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Another Day, Another Keystone Pipeline Spill

January 15, 2011

The National Response Center took a report on January 5, 2011 that an equipment failure – namely, a faulty seal – along the Keystone I pipeline caused a 10 gallon spill in Andover, South Dakota.

By our count, this is spill number 6 in one state in less than a year of operation on the “safest pipeline ever built,” as TransCanada loves to tell us. What are the odds that it’s the last?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    January 15, 2011 11:53 pm

    10 gallons? Your personal vendetta against the pipeline aside, this hardly seems news-worthy.

  2. January 16, 2011 12:12 am

    We’re counting, not analyzing.

  3. January 16, 2011 11:43 am

    Mark, it is newsworthy given that TransCanada’s own risk assessment said “the estimated occurrence intervals for a spill of 50 barrels or less occurring anywhere along the entire pipeline system is once every 65 years”. A spill. We’re ahead by three centuries now.

    Carrie: Six? I’ve got four, at the pump stations at Carpenter, Roswell, Freeman (SD), and Hartington (NE). Andover makes five. Did I miss one?

  4. Kelly Fuller permalink
    January 16, 2011 11:56 am

    These are important spills not because of their size but because they’re so frequent. If you can’t run a brand-new pipeline without frequent leaks, what’s going to happen when the system is 30 years old?

    The leaks also seem to keep happening at the pump stations. Who manufactured the pump station equipment? U.S. made or not? Are there possibly pump station defect issues similar to problems that the pipeline industry has had with substandard steel?

  5. January 18, 2011 3:38 pm

    @Cory: We’re also counting a discharge of 13 million gallons of water from the pipeline in Oklahoma on October 21. We’re trying to get more information on what this was about – pressure testing is my guess. But like I said, we’re counting discharges from the pipeline, not analyzing what they were, how big they were, etc.


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