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Tar and safety rules

Tar and safety rules

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Published by Peggy Satterfield

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Published by: Peggy Satterfield on Jan 05, 2013
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Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks
FEBRUARY 2011AUhRs:
Anthony SwiftSusan Casey-LefkowitzElizabeth Shope
Natural Resources Defense Council 
A JIN REPR BY:
Natural Resources Defense CouncilNational Wildlife FederationPipeline Safety TrustSierra Club
 
About NRDC
The Natural Resources Deense Council is an international nonproft environmental organization with more than 1.3 millionmembers and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protectthe world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has ofces in New York City, Washington, D.C.,Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org 
About National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlie Federation is Americas largest conservation organization. We work with more than 4 millionmembers, partners and supporters in communities across the country to protect and restore wildlie habitat, conrontglobal warming and connect with nature. Visit us at www.nw.org 
About te Pipeline safety rut
The Pipeline Saety Trust is the only national nonproft that ocuses on pipeline saety. We promote pipeline saety througheducation and advocacy, by increasing access to inormation, and by building partnerships with residents, saety advocates,government, and industry, that result in saer communities and a healthier environment. Visit us at www.pstrust.org 
About sierra Club
The Sierra Club’s members and supporters are more than 1.3 million o your riends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is Americas oldest, largest and most inuentialgrassroots environmental organization. Visit us at www.sierraclub.org 
Acknowledgement
The report authors would like to thank the ollowing people or their contributions to and review o the report:Carl Weimer and Rebecca Craven, Pipeline Saety Trust; Ryan Salmon and Beth Wallace, National Wildlie Federation;Kristina Johnson and Kate Colarulli, Sierra Club; Kenny Bruno, Corporate Ethics International; Richard Kuprewicz;Paul Blackburn and Carrie La Seur, Plains Justice; Nathan Lemphers, Pembina Institute; Steve Hamilton, Michigan StateUniversity; Liz Barratt-Brown, Josh Mogerman, and Carlita Salazar, Natural Resources Deense Council.
Cover photos:Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska © John CarrelOil siphon downstream from Enbridge’s Kalamazoo River spill © United States Environmental Protection Agency
Copyright 2011 Natural Resources Deense Council.This report is available online at www.stopdirtyuels.org This report is printed on paper that is 100 percent post-consumer recycled fber, processed chlorine ree.
 
T
ar sands crude oil pipeline companies may be putting America’s public saety at risk. Increasingly,pipelines transporting tar sands crude oil into the United States are carrying diluted bitumen or“DilBit”—a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend o thick raw bitumen and volatilenatural gas liquid condensate—raising risks o spills and damage to communities along their paths. Theimpacts o tar sands production are well known. Tar sands extraction in Canada destroys Boreal orests and wetlands, causes high levels o greenhouse gas pollution, and leaves behind immense lakes o toxic waste. Less well understood, however, is the increased risk and potential harm that can be caused by 
transporting 
the raw orm o tar sands oil (bitumen) through pipelines to refneries in the United States.
PAGE 3
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NRDC
Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks
Executive Summary
Currently, tar sands crude oil pipeline companies are using conventional pipeline technology to transport this DilBit.These pipelines, which require higher operating temperaturesand pressures to move the thick material through a pipe,appear to pose new and signifcant risks o pipeline leaksor ruptures due to corrosion, as well as problems with leak detection and saety problems rom the unstable mixture.There are many indications that DilBit is signifcantly morecorrosive to pipeline systems than conventional crude. Forexample, the Alberta pipeline system has had approximately sixteen times as many spills due to internal corrosion as theU.S. system. Yet, the saety and spill response standards usedby the United States to regulate pipeline transport o bitumenare designed or conventional oil.DilBit is the primary product being transported throughexisting pipelines in the Midwest and would be transportedin a proposed pipeline to the Gul Coast. DilBit pipelinesthreaten ecologically important lands and waters rom theGreat Lakes to the Ogallala Aquier. Moreover, the UnitedStates is on a path to lock itsel into a long-term reliance onpipelines that may not be operated or regulated adequately to meet the unique saety requirements or DilBit or decadesto come.There are several steps that the United States can andshould take in order to prevent uture DilBit pipelinespills. These precautionary steps are essential or protecting armland, wildlie habitat, and critical water resources—and should be put in place beore rushing to approve risky inrastructure that Americans will be locked into using ordecades to come:
n
Evaluate the need for new U.S. pipeline safety regulations.
Older saety standards designed orconventional oil may not provide adequate protection orcommunities and ecosystems in the vicinity o a DilBitpipeline. The Department o Transportation (DOT)should analyze and address the potential risks associated with the transport o DilBit at the high temperatures andpressures at which those pipelines operate and put new regulations in place as necessary to address these risks.
n
The oil pipeline industry should take specialprecautions for pipelines transporting DilBit.
Untilappropriate regulations are in place, oil pipeline companiesshould use the appropriate technology to protectagainst corrosion o their pipelines, to ensure that thesmallest leaks can be detected in the shortest time that istechnologically possible, and companies should ensuresufcient spill response assets are in place to contain a spillupon detection.
n
Improve spill response planning for DilBit pipelines.
 Spill response planning or DilBit pipelines should be donethrough a public process in close consultation with localemergency response teams and communities.
n
New DilBit pipeline construction and development should not be considered until adequate safety regulations for DilBit pipelines are in place.
The nextmajor proposed DilBit pipeline is TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline approval process should beput on hold until the U.S. Department o TransportationPipeline and Hazardous Materials Saety Administration(PHMSA) evaluates the risks o DilBit pipelines andensures that adequate saety regulations or DilBit pipelinesare in place.
n
Reduce U.S. demand for oil, especially for tar sands oil.
 The United States can dramatically cut oil consumption by reinorcing existing reduction programs, such as efciency standards or vehicles, and through new investments inalternatives to oil.

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