To Restart Pipeline, Firm Must Submit Plan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 12:11 PM gHale

Tesoro High Plains Pipeline Co. must take corrective action in the wake of the oil spill near Tioga, ND, federal officials said.

The company must complete several short- and long-term improvements to protect people and the surrounding environment, said officials at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

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The order is the result of an investigation of the company’s High Plains Pipeline System, which leaked an estimated 20,600 barrels of crude oil in Williams County. Officials discovered the spill Sept 29.

“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s Safety Order is an important step to protect the people and environment in this area and to strengthen the integrity of the pipeline so that something like this doesn’t happen again.”

PHMSA won’t allow Tesoro to restart the pipeline unless the operator accepts the corrective measures, officials said. The order requires the company to perform aerial and ground inspections and install additional leak detection equipment.

Tesoro also must update maps of the roughly 700-mile pipeline system and evaluate the pipeline to identify further measures to protect water sources.

The company must submit a restart plan to the agency for approval.



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