Monday, May 12, 2014

Pipeline News

Smell Check Detects Spill

Kinder Morgan expansion project construction is substandard in Hope area says Ellis

Released by David Ellis/ Photo submitted

 

ndependent Pipeline Critic David Ellis requests that the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service fully investigate the handling of these two oil spill reports by the National Energy Board, especially and including the reason for the "cover up" of the names of the 1954 pipe manufacturers.

 

He also requests that these agencies investigate the allegations of deliberate stalling of key correspondence to the NEB that revealed the last-minute use (in 1954) of much thinner pipe in the Coquihalla canyon to Hope region. Finally, he recommends that the National Energy Board be ordered to CLOSE DOWN THIS PIPELINE BETWEEN THE COQUIHALLA SUMMIT AND TOWN OF HOPE, IMMEDIATELY, until this investigation is completed.

REPORT
Independent Pipeline Critic David Ellis requests that National Energy Board head Mr. Gaetan Caron, accompanied by the Hope RCMP, now inspect the two spill sites, as staff from both organizations, as well as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, are directed to closely re-examine the two reports a) Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. Engineering Assessment dated March 14, 2014 and b) Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. Integrity Assurance Plan dated July 9, 2013.


Reason for this mandatory research order: In my view the NEB has failed to fully evaluate and examine these reports with adequate field work, research, and verification, and for this apparent reason the reports contain gross mistruths that protect Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. from liability; for some reason the NEB then sought to "cover up", in the copy of the report submitted by PDF to the public, (me) the names of the original pipe manufacturers.

RE: KP 923.567 [Kingsvale spill site]: The Kinder Morgan crews in fact had not been "working in the vicinity for the previous two weeks in preparation for the dig" on the spill site, as stated in the report, but were working in an incompetent manner, in my view, on a number of repair sites nearby, contributing significantly to the "fatigue" (in concert with the historic "dent with gouges" reasons, as noted in the report) that in sum, caused the spill.

 

As noted in the report, the spill site was actually discovered, by smell. I visited the major repair site 1/4 mile north of KP 923.567 on several occasions before the breach at KP 923.567 and photo-documented a problematic site that continually re-flooded despite attempts to de-watering it with a gravel "culvert".

 

In fact it had to continually dewatered by Kinder Morgan pumps for a period of about two months as the failed repairs struggled on. I observed heavy KM equipment for this dig and also fuel trucks to support this prolonged operation, repeatedly driving up and down the soft and flooded right of way [on top of this shallow-buried pipe] to this site.

 

Post spill remediation: I and the Coquihalla protest group visited the area and found another recent repair site located to the south of KP 923.567, and this also had been accessed by heavy equipment from the highway by the access road, from the north, which means that Kinder Morgan heavy equipment was repeatedly driving over the soft stream bed at the KP 923.567 spill site, contributing significantly to the "fatigue" noted in the report.

 

The NEB is therefore in error in failing to note that this major "third party" damage was most probably caused by heavy use of the area by the Kinder Morgan Canada "dig" crews themselves, and their support vehicles, and this went unreported, in the Kinder Morgan Canada report. Subsequently, the NEB sought to conceal from the public (me) the obvious other major reason for the spill, namely faulty pipe that can and was traced back to an individual manufacturer over 62 years ago; but the NEB sought to conceal from the public (me) the identity of this manufacturer, by blotting out the name of the individual manufacturer in the copy of the report released to the public (me) and now this issue, especially, needs to be fully investigated by the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, as it has major implications for pipeline health.

RE: KP 966.89 [Coquihalla spill site] Following the release of the July 9, 2013 spill report, the revised spill estimate of 18 M3 or 113 barrels, was deliberately kept from the public by the NEB and the earlier much smaller spill estimate was not publicly corrected by the NEB despite the obvious need to present this vital new data to a highly concerned Canadian public (the spill "story" was on the front page of most western newspapers).

 

The actual type of petroleum involved in the spill, is also not documented. The total spill amount, on my view probably much higher than 113 barrels, is brought into more question by the mention (but no data given) in the report (page 25) "The two incidents experienced since June 12, 2013", and the heavy traffic, to and from the site, over the summer and fall, including one particular morning in August when 25 trucks were observed to line up to enter the canyon. Security contractors for Kinder Morgan, seriously breached their legal authority by keeping my name and pipeline observer email history on file and I believe denied me access to this park area even as other hikers were allowed entry; this issue of Provincial park public access now needs to be be fully investigated by the RCMP.

 

The NEB again here sought to conceal from the public (me) the obvious other major reasons for the spill, namely faulty pipe that can be traced back to an individual manufacturer over 62 years ago; the NEB attempted to conceal from the public (me) the identity of this manufacturer, by blotting out the name of the individual manufacturer in the PDF copy of the report released to the public (me) and this now needs to be fully investigated by the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Finally I feel that the NEB has deliberately stalled in answering the highly relevant, revealing, and now crucial information that I provided to them over four months ago, from the book (see picture) "The Building of Trans Mountain: Canada's First Oil Pipeline Across the Rockies, written by Neill Wilson and Frank Taylor" which notes page 99:

 

"The other pressure limiting station is located at Hope, BC, elevation 100ft, which is about 30 miles west of the 3660 ft summit of Coquihalla Pass. Here, a battery of relief valves can spill oil into two 50,000 tanks so that the pressure in the pipe from Hope to Burnaby may be reduced to limits of safety. Using this pressure limiting equipment saved about $5,000,000 in the original line investment by avoiding need for heavier wall pipe to withstand high pressures during accidental shut-offs in the low sections of the system."

 

The facts are that thinner-walled pipe than was originally planned, was used in the Coquihalla canyon to Hope region, despite the fact that this book also notes (page 11) "Special hydraulic problems have been perceived......down the Coquihalla Pass where it drops 3600 feet in 30 miles". Since this thinner pipe, in this vulnerable location, has never been totally replaced (according to my past correspondence with Kinder Morgan) and since the last 12 miles of this thinner pipe, from Portia to Hope, were not water-tested last summer, this area is now clearly highly vulnerable for a spill.

CONCLUSION:
THE RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service MUST NOW MOVE TO FORCE THE National Energy Board TO CLOSE DOWN THIS PIPELINE BETWEEN THE COQUIHALLA SUMMIT AND TOWN OF HOPE, IMMEDIATELY, until this investigation is completed.
 

 

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