As Keystone decision nears, new interest in pipeline safety, especially Enbridge

Links: Energy Environment

The US State Department will announce its decision on the Keystone XL bitumen pipeline from Alberta to Texas as the Calgary Herald reported on July 22

The U.S. State Department said Friday that it will wrap up its
examination of environmental impacts of a proposed Canadian pipeline
expansion from the oilsands in less than a month in order to ensure a
final decision on the controversial project by the end of the year…

Daniel Clune, the principal deputy assistant secretary from the U.S.
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs,
said that the department would consider a variety of factors, including
recent developments such as a major pipeline spill on the Yellowstone
River, instability in Libya affecting global oil supplies, as well as
this week’s announcement by Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent
that Canada would increase its monitoring of the impact of oilsands
activity based on recommendations from scientists.

A couple of weeks before the State Department ruling, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (TPSSC) and the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (THLPSSC) will meet in Arlington, Virginia  on  August 2, 2011 to consider draft pipeline safety recommendations  for the United States called `The State of the National Pipeline Infrastructure–A Preliminary
Report.”   The public had until July 13, 2011, to make submissions to be considered
by the subcommittee members prior to submission of their draft
recommendations to the overall committees.

There is a web page from the PHMSA on the July, 2010, Marshall, Michigan, Enbridge pipeline break and spill.

The National Post updates the Marshall Enbridge spill with a report Aftermath of a Spill by Sheldon Alberts.

Now, one year later, local residents and U.S. authorities are taking
stock of the toll. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation
into what caused the two metre gash in the pipeline is ongoing, with its
conclusion perhaps months away.

The Kalamazoo, which in normal
summers would be flush with paddlers and recreational fishermen, is
still closed to the public as a massive effort to clean up the remaining
oil – most of it now submerged on the riverbed – continues.

raging is the heated debate that the Enbridge spill ignited in the
United States and Canada over the safety of pipelines – some new, others
decades old – that carry oil sands bitumen to markets in America’s