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Kansas has Growing Concerns Over Steel for Pipeline

February 28, 2011

With the looming approval for the Keystone XL pipeline project on the horizon, many Kansas citizens are beginning to question the integrity of the steel that will be used to build the pipeline. KSN news station, in Kansas, reported that there are growing concerns over the construction of the pipeline.  The concern comes from the steel that TransCanada has purchased from foreign steel manufacturers.  Due to requirements by the US Federal Government, TransCanda has tested the steel and fittings of their already existing Keystone pipeline and found 47 different areas where the fittings did not meet federal standards.

TransCanada claims that the testing of the Keystone pipeline is to ensure pipeline safety and they have replaced the fittings in all 47 areas. However, Paul Blackburn of Plains Justice is concerned that these subpar pipeline fittings may not just be a fluke but possibly the norm for TransCanada.

“Does that mean we know that TransCanada has defective steal? No, we don’t. Is it reasonable to inquire about whether they have defective steel? Yes.”

Another concern is that the steel used will not be able to properly support the heavy crude that will be traveling through it. Unlike basic crude oil, the oil that will be traveling through the Keystone XL is highly toxic, corrosive diluted bitumen. The bitumen will be traveling at high pressures and has to be heated to 158 degrees to maintain its “liquid” form to travel through the pipeline. So what happens if the steel does fail?

“The people who are looking at those lots have some questions about the safety, what happens 10 years down the road when the line gets older and weaker, it you have an oil spill what happens, how quick is it shut down,” said Potwin Mayor Dean Schmidt back in June 2010.

The Keystone XL pipeline project is still pending approval from the State Department, but the concerns about pipeline safety are ever-present in Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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