5,000 signatures reached
To: Cynthia L. Quarterman (PHMSA Administrator) and Rodrick Seeley (Southwest Region Director at PHMSA)
Stop the Keystone XL South Before It Spills!
We urge PHMSA to issue TransCanada a Corrective Action Order to require that the Keystone XL Gulf Coast Project (KXL South) be dug up and rebuilt according to code before it goes operational.
Why is this important?
The Keystone XL Gulf Coast Project (KXL South) was installed in Texas and Oklahoma without regard to long-established, industry-wide safety regulations. We know, because we've been inside the pipeline and seen holes for ourselves.
As you read this, pipeline owner TransCanada is filling the KXL South with about three million barrels of an undisclosed type of oil in preparation for a promised January 22, 2014 start date. US oil prices rose to a one-month high on the news that the pipeline would soon be operational.
To fulfill its public service, PHMSA must issue a Corrective Action Order for KXL South to be re-installed correctly, or shut down permanently, before tar sands begin pumping through it early next year.
PHMSA cannot allow pumping to start on KXL South without addressing TransCanada's grossly negligent attitude toward pipeline safety during this construction process. Texas and Oklahoma families deserve better.
TransCanada spent the summer of 2013 digging up the southern leg of the Keystone XL in 125+ locations over a stretch of 250 miles in rural East Texas. This was not out of “an abundance of caution”, as TransCanada's PR team would have you believe, but because of an overwhelming number of code violations that TransCanada could not get away with.
PHMSA has issued warnings to TransCanada concerning code violations during the construction phase of the pipeline, but has taken no steps to verify that the violations which caused the anomalies have in fact been corrected.
PHMSA's own warning letters show that TransCanada failed to construct the KXL South right the first time. Photographic and video documentation by the East Texas Observer, Public Citizen and ourselves shows violations of construction code even during the anomaly repair process.
For these reasons, watchdog groups have called for quality retests of the entire pipeline to ensure its safety. But even if the entire length of the KXL South were to be retested, the fact remains that the rocks in the ditch, the lack of adequate underlying support for the pipe, the underpacked soil, and the inadequate coatings will cause catastrophic problems with this pipeline.
There can be no onus on grassroots watchdog groups to prove code violations still exist. Ample proof has already been submitted to PHMSA and to the public. The onus is now on TransCanada to prove, beyond doubt, that they are honoring ASME construction code, and on PHMSA to prove they are doing the regulatory job they are tasked to do.
For more information on PHMSA visit: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/tsb-phmsa-nola/
To see our pictures of welding holes inside the Keystone XL and to learn how we got them, visit: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/shoddy-weld-on-kxl/
Oil Climbs as Opening of Pipeline Draws Near - Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304854804579235303825712412