe he was working on and became ignited by flames from nearby welding operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it cited two companies for safety violations following the worker’s death after an investigation turned up multiple violations. Bilfinger-Westcon, the worker’s employer and project construction contractor, faces $62,355 in penalties for five serious violations. Refinery owner and operator Sioux River Ethanol LLC, operating as Poet Biorefining-Hudson, faces $37,413 ... Read More

Colonial Pipeline Reopens East Coast Line After Deadly Blast

Colonial Pipeline said it expects it will take several days to restore the fuel delivery supply chain to normal after reopening the underground fuel line that exploded Oct. 31, killing one worker and injuring five others. The pipeline owner said that it reopened the pipeline at 5:45 in the morning Sunday after crews replaced the segment that was destroyed in the blast. The pipeline moves 1.3 million barrels (56.4 million gallons) of refined gasoline from Houston, Texas, to New York City every day, with several distribution points and supply offshoots along the way. It’s considered the largest gas pipeline in ... Read More

Alabama Declares State of Emergency In Wake of Colonial Pipeline Blast

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to a deadly Colonial Pipeline blast that occurred in Shelby County Monday, crippling the East Coast’s major fuel artery. The state of emergency is primarily intended to offset fuel shortages posed by the shuttered pipeline by relaxing federal hours-of-service safety rules that restrict commercial truck drivers’ operating hours. Easing the regulations will expedite surface transportation fuel shipments, allowing commercial truckers to drive longer hours without violating the anti-fatigue rules. In addition to Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina have also declared a state of emergency. Other southern states are ... Read More

Colonial Pipeline Explosion Kills One, Severely Burns Several Others In Alabama

One worker is dead and at least five others were severely burned when Colonial Pipeline’s major gasoline conduit exploded Monday afternoon in Shelby County, Ala., about five miles from where a break in the same pipeline triggered a short-lived fuel crisis in the South. Colonial Pipeline said that a crew working for contractor L.E. Bell Construction company were to drain a stretch of the 36-inch pipeline of gasoline. Around 2 p.m., a trackhoe used for digging earth hit the pipeline and triggered the explosion, creating a giant plume of fire and black smoke visible for miles. Shelby County Sheriff John ... Read More

Environmental Groups Plan Savannah River Oil Spill Lawsuit

Two South Carolina environmental groups have taken preliminary steps to sue a major oil pipeline operator over a 2014 spill that released nearly 400,000 gallons of oil into the Savannah River Basin in the northwest corner of the state. According to The State, the Savannah Riverkeeper and Upstate Forever accuse Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Inc. and subsidiary Plantation Pipeline of having done almost nothing this year to clean up the 18-month-old spill and stop ongoing pollution in the waterways around the spill site. The Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing the environmental groups, says the streams around the December 2014 ... Read More

Review of agency responsible for pipeline, hazardous materials oversight finds serious performance issues

Federal regulators charged with overseeing the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline and a million shipments of hazardous materials per day have missed deadline after deadline in developing and implementing safety rules to protect the public from oil train derailments, pipeline spills, and other disasters, an internal audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation has found. In a report published Oct. 14, the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General said that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) “has faced criticism from Congress for its lack of timeliness in implementing mandates and recommendations.” The House Transportation and Infrastructure ... Read More

Oil Pipeline Breaks At Nation’s Largest Oil Hub In Oklahoma

A major pipeline break in the country’s largest oil hub has released up to 50,000 barrels of crude oil in Cushing, Okla., further stoking fears about aging pipelines, environmental disasters, and disruptions in the nation’s oil supply. Enterprise Products Partners, which co-owns the Seaway Crude Pipeline Co. with partner Enbridge Inc., told the press that the companies cannot say at this point when the pipeline will be operational again. The pipeline break in Cushing, about 70 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, released thousands of barrels of crude onto the land and in a retention pond at an Enbridge facility. The ... Read More

Arkansas Landowners Ask Appeals Court To Revive Oil Spill Class Action Against Exxon

Arkansas landowners living along a 70-year-old pipeline that ruptured in March 2013 and flooded the town of Mayflower with crude oil appeared before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minn., to ask the three-judge panel to revive their complaint against Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. Lawyers for the landowners argue that the case should be reinstated because they can prove that the pipeline is damaging their property and diminishing their ability to enjoy it. The landowners claim that easements say the company is responsible for repairing, replacing, or removing the pipeline, which stretches 850 miles from Illinois to ... Read More

Natural Gas Explosion Levels Two Chicago-Area Townhomes

A Chicago gas utility worker who was injured in a natural gas explosion that leveled two townhomes in Romeoville, Ill., has filed a personal injury lawsuit against a cable company subcontractor for allegedly damaging the gas line that later exploded. The blast occurred Oct. 11 as two employees of the Nicor gas utility company were fixing a gas leak that was reported earlier that day. One of the workers suffered minor injuries but the worker who filed the personal injury complaint was seriously injured in the blast. The blast occurred in the suburban townhouse about 7:30 p.m. as a Nicor ... Read More

Natural Gas Explosion Rocks Portland Shopping District, Injuring Seven

A massive explosion thought to be caused by a natural gas leak ripped through a building in Portland, Ore., Wednesday morning, injuring seven people and causing extensive property damage. The blast occurred about 9:40 a.m. in a building occupied by Portland Bagelworks. That restaurant and at least two others in the trendy Northwest Avenue shopping district were significantly damaged, reducing one three-story building into “a pile of rubble,” The Oregonian reported. The natural gas leak was first reported at 8:55 a.m. A NW Natural gas utility crew and Portland firefighters responded to the report and evacuated the building upon arriving ... Read More