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pipeline 76 articles

Houston Air Pollution Study Finds Toxic Levels of Benzene In Surprising Places

The results of an independent study conducted by a group of environmental scientists who tested air pollution in several areas throughout the Houston, Texas, area uncovered some disturbing results for some residents who live in the vicinity of oil pipelines. Scientists with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) expected to find benzene and other toxic substances in the air in Houston neighborhoods near oil refineries and other industrial complexes along the Houston Ship Channel, and they did. Pollution there has been documented for years. But the researchers also found high levels of benzene in the air in neighborhoods near oil ... Read More

Massive SoCal Natural Gas Leak Expected To Last For Months

It’s like BP’s catastrophic Gulf oil spill, only it’s in the sky above Southern California. Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas leak near Porter Ranch, Calif., has been spewing 50 metric tons of gas every hour into the sky above the Los Angeles area since October. And, like BP’s runaway Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, engineers have no idea how they can stop this leak, which environmental authorities estimate accounts for a quarter of all of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. On the ground, residents in and around Porter Ranch are reporting being sickened by noxious ... Read More

Crews Rush To Clean Ventura County Oil Spill Before Rain

Cleanup crews are working to remove about 8,000 gallons of oil that burst from an underground pipeline in Ventura County, Calif., when electrical workers accidentally drilled into it just after midnight on Tuesday. According to the Ventura County Star, a crew contracted by Southern California Edison to replace a power line drilled into the 10-inch pipe around 12:30 a.m. The ruptured pipeline released 190 barrels, or 7,980 gallons, of crude oil headed from a holding station in Ventura to a refinery near Long Beach. It was not immediately clear where all the oil went, but a California Department of Fish ... Read More

Increasing Number Of U.S. Oil Spills Prompt Tougher Pipeline Rules

A surge of oil spills connected to pipeline disasters in the United States in recent years has sparked new life into a long-delayed federal safety rule. The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has not disclosed the details of the rule, but it is expected to be released publicly within the next seven to 10 days. The White House cleared the rule last week, five years after regulators and legislators first began work on it. “The proposed regulations will result in critical safety improvements, and we hope they will spark a robust dialogue moving forward about ... Read More

Pipeline breach spills 100 barrels of crude into Illinois waterways

A pipeline breach in a pipeline owned and operated by Plains All American Pipeline of Houston, Texas, released 4,200 gallons of crude oil in southwestern Illinois, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis, Mo. The July 10 spill occurred less than two months after the same company spilled more than 100,000 gallons of oil from a pipeline in Southern California, some of which flowed into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara. Plains All American Pipeline said the spill occurred at its Pocahontas Pump Station near the border of Bond and Madison Counties in Illinois. Workers were able to stop the ... Read More

Santa Barbara retailer alleges oil spill caused economic losses

The owner of a Colorado-based retailer with a store in Santa Barbara, Calif,, has filed a lawsuit against Plains All American Pipeline LP seeking economic damages she alleges resulted from an oil spill that polluted miles of coastline around Santa Barbara in May. Erica Dahl, owner of Savvy of Boulder LLC, which operates two retail locations including one in Santa Barbara called Savvy on Pearl, filed the complaint June 11 in a California federal court. Ms. Dahl alleges that the oil spill caused store sales to plummet as much as 25 percent in May compared with sales figures from the ... Read More

California pipeline was tested 2 weeks before Santa Barbara oil spill

A test of the California pipeline that ruptured May 19, spilling more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil on miles of Santa Barbara coast, showed serious corrosion in the section of pipeline where the break occurred. According to the Associated Press, a high-tech instrument called a “smart pig” was sent into the underground pipeline two weeks before the spill occurred to measure the internal and external corrosion, test the thickness of its walls, and detect cracks. The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the May 5 test revealed the pipeline, owned by Plains All American Pipeline of Texas, had lost 45 ... Read More

Massive North Dakota oil spill will take four years to clean up

An oil spill that covered a northwestern North Dakota wheat field after a Tesoro Corp. pipeline ruptured two years ago was supposed to be cleaned up by now, but state regulators have said it will take another two and a half years to complete the cleanup with crews working 24-7. The pipeline break was discovered in September 2013 after it already had saturated the equivalent of seven football fields of farmland belonging to Steve and Patty Jensen with crude oil. Both Tesoro and U.S. government officials believe a lightning strike was the probable cause of the break, underscoring the vulnerability ... Read More

Safety hasn’t improved since deadly San Bruno blast, audit finds

Five years have passed since a gas pipeline exploded beneath San Bruno, Calif., leveling neighborhoods in the San Francisco suburb, killing eight people, and injuring dozens of others, but a new state audit has found that the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) overseeing pipeline safety remains dangerously dysfunctional. The state-commissioned audit, which the Crowe-Horwath consulting firm completed in February and released in March, found a systemic breakdown in performance by the five state-appointed utilities commissioners and the Public Utilities Commission as a whole. Since the San Bruno catastrophe, the Public Utilities Commission’s performance has been marred by “frequent management changes, shifting ... Read More

California utility hit with $1.6-billion fine for deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion

California regulators hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), the state’s largest utility, with a $1.6 billion fine for safety violations stemming from a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that ripped through the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, killing eight people and injuring 58 others. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the record fine Thursday by a 4-0 vote with one commissioner who allegedly had improper communications with the PG&E officials abstaining. The fine is 10 times the previous record fine of $146 million, levied against Southern California Edison in Sept. 2008 over a fraudulent customer satisfaction scheme tied to ... Read More