Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tar Sands Spills - Happening NOW not sometime in the Future

Lots of people think that the tar sands issue is a thing of the future.
It's not.

The evidence is already piling up that the pipeline is not a good idea.
Tar sands going across the US - is not a good idea!!!

It's VERY IMPORTANT to know this

04.02.13 - 8:00 PM
by Abby Zimet

The news from Exxon's Arkansas pipeline spill just keeps getting worse. Not only are dead and what officials are calling "oiled" ducks turning up - coated in oil so thick it's "like removing gum from someone's hair" - but Exxon, thanks to a legal technicality, won't be paying to clean up any of their mess. What's running through their pipelines is diluted bitumen from Alberta tar sands heavy crude, which under a 1980 law is mysteriously not classified as oil. That means that companies transporting it do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that covers the costs of inevitable debacles like the one now inundating Arkansas. So they get a free ride/subsidy for trashing our backyards. And yes. Same goes for Keystone. 
Before you read the rest.

Minnesota Tar Sand Spill
Wednesday March 26
NEW YORK/CALGARY March 27 (Reuters) - A mile-long train hauling oil from Canada derailed and leaked 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota on Wednesday, as debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting tar sands across the border.

The leak - the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom - came when 14 cars on a 94-car Canadian Pacific train left the tracks about 150 miles north west of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie, the Otter Tail Sheriff's Department said.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, the country's second-largest railroad, said the company was investigating the incident. CP Spokesman Ed Greenberg said only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured, adding it was a mixed freight train carrying crude and other materials.

The company did not comment as to what kind of crude the train was carrying.

But Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson said up to three tank cars were ruptured and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons - or 475 to 715 barrels - leaked out.

And then add

Dan Olson, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, today confirmed that the substance spilled is, indeed, tarsands from Alberta, Canada

Arkansas – Tar Sand Spill
Saturday March 30
Exxon cleans up Arkansas oil spill; Keystone plan assailed
(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that spewed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.

Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said on Sunday that crews had yet to excavate the area around the pipeline breach, a needed step before the company can estimate how long repairs will take and when the line might restart.
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 beenrecovered - up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday.

Will this be YOUR backyard someday?????
"In case you're wondering, here's what the Arkansas oil spill looks like in one backyard. Clean in no time I bet!" wrote Bill McKibben on his twitter feed
CALGARY, Alberta, June 19 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc on Tuesday closed a major Alberta pipeline that transports oil sands-derived crude after a spill at a pump station, the second oil leak to foul regions of the Canadian province in under two weeks.

Enbridge, Canada's second-largest pipeline company, said it was forced to turn off its 345,000 barrel-a-day Athabasca pipeline after anestimated 1,400 barrels of oil leaked from a piece of equipment at station near the northeast Alberta town of Elk Point on Monday.

 Posted: 06/08/2012
SUNDRE, Alta. - Crews were scrambling Friday to contain and clean up a pipeline spill that is believed to have sent up to 475,000 litres ofcrude oil flowing into a rain-swollen Red Deer River system in west-central Alberta.

Plains Midstream Canada says when the spill was discovered Thursday night it closed off its network of pipelines in the area.

"It's going to be a major environmental concern for sure."

The region around Sundre is considered pristine wilderness by many in Alberta.

Oil spill outrages Montana residents
Up to 42,000 gallons surge overnight Friday into the Yellowstone River, and some say Exxon Mobil's cleanup needs more oversight.
July 04, 2011|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

An oil spill in Montana's Yellowstone River surged toward North Dakota on Sunday as outraged residents demanded more government oversight of Exxon Mobil's cleanup.

An estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels, or up to 42,000 gallons, spilled through a damaged pipeline in the riverbed, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said. The break near Billings could be related to the river's high water level, officials said.

Tar sands crude may cause more wear and tear on pipes because of its chemical makeup, including corrosive and abrasive agents, said Tom Finch, the pipeline administration's technical services director for the western regional office.

"If the question is, did we know it was carrying tar sands oil? Hell, no," he said in an interview on Thursday. "If companies are changing the kinds of materials in pipelines to mixes that make them more likely they will leak or rupture, that raises huge concerns."

Exxon has apologized for the spill, which it estimates at 42,000 gallons, and pledged to restore a river prized for its near pristine waters, scenic beauty and abundance of wildlife.

