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Expect More Unreported Pipeline Leaks: "TransCanada said it will refuse using state-of-the-art detection equipment on the Keystone XL pipeline"

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The Wall Street Journal reported that pipeline monitors in the country only report a small portion of total pipeline oil spills. As the WSJ has pointed out, oil companies always herald their oil spill detection, creating the appearance of strict oversight and environmental concern.

The WSJ reviewed 1,400 accident reports in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and discovered that out of 251 spill reports, energy company spill monitoring systems only discovered 19.5 percent of all reported pipeline leaks. The majority of pipeline oil spills were reported by residents or on-site, pipeline workers.

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Energy companies boast about their safety implementations: control room monitoring, alarms, sensors, and leak-detection software, but it has proven not enough. There are other, more effective means of oil spill detection that companies could have at their disposal. They could implement infrared imaging technology, and equipment that monitors temperature change and acoustics, as changes in either can signify a pipeline leak.

Companies, like TransCanada, can easily afford the extra expense of better detection equipment, but they would rather save money, “fearing higher costs and false alarms.” TransCanada said it will refuse using state-of-the-art detection equipment on the Keystone XL pipeline. MOREHERE


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