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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ExxonMobil Knew for Years About Defects in Ill-Fated Arkansas Pipeline

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Despite risks, oil giant added stresses to pipeline that eventually ruptured. Since at least 2006, ExxonMobil realized that its 1940s-era Pegasus pipeline had many manufacturing defects like the faulty welds that, in March, sent crude oil spewing into a Mayflower, Ark., neighborhood. Its seams were known to be prone to cracking, too. Still, Exxon added new stresses to the pipeline by starting to carry a heavier type of oil, reversing the direction of the flow and increasing the amount of crude surging through it. Separately, the costly oil spill cleanups in Mayflower and in Marshall, Mich., highlight the potential hazards of transporting heavy Canadian crude as the Obama administration nears a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. InsideClimate NewsThe New York Times

Lax reporting, scant oversight undermine 27-year-old program to track hazardous chemical storage. Under the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, private and public operations must issue an inventory of potentially hazardous chemicals at their sites. The inventory, known as a Tier II report, is filed with state, county and local emergency-management officials. The information is then supposed to be made public to help first responders and residents plan for emergencies. But operations across the U.S. often misidentify chemicals or their location, and sometimes don’t report on the substances at all. The system has drawn scrutiny since April’s deadly...

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