Exxon Spill Highlights Gaps In Pipeline Oversight
Federal officials are unsure how many pipelines carrying hazardous fuels cross the nation’s rivers and streams.
That’s the assessment three weeks after a broken Exxon Mobil pipeline spilled 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River.
The spill drew attention to what had long been an overlooked: the presence of pipelines underneath rivers coursing throughout the country.
Lawmakers are raising alarms that another spill could be imminent unless the government steps up oversight of the pipeline industry.
Pipeline safety officials on Wednesday gave The Associated Press a preliminary estimate of 35,000 river, stream and lake crossings within the country’s half-million-mile network of natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines.
But officials say the federal government still can’t pinpoint exactly where the crossings are, and has no information about additional spots where smaller gas distribution and gathering pipelines traverse streams.