Monday, May 12, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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