Spectra Energy fined $15 million for PCB spills at 89 pipeline sites –EPA

Those PHMSA fines weren’t the half of Spectra Energy’s leaks and environmental violations. Do we want a record-EPA-fined pipeline company running PCBs through our counties? Don’t we have enough PCBs in the ADS landfill in Lowndes County that’s in a recharge zone for the aquifer we all drink out of? Haven’t we already imported enough hazardous wastes from the Seven Out Superfund site in Waycross? Maybe the Lowndes County Commission should hear about these things tonight.

L.A. Times, 21 October 1989, Pipeline Firm to Pay Record EPA Fine,

The Environmental Protection Agency said the Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. has agreed to pay the largest federal fine ever for an environmental violation—a $15-million penalty for improper toxic waste operations. The record fine is part of a settlement of civil charges brought against the company for discharging highly toxic PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls—at 89 sites along a natural gas pipeline running from Texas to New Jersey. Overall, the company is expected to spend $400 million for cleanup activities.

The Southeast Supply Header on that map is where the gas for Spectra’s proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline is supposed to start to run on a rented line northeast to Anniston, Alabama where the Sabal Trail Pipeline is proposed to start running through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida for the benefit of Florida Power and Light.

EPA says cleanup took three years. Luke C. Hester wrote EPA PR 29 March 2001, PIPELINE OPERATOR COMPLETES REQUIRED PCB CLEANUP WORK,

Texas Eastern Transmission, LP has completed all requirements of a 1989 federal consent decree regarding polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination at numerous sites along the firm’s 9,000 mile natural gas distribution pipeline in 14 states. Texas Eastern has abided by the provisions of the consent decree, cleaning up PCBs at its stations under the agreement with EPA. The Agency is urging other companies to follow the Texas Eastern lead in taking responsibility for their actions and working cooperatively with the federal government to clean up past environmental harm. The decade-plus effort cost an estimated $500 million to assess 462 sites for contamination, install 707 groundwater monitoring wells, and remove and dispose approximately 600,000 tons of contaminated soil. Also under the consent decree, Texas Eastern agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty and oversight costs between $14-$18 million and contribute $1.1 million to the Superfund Trust Fund. Classified as a possible human carcinogen, PCB production was banned in the United States in 1977. Texas Eastern used PCBs in its compressors as a fire retardant. Over time, the PCBs and other hazardous materials leaked into the pipeline system and contaminated the existing pipeline condensate/liquid. The 1989 consent decree required soil cleanup at 57 compressor stations and 139 facility locations along the pipeline, and groundwater sampling at 76 sites. Soil cleanup was completed in 1998 and groundwater sampling in 2001.

Let’s hope EPA was more thorough in cleaning up that Spectra record violation than they were in cleaning up the Seven Out Superfund site in Waycross, and let’s hope EPA didn’t ship some of the waste to Lowndes County like they did from Seven Out.

How about we don’t risk it this time?

Maybe you’d like to mention that to your Lowndes County Commissioners tonight at 5:30 PM.


One thought on “Spectra Energy fined $15 million for PCB spills at 89 pipeline sites –EPA

  1. Pingback: Florida Southeast Connection pipeline preliminary filing with FERC | On the LAKE front

Comments are closed.