• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Safety of tar sands pipelines has not been studied, according to regulation agency

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/MahurinEnviro_Thumb5.jpgThe agency that would be responsible for oversight of the Keystone XL pipeline has not studied the safety measures necessary for a pipeline that carries tar sands crude.

The U.S. State Dept. is in charge of deciding whether to issue a permit for the proposed TransCanada pipeline because it would cross the U.S. border as it moves diluted bitumen from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The pipeline would also cross several major watersheds and the Ogallala aquifer, and against he backdrop of significant recent pipeline spills in Michigan and Montana — and 33 spills on the first phase of the Keystone line in just over a year — many are concerned about the potential environmental impact of the project.

The U.S. EPA has twice criticized environmental a reviews by the State Department as insufficient and asked that a spectrum of issues — from the greenhouse gas emissions of tar sands processing, to the impact on communities along the pipeline route and around the refineries — be examined in greater depth.

Alberta tar sands oil is a low grade asphalt-like petroleum product, also known as bitumen, that is strip-mined or melted out of the ground and requires elaborate processing in order to be used as fuel, and its unique properties have raised special safety concerns.

Gooey raw tar sands is mixed with lighter chemicals (natural gas condensate) to make it thin enough to pump through pipelines. A recent report prepared by the National Resources Defense Council, Pipeline Safety Trust and Sierra Club warned that diluted bitumen is more acidic, has more abrasive quartz sand particles, and is moved at higher temperatures, significantly increasing corrosion dangers on pipelines.

“The U.S. pipeline system may already be showing signs of strain,” said NRDC policy analyst Anthony Swift. “The pipelines in Midwestern states that have the longest history of transporting Canadian crude have had three times the spills of the system as a whole.”

As the State Dept. contemplates vastly expanding tar sands imports, regulators acknowledge that there are open questions about the safety requirements for tar sands transport.

In testimony to Congress last month the director of DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, Cynthia Quarterman, said that current regulations were not designed for tar sands, that the agency has done no study on tar sands, and has not assessed existing regulations to see if they address the risks of diluted bitumen.

Last year’s spill of a million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Calhoun County has demonstrated how much more difficult it is to clean up tar sands oil than conventional crude one it hits the water. Because it is so much heavier, much of the tar sands oil has sunk to the bottom of the river and is now breaking down and being released back into the water months after the spill was thought to be contained.

Although PHMSA will be responsible for overseeing the Keystone XL pipeline if is built, Quarterman said that her agency has no role in reviewing TransCanada’s application for a permit to build the line.

“I’m concerned that the industry is changing but the safety regulations are not keeping up with the changes,” said Rep. Henry Waxman ( D-CA). “That could be a disaster down the road.”

This week the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power approved pipeline safety legislation that was celebrated as a positive and rare bipartisan achievement.

“We were pleased and somewhat surprised that the bill continually improved during the subcommittee’s deliberations,” said Carl Weimer of the Pipeline Safety Trust. “Areas where is bill is stronger than the Senate bill include leak detection, automated valve use and placement, river crossings, and gas gathering lines.”

The bill also requires PHMSA to study the safety concerns around tar sands within 18 months and report the findings to Congress.

Anthony Swift of the NRDC said that proposed tar sands pipelines should be put on hold until PHMSA has a chance to complete this study and design new standards.

“We also need a study of the risks and cleanup challenges that tar sands spills create so new spill response methods can be devised and first responders can be prepared,” he said. “The pipeline safety bill does not yet address that problem.”

“It is ironic that some of the same Congressmen supporting the pipeline safety bill have advocated that Keystone XL be built before those safety measures are in place.”

Though the Energy Subcommittee has advanced legislation calling for study of tar sands safety issues, the House as a whole recently passed a bill that requires that a decision on the Keystone XL permit be reached by Nov. 1.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.