Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Arkansas Pipeline Spill Under Investigation

Jacob Slaton/Reuters/Landov

Spilled crude oil in a drainage ditch near the evacuated homes in Mayflower, Arkansas.

Reuters reports on the ongoing cleanup of Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline, which ruptured on Friday, spilling thousands of barrels of crude oil in Arkansas:

Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

Exxon also had no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but the company said 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered – up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday. The company did not say how much of the total was oil and how much was water.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has called it a “major spill.”

Environmentalists were swift to criticize the spill as another reason to oppose the further development of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Pennsylvania’s natural gas pipelines have also been a source of controversy.

Just last week StateImpact reported the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted permission for a pipeline project that crosses environmentally sensitive areas in the Delaware River watershed:

The Army Corps is not the only entity to approve aspects of the project, known as the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Upgrade.  Pearsall says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is the lead agency, and would still need to approve the Corps’ permits for construction to begin. But that is likely a formality, as FERC has already approved the project overall.

The Northeast Upgrade would add almost 40 miles of additional pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to transport Marcellus Shale gas to the lucrative East Coast market.

The Lebanon Daily News reports on another proposed gas pipeline expansion through parts of central Pennsylvania:

Houston-based Texas Eastern Transmission, a division of Spectra Energy Corp., is seeking federal regulatory approval to install 33.6 miles of new, 36-inch diameter pipeline and other related above-ground facilities in Lebanon, Dauphin, Berks, Fayette and Perry counties.

 

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