Quantcast

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluting Rivers in 4 States in Last Two Years

Popular

The energy company behind the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has reported hundreds of thousands of gallons of spills from pipelines between 2015 and 2016, according to an analysis released earlier this month.

According to the Feb. 6 report from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and DisasterMap.net, 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.

That's 2.8 accidents every month, the analysis said, adding that "these are just the accidents that are reported."

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners owns about 71,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, refined products and crude oil pipelines across the country.

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 damage dollar amount of $300,000. In all, the total known amount of various substances spilled was 544,784 gallons.

"Heavy rain was the explanation for some of the worst accidents. Bad weather, however, just exposes faulty equipment," the report states. "While Energy Transfer Partners and other companies portray weather related accidents as unavoidable, they are in reality a result of poor planning and neglected maintenance. For example, the largest tank fire in history happened in south Louisiana in 2001. Because it occurred during a storm, Orion Refining blamed the weather. In truth, a faulty drain on the tank sank the roof, exposed the gasoline and attracted lightening."

Pipeline proponents have repeatedly touted that pipelines are much safer than tankers or trains. But as the report revealed, the majority of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco's reported spills (51 percent) were specifically linked to pipelines.

Those 35 pipeline-related spills released 111,559 gallons of oil and polluted rivers in four different states, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade pointed out on its Facebook page.

Three drinking water sources—the Delaware River (Pennsylvania, New Jersey), The Schuylkill River (Pennsylvania) and the Red River (Louisiana)—were among the water bodies polluted, "thereby confirming the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who fear the Dakota Access Pipeline would pollute the Missouri River," the report states.

But the tribe was dealt a major setback on Monday when federal judge refused to issue a temporary injunction against construction of the DAPL.

Pipeline opponents argue that the DAPL crosses sacred land and would threaten the drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as the proposed route cuts through the Missouri River.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade itself is battling the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which is also Energy Transfer Partners-operated. The 162-mile pipeline would cut through "the heart of Louisiana's Cajun Country," carrying oil from Nederland, Texas, to St. James Parish, Louisiana, near New Orleans.

The planned route crosses major bodies of water and important ecological sites, including the Atchafalaya Basin, Calcasieu, Vermillion and the Mermentau Rivers, as well as Bayou Lafourche and Bayou Teche. The Vermillion River and Bayou Lafourche are sources of drinking water and the Atchafalaya Basin is the country's largest wetland and swamp, and home to several endangered species.

"Sunoco and Energy Transfer Partners accidents stretch from Texas to Massachusetts," said Dr. Ezra Boyd, a geographer with DisasterMap.net who conducted the research. "While these accidents cover a large area of the map, the Bayou Bridge pipeline would put an entirely new area at risk: south central Louisiana, including the Atchafalaya Basin."

"The oil industry and the elected officials they've bought off are claiming that pipelines are safer despite the facts," added Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. "What we know is that Energy Transfer Partners had 35 pipeline accidents in two years. There's nothing safe about that."

Renate Heurich of 350 Louisiana noted there are far safer and environmentally friendly alternatives to pipelines.

"Energy Transfer Partners' records contradict their claim that pipelines are a safer way of transporting oil," Heurich said. "Pipelines make transporting tar sands cheaper, thus stimulating dirty tar sands extraction despite low oil prices. The real question is: Why do we still invest in more pipeline infrastructure when we urgently need to invest in sustainable alternative energy sources?"

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Serena and Venus Williams have been known to follow a vegan diet. Edwin Martinez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Whitney E. Akers

  • "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.

  • Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.

  • We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.

Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.

Read More Show Less
An illegally trafficked tiger skull and pelt. Ryan Moehring / USFWS

By John R. Platt

When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less