Saturday, April 6, 2013

Exxon pipeline spill: questions continue

Posted By on Sat, Apr 6, 2013 at 6:12 AM

Lots of questions, still not many specific answers backed by documents on whether Exxon Mobil has followed pipeline inspection procedures and notice requirements down through the years on the pipeline that ruptured in Mayflower and left a mess that will be long in cleaning up.

Actions by the attorney general and in federal court may eventually get to some of the details.

Meanwhile, criticism continues. Channel 4 interviewed a former Exxon pipeline worker who questioned pipeline companies' commitment to necessary upgrades to maintain safety. He raised, too, a question mentioned here yesterday by another pipeline engineer about the wisdom of building new subdivisions over existing pipelines, as happened in Mayflower.

Considering the potential stress of building on top of a pipeline and the high pressure used when transporting heavy crude, Deaver said the developer of Northwoods should have worked with Exxon to reroute Pegasus around the neighborhood.

Other options, he said, include replacing the section of the pipeline with newer, stronger steel or burring it deeper under the ground.

But according to Deaver, pipeline companies have little incentive to take costly preventative action.

"Even if they get a fine the fine will be a small fraction of the cost to correct a dangerous condition," he said.

Public accountability remains a pressing issue. The Faulkner County judge disclaimed responsibility in refusing an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette FOI request for county records related to cleanup activities. This is on top of police-state actions by Faulkner County officials to let Exxon Mobil set rules on public access to affected areas. The secrecy is wrong. The delegation of authority to a private company is wrong. But Faulkner County officials are deeply in the thrall of the energy industry thanks to the Fayetteville shale play. Public interest takes a backseat.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (41)

Showing 1-41 of 41

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-41 of 41

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Most Viewed

  • Poore announces school closure plans in Little Rock

    With a healthy number of unhappy school district residents on hand, Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore announced today his plans for closure of school facilities said to be required to balance the budget as state desegregation aid ends and enrollment drops with movement of students to charter and other schools.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation