Texas Landowners Say TransCanada is Digging Up Parts of Keystone Pipeline for Repairs

Categories: The Environment

pipelinecutout.jpg
Landowners along the nearly 500-mile southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline say contractors have been excavating long-buried lengths of pipe to repair apparent defects. They've documented stakes jutting from turned-up dirt near the pipeline right-of-way through East Texas that read, "anomaly," "dent" and "weld." They've seen sections of excavated pipe -- some buried for as long as six months -- spray painted with the words "cut out."

"Here this pipeline has been in the ground for months and now they're here again," Winnsboro landowner David Whitley told Public Citizen. "An independent TransCanada inspector has told me there are all these anomalies on land up and down the pipeline along this 60-mile stretch, including the one on my property they are digging up now."

A TransCanada spokesman tells Unfair Park the company uses water pressure, remote sensors, ultrasonic tools and X-rays to identify "imperfections" in the pipeline often caused by construction and refilling the trench. "We have identified nine sections that we will replace," the spokesman said. "By law, we are required to replace a minimum of nine feet -- meaning that in total we are replacing about 81 feet of pipeline in the interest of safety and making sure that we do everything reasonable to protect the integrity of this pipeline that will operate for decades to come."

But rather than finding the inspection and repairs heartening, some of the landowners worry they're evidence of shoddy construction and harbingers of potential leaks on their land. The pipeline is intended to transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day. About a week ago, a spokesman said the line was 75 percent completed. If TransCanada receives approval to construct the northern segment of the pipeline, connecting Texas Gulf refineries with Canada's oil sands mines, it will move diluted bitumen, a heavy substance that has proven difficult to clean up in Michigan following a massive pipeline rupture.

See also:
- There Will Be Tar Sand

Evan Vokes, the whistle-blower and former TransCanada engineer who claimed its corporate culture shortchanged quality for frugality, spurred an audit of the company by the Canadian government. He told Public Citizen that the repairs in East Texas may not be a good sign. "The odds are not favorable to avoid a leak when we are seeing problems such as these with a newly constructed pipeline, and a leak poses dangers for the people who live along this route."

There's a video on YouTube with images of marked up pipe and footage of crews sandblasting replaced sections in the pines around Winnsboro. Blair Wright, an elderly gentleman in suspenders, points along with his wife at mounds of earth in the clear-cut right-of-way where TransCanada has exhumed its buried pipeline. "It makes you wonder, five years, 10 years from now, what's going to happen."


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19 comments
kenneth51
kenneth51

It's strange this isn't all over the news.

pak152
pak152

would you rather that they didn't dig up and repair the pipeline?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

The mistake the landowners made was in trusting the Republican oil companies to do good, honest work.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

I'm surprised some Leftist twig munchers haven't tree-spiked it already so Bloomberg, the press and Homeland Security can decry domestic terrorism, TEA Partiers and returning veterans (ha!).

caguldi03
caguldi03

Transcanada says it is replacing nine sections. Does that account for all seventy of the anomalies observed by volunteers in the newly laid pipeline? History in this industry says the pipeline company will not repair everything. That is how we got the ruptures and huge spills in Marshall MI and Mayflower AR. Remote sensors are of questionable value; spills and leaks are still mostly first reported by people who notice crude oil on their land.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

This has nothing to do with energy independence, or national security, or jobs. This is only the canary singing it's song in the coal mine. Get ready, 'cause we ain't seen nuthin' yet.

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

This is irrelevant.  Thanks to Harold Simmons and his bribe money we're all going to be glowing in our graves anyhow.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The life blood of the nation runs through it.

gabbahey
gabbahey

Cheaper to fix it now, rather than be on the hook for a potential environmental disaster.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

"... making sure that we do everything reasonable..." 

in other words, whatever don't cost too much

director21
director21

@holmantx So far, you and pak152 have a 100% record of being wrong in everything you say about energy matters. You both predicted that City Attorney Tom Perkins and City Manager Mary Suhm would survive the exposure of their frauds and complicity in the Trinity East deal. Both have resigned.

You predicted that the City Council would approve the Trinity East SUPs, but the new Council is going to have 6-7 anti-fracing votes, and only four are needed to deny Trinity East's applications.

You both predicted that the CPC woud pass the Trinity East SUPs, but the CPC denied them - TWICE!

Got any more predictions you want to make publicly? We're still waiting for the first one you call correctly.

bifftannen
bifftannen

@gabbahey Like oil companies pay for their spills. How long has Exxon fought paying for the Valdez?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@gabbahey You mean like West, TX?

They had ONE MILLION DOLLARS in insurance. Woo Hoo!

Government is gonna pay to clean up that mess, they'll clean up the pipeline mess to be too.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@director21 @holmantx

"You both predicted that City Attorney Tom Perkins and City Manager Mary Suhm would survive the exposure of their frauds and complicity in the Trinity East deal. Both have resigned."

False.  I predicted she too would resign, which I supported since she can now testify, under oath, with greater candor, and let the chips fall where they may on cheating TE fair and square.  

I did not "predict" the city council would approve.  I did think, and still do, that once TE exhausts its political and administrative remedies they will file suit and everyone can tell it to a judge and jury on the the inducements (promises by Suhm and her staff) to obtain the $19 mil.

I did not "predict" nor did I assert the CPC, or anyone else, would approve the drilling.  I think TE was lied to and that they have a bitch.

In short, you made every bit of that up because you can't argue the facts.

In other words, if you can't find where I did, you are a liar.

Comprende?  Idiot.

director21
director21

@holmantx @director21 No, I do NOT have you confused with somebody else. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have explained this stuf to you, and you still don't get it. Now, you are trying to pretend it never happened.

I understand your dilemma. If I were in your shoes I would be backing away from previous claims, too.

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