On October 29, 2019, we responded to an incident along our Keystone Pipeline system in Edinburg, North Dakota. Cleanup continues as crews work to remove the remaining surface soil. This activity will continue until the site is fully remediated. Once the clean-up work is done, our focus will turn to the full restoration of the site, which will occur in 2020.
Our goal is zero incidents company-wide. Our focus and top priority is always safety of the public, our workforce and the environment. Though the cause of the current incident is unknown, we are working with federal and state regulators to analyze and learn from what occurred so we can ensure our energy infrastructure operates safely and the way it is designed to.
Incidents like this is never what we want to have happen but it is a reminder of how valuable the training and effort we put into emergency response is. Each year, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in pipeline integrity and maintenance programs – to maintain the safety of our system, to be proactive in our maintenance procedures and to identify potential improvements or repairs that need to be made. No one has a stronger interest than we do in making sure that our pipeline system operates safely and as designed.
No, the impacted area has not increased beyond the original containment effort established on the day of the incident, which was approximately 4.8 acres. It’s important to clarify that amendments showing a “10x increase” reflect the public recording/interpretation of the affected area which now shows our larger security perimeter, not any increase in land affected by the spill. To reiterate, there has been no change to the directly affected area and no migration of oil beyond the 5 acres originally contained.
The system was shut down within minutes. Within 48 hours, roughly 35 technicians were on site, and within days we had 200 technicians, 13 vacu-trucks and numerous additional pieces of heavy equipment to site for the remediation effort.
Please see TC Energy Incident Commander Virgil Pfennig explain our response
We sent the removed section of the damaged pipe to a metallurgical laboratory for testing. After the pipe is tested at the laboratory, an independent investigation into the root cause of the incident will be conducted by a third-party specialist acceptable to PHMSA.
The order has outlined several actions that we must undertake in order to safely return and operate the system following this incident. Some of those steps include ensuring the damaged section of pipe undergoes third-party metallurgical testing of the pipe; developing a remedial work plan and conducting a historical review of the pipeline, including construction records.
We will not speculate about the cause of the incident until we complete our investigation and the segment of the pipeline is thoroughly analyzed by the metallurgical lab. We want to ensure information is accurate and verifiable so we can learn from it and apply it to our pipeline integrity efforts.
We will follow all applicable federal and state regulations in disposing of the contaminated soil. It will be transported to a facility that is certified to dispose of this type of waste.
We have been working with communities to share information about our activities while earning their trust and support.
We are committed to working with indigenous communities to explore project opportunities that benefit and align to their community interests.
We work with landowners to answer their questions to help develop long-term relationships.
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