- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Federal inspectors found several violations during their most recent review of Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission system, which includes the pipeline that burst last month in the Arkansas River.

Spectra Energy was cited during the 2011 inspection for three violations, including failure to inspect sections of pipe for corrosion, and was required to pay a civil penalty of $134,500, according to reports by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The 24-inch pipeline ruptured May 31, and roughly 4 million cubic feet of natural gas flooded in the river.

The auxiliary line is part of the company’s Texas Eastern Pipeline, which transports fuel from Texas to New Jersey. The company provides gas to CenterPoint Energy in the Little Rock area.

The company closed the main pipeline while crews work to determine how the backup was damaged. Spokesman Phil West told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1ddSoEv ) that the company isn’t prepared yet to say what caused the rupture.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration between February and December in 2011 inspected facilities and records related to sections of the Texas Eastern Transmission line that run through Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

The inspections found Spectra Energy didn’t check the internal surface of “removed sections of pipe for evidence of corrosion.”

Regulations require pipe to be checked for corrosion when it’s removed from a line for any reason. The sections of pipe that were removed were from part of the line that runs outside of Arkansas.

Federal officials also issued two citations to the company for not following its own written procedures for operations, maintenance and emergencies. One involved pipe monitoring at a compressor station at a location outside of Arkansas, and the other was for failure to conduct annual valve inspections.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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