Pipeline proponents have always claimed that pipelines are much safer than tankers or trains. But as a report reveals, the majority of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco’s reported spills (51 percent) were specifically linked to pipelines.
TYPE OF ACCIDENT and % of total NUMBER
Pipeline (51%) 35
Fixed location (36%) 25
Storage tank (10%) 7
Mobile (3%) 2
TOTAL reported spills 2015-2016 69
According to a Feb. 6 report from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidiary Sunoco have filed 69 accidents over the past two years to the National Response Center, the federal contact point for oil spills and industrial accidents.
The report lists 42 known oil spills, 11 natural gas spills, nine gasoline spills, three propane spills, two “other” spills and two “unknown” spills. Those 69 incidents led to eight injuries, five evacuations and a total known amount of various substances spilled was 544,784 gallons.
One of the biggest arguments regarding the completion of DAPL was the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s concerns of their drinking water resources becoming subject to contamination. The recent report revealed the spills polluted three drinking water sources — the Delaware River (Pennsylvania, New Jersey), The Schuylkill River (Pennsylvania), and the Red River (Louisiana), giving weight to the tribe’s worries.
The Delaware River was particularly impacted, with eleven accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
So, the Standing Rock Sioux who fear the Dakota Access Pipeline would pollute the Missouri River have reason for concern. With upwards of 12 million people’s drinking water at stake, and an average of 2.8 spills every month, it does feel more like a when not an if.
If all reports are accurate, the Pipeline is expected to be in “service” before May 14. Let’s hope we never hear the words “told you so” from North Dakota.