North Dakota
TransCanada has said its Keystone I pipeline spilled 500barrels (21,000 gallons) of oil in North Dakota on Saturday morning. Friends of the Earth says the incident is the 12th spill from the Keystone I pipeline, which is not even a year old.FOE describes more about this weekend's spill:

    According to eyewitnesses, Saturday's rupture of the Keystone I pipeline sent a six-story high gusher of oil into the air. The spill occurred at a pumping station, but the spray contaminated soil and water in a nearby field before it could be contained.


The first Keystone tar sands pipeline, constructed less than a year ago, has sprung its twelfth leak, spilling up to 2,100 gallons of rawtar sands crude oil in Kansas on May 29th when a pipeline fitting around a pressure transmitter failed. This comes just three weeks after a broken pipe fitting on Keystone resulted in a 60’ geyser of tar sands crude, spewing 21,000 gallons in North Dakota.

Toxic Spill Cleanup Continues Near Refinery
Oil Found In Sand Creek In Commerce City
Posted: 11/30/2011
Environmental Protection Agency officials say small dams erected on a bank overnight appear to be containing an oily muck that's seeping into a Denver-area creek. Officials are trying to keep it from reaching theSouth Platte River, which is a major source of drinking water, wildlife habitat and agricultural water for Colorado and the Midwest.

The oil seep is located near Interstate 270 and Vasquez Boulevard, about one mile west of the Suncor Energy Refinery in Commerce City.

Suncor Energy emergency response crews found the seep Monday afternoon after responding to a complaint from a resident, who called around 11:30 a.m. to report a visible sheen on Sand Creek.

The slick stretched about 200 yards on Monday, said John Gallagher, vice president of refining for Suncor.

from the Suncor Energy tar sands refinery in Commerce City,


The campaign has highlighted a disastrous accident in Marshall, Mich., where a pipeline carrying heavy crude from western Canada burst in 2010, releasing 20,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo Riverand adjacent floodplains. Controllers at Enbridge Inc., which owns the pipeline, ignored repeated alarms and didn't turn off the pumps for 17 hours, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, leading to the largest onshore spill in U.S. history

But about a month into the cleanup, some fish researchers got a surprise. One of them jumped from a boat into the river. With each step he took, little globs of black oil popped up.

That kicked off a search for sunken oil.

"And everywhere they looked, they found it," Hamilton recalls.

EPA's Midwestern chief Susan Hedman says they had to develop new techniques to remove all of this submerged oil.

A year-long effort to clean up the largest tar sands spillin U.S. history has established one thing – raw tar sands crude is unlike anything we’ve had in our pipelines before.  Last year, Enbridge’s Lakehead pipeline spilled over 840,000 gallons of raw tar sands into the Kalamazoo River watershed. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been struggling to deal with the new challenges that a tar sands spill present.

The cost of thespill has reached $800 million and is rising, the NTSB said, making the pipeline rupture the most expensive on-shore oil spill in U.S. history. The pipeline’s contents — heavy crude oil from Canada’s oil sands — have made the spill a closely watched case with implications for other pipelines carrying such crude.

The NTSB also blamed “weak federal regulations” by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for the accident, which spilled at least 843,444 gallons of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo in Marshall, Mich. The oil spread into a 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo and a nearby wetlands area.

09/16/10 12:02 AM ET   AP

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — Federal officials say more than 250,000 gallons of oil have been recovered from the site of a pipeline leak near Chicago.

But U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on-site coordinator Sam Borries said Wednesday that it's still too early to say how much oil has spilled.

The pipeline's owner, Enbridge Energy Partners, said the pipeline would be returned to service early Friday. It was shut down shortly after the leak was discovered Sept. 9.

The pipeline is part of a system that transports oil from western Canada to U.S. refiners, and regional gas prices increased after it was shut down.

Enbridge executives say the company is making good progress cleaning up the spill area in Romeoville, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago

And it doesn’t stop there

Significant Pipeline Incidents
This Significant Incident data set is designed for historical trending and includes adjustments to account for commodity cost fluctuations and general inflation.
PHMSA defines Significant Incidents as those incidents reported by pipeline operators when any of the following specifically defined consequences occur:
  1. fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization
  2. $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars
  3. highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more
  4. liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion

Where does it stop?
Or do the fossil fuel companies now own this land – our land – the land that was made for you and me?

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