|Mary Hatch explains the problem of children and staff safety in schools located near or above oil and jet fuel pipelines or below tank farms. Mary is a former Burnaby, British Columbia school teacher who volunteers with BROKE – the Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion. Kinder Morgan is a major oil pipeline company that also ships coal from North American ports. Kinder Morgan plans to almost triple its shipment of oil, including diluted bitumen, from the tar sands of Alberta to the Burrard Inlet where tankers will take it to Asia and elsewhere for processing and sale.
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Burnaby March 13,2013 – BROKE announces the release of Mary Hatch’s recording of School Safety and Pipelines.
School Safety and Pipelines examines the risks for schools that are near oil and jet fuel pipelines and tank farms. A new oil pipeline that would triple capacity is being planned by Kinder Morgan. Safety measures must be established to keep children and staff safe.
School Safety and Pipelines urges schools, teachers, parent associations and school districts to consider the risks and to develop plans for the independent monitoring of oil pipelines and tank farms, as well as evacuation plans in case of an oil pipeline rupture.
School Safety and Pipelines notes that numerous leaks and spills have occurred and the proximity of schools in Burnaby to oil and jet fuel pipelines and tank farms and the devastation that will result in the case of a seismic event or pipeline or tank farm rupture is unacceptable.
The recording can be viewed at http://brokepipelinewatch.ca/
or directly on YT at http://youtu.be/r1AQNs3w0go
BROKE, a group of local residents against Kinder Morgans pipeline expansion, are taking their concerns about schools and pipelines to the provincial government. They wrote this letter to the Education Minister Don McRae today, calling for a B.C. wide plan to deal with any potential risks of oil pipelines close to schools.
Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion
6508 East Hastings Street P.O. Box 44063 Kensington Square, Burnaby, B.C., V5B 1S0
HONOURABLE DON MCRAE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
PO BOX 9161 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA BC V8W 9H3
December 14, 2012
Honourable Don McRae:
Companies that transport oil products, or process them, have never been able to guarantee the safety of critical infrastructure, including oil pipelines, terminals, tank farms, sub-stations, refineries or tankers.[i] That is why it is vital that we have safety and health procedures to protect children and staff at schools lying near or adjacent to jet fuel and crude oil pipelines and other oil and refinery infrastructure.
There have been at least 78 leaks, spills and ruptures on the Trans Mountain pipeline alone.[ii] Three have occurred close to schools in the past five years and all required evacuations and one required hospitalizations.
In 2007, for instance, a massive spill from an oil pipeline rupture occurred in the Westridge area of Burnaby. During this incident two hundred and thirty two cubic meters of heavy crude oil was released.[iii] There was no adequate evacuation system in place.
In 2008 a gas pipe rupture occurred overlooking Seaforth Elementary School and a tank farm spill occurred in 2009 very near to Forest Grove as well as Burnaby Mountain Secondary. This sub-station spill involved an estimated 200 cubic meters of oil.
Yet another spill occurred near a Sumas sub-station in 2012. That spill occurred very close to a private school and one hundred and ten cubic meters of oil was release. Evacuations were also required.[iv]
The National Energy Board was very critical of Kinder Morgans handling of the Sumas spill because warnings were ignored. The Vancouver Province noted: The [NEB] report issued earlier this month to interested parties and posted on the NEB site on Nov. 22 found the leak was detected later than it should have been, the companys management of procedures was inadequate and that the operator failed to recognize the leak situation on two occasions.[v]
The potential health risks to children in schools near or adjacent to oil pipelines is underlined by the tragedy occurring in Fallon Nevada. A lawsuit launched by a Nevada mother against Kinder Morgan alleges that the company failed to adequately monitor and repair a pipeline that was leaking jet fuel into the ground beneath a school playground over a decade ago. Evidence suggests that this leak contributed to a cluster of childhood cancer cases at the school, and to the 2008 death of 10-year-old cancer victim Ryan Brune.[vi]
However, despite the real and present risk to the health and safety of students and staff from long-term exposure or the potential for future catastrophic events, the Ministry of Education does not have specific guidelines with respect to schools lying adjacent or near oil pipelines, terminals, tank farms, sub-stations, refineries or tankers despite the fact this infrastructure often lies above schools and within seismically active zones.[vii]
Therefore, the Burnaby Residents Opposing KinderMorgan Expansion expects that the province of British Columbia, the Ministry of Education and the Board of Education in Burnaby will:
1. Prepare a safety plan for all affected schools in BC to respond oil spills and/or exposure to the cocktail of toxic chemicals used to transport oil by pipelines, sub-stations, and tankers or stored in tank farms, refineries;
2. Prepare specific evacuation training for school staff in the event of a jet fuel or crude oil spill or leak since jet fuel lines and crude oil lines pose different types of risk to health and safety, and;
3. Develop a long-term gas and oil leak monitoring plan along all oil pipelines, sub-stations, tank farms and refineries near or adjacent to schools and schoolyards throughout the province.
The issue of child and staff safety at schools near or adjacent to oil pipelines, tank farms, sub-stations and refineries is not new. The Burnaby Residents Opposing KinderMorgan Expansion drew public attention to the matter in a news release reported in the Vancouver Province and Burnaby Now on November 24, 2012.[viii]
The Burnaby Teachers Association also adopted a comprehensive resolution on child and staff safety on December 4, 2012, calling on the Provincial government, the Ministry of Education and the Burnaby Board of Education to investigate the specific health and safety risks of long term exposure to jet fuel and other oil products, including diluted bitumen and the chemicals used to transport it, at schools on or near the present oil pipelines and oil tank farms in Burnaby.[ix]
We look forward to hearing from you on this important matter that affects families and teaching staff throughout the province. Should you require additional information, or if you would like to meet in person to discuss any or all of the proposals recommended by the Burnaby Residents Opposing KinderMorgan Expansion, you may contact me at email@example.com.
On behalf of the Burnaby Residents Opposing KinderMorgan Expansion
[i] Morgan Information Session Stoney Creek Community School Burnaby BC October, 24, 2012.
[ii] Trans Mountain Incident Report Table, National Energy Board, 2012. Column 74; July 24, 2007.
[iii] Trans Mountain Incident Report Table, National Energy Board, 2012. Column 76; May 6, 2009.
[iv] Trans Mountain Incident Report Table, National Energy Board, 2012 . Column 79; January 24, 2012.
[vii] E-mail to the Burnaby School District November 29, 2012
[viii] Parents raise concerns about pipeline beneath Burnaby schools. http://www.theprovince.com/news/bc/Parents+raise+concerns+about+pipeline+beneath+Burnaby+schools/7606058/story.html axzz2F6n8kRmb
[ix] Burnaby Teachers Association Dec 4, 2012 Resolution #7: Pipeline Resolution.
BROKE – Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion – wants Education Minister Don McRae to come up with a detailed health and safety plan for all affected B.C. schools to respond to any oil spills “or exposure to the highly toxic chemicals used in modern oil pipelines, sub-stations