Are pipelines safe?

Wikipedia lists these pipeline incidents across the United States so far in 2017:


  • On January 7, a Colonial Pipeline stubline leaked gasoline into Shoal Creek, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[605]
  • On January 14, the Ozark Pipeline, an Enbridge, now Marathon, division, spilled about 18,900 gallons of light oil, at the Lawrence Pump Station, near Halltown, Missouri.[606]
  • On January 16, a gas pipeline exploded and burned, near Spearman, Texas. There were no injuries.[607]
  • On January 25, a Magellan pipeline leaked 46,830 gallons (1,115 barrels) of diesel fuel onto private agricultural land, in Worth County, Iowa, near Hanlontown.[608][609]
  • On January 30, a Texas Department of Transportation crew dug into the 30 inch Seaway Pipeline, near Blue Ridge, Texas, spraying crude oil across road. About 210,000 gallons of crude were spilled. There were no injuries.[610][596]
  • On January 31, a DCP pipeline exploded under a runway, at Panola County Airport-Sharpe Field in Texas. There were no injuries, but the airport will shut that runway down for an extended amount of time.[611]
  • On February 10, a Phillips 66 natural gas liquids pipeline (TENDS pipeline Sorrento system)[612] near the Williams-Discovery natural gas plant on US Route 90 near Paradis, Louisiana exploded while being cleaned, killing one worker, and sending another worker to a burn unit. Traffic on US 90 and La 631 was shut down and residents in the area evacuated.[613][614]
  • On February 15, a 36-inch Kinder Morgan gas pipeline exploded and burned in Refugio County, Texas. There were no injuries.[615]
  • On February 27, a crude oil pipeline ruptured in Falls City, Texas. spilling about 42,630 gallons of crude oil. The cause was from internal corrosion.[596]
  • On March 29, a natural-gas leak of a high-pressure pipeline, in Providence, Rhode Island, owned by Spectra Energy, released about 19 million cubic feet of natural gas, or enough natural gas to heat and keep the lights on for 190,000 homes for a single day. Approximately two gallons of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also released, in the form of contaminated natural gas condensate.[616]
  • On April 4, a pump on the Dakota Access Pipeline spilled about 84 gallons of oil, at a pump station in Tulra, South Dakota. The leak was not noticed until May 9.[617]
  • On April 13 and 14, it was discovered that Energy Transfer Partners spilled drilling fluid into two separate wetlands in rural Ohio while constructing the Rover Pipeline. The spills occurred in wetlands near Richland County, Ohio. The spill on the 13th released 2 million gallons of drilling fluid and the spill on the 14th released approximately 50,000 gallons of drilling fluid.[618][619]
  • On April 21, a Plains All American Pipeline, experienced a crude oil release on the Buffalo Pipeline, near Loyal, Oklahoma. About 19,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled.[620]
  • On April 22, a 1,050-gallon oil pipeline spill near Bismarck, North Dakota polluted a tributary of the Little Missouri River, but was prevented from flowing into the larger waterway.[621]
  • On May 8, a Wood River Pipelines (part of Koch Industries) line broke in Warrensburg, Illinois, spill 250 gallons of crude oil.[622]
  • On May 25, workers were installing a replacement pipeline at a tank battery, near Mead, Colorado, when there was an explosion and fire. One worker was killed, and, 3 others injured.[623][624]
  • On July 13, a contractor doing maintenance on Magellan’s Longhorn Pipeline hit that pipeline, in Bastrop County, Texas. About 87,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled, resulting in evacuations of nearby residents.[625][626]
  • On July 27, while installing a water pipeline by horizontal drilling, a contractor hit a ONEOK Natural Gas Liquids pipeline, spilling about 126,000 gallons of NGL’s, near Watford City, North Dakota.[627]
  • On August 2, a pipeline leaked up to 1,000 gallons of oil, in Signal Hill, California.[628]
  • On August 2, a contractor ruptured a jet fuel pipeline, in Parkland, Washington.[629]
  • On August 2, a natural gas explosion and fire struck the Minnehaha Academy, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Workers may have been moving a gas meter when the explosion hit, killing two people and injuring at least nine others, according to investigators.[630]
  • On September 22, a gas pipeline exploded and burned in Welda, Kansas. There were no injuries.[631]


  1. Pipelines are never truly safe. They spring leaks very often. For companies to get permission to put them in because “it’s for the common good” makes no sense.

      • Trains that carry the crap are, of course, not good either. If a train has an accident, the amount of oil/gas is limited to that train. If a pipeline has a leak, one does not know how long the leak will last until it is discovered. Bottom line, neither method of transport should be used. Clearly, neither is for the common good. But the companies just expect citizens to “lie back and enjoy it. Companies know that most people will do so and not protest actively.

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