Friday, June 21, 2013

Pipeline regulators withholding pipeline assessment

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in response to a letter sent by Pulaski County's mayors and the county judge, along with Arkansas congressmen (known as the Lake Maumelle Governmental Stakeholders), has declined to provide ExxonMobil's "integrity assessment reports" on the pipeline that traverses the Maumelle watershed, saying that ExxonMobil has "requested confidential treatment of the records claiming that they are protected from disclosure under FOIA."

"We are analyzing ExxonMobil's June 10, 2013 letter objecting to the release of the records. Per Departmental regulations in 49 C.F.R. section 7.17 (b), if PHMSA makes a decision to disclose the records over the objections of ExxonMobil, we are required to first notify ExxonMobil of our decision a reasonable number of days prior to the planned disclosure date," writes Cynthia L. Quarterman.

The full letter can be read here. Quarterman also says that "operator integrity management results and integrity management plans" are not kept on file with PHMSA.

Quarterman also writes that it will not allow Exxon to restart the pipeline "until it has clearly demonstrated that it can be operated in a safe manner."

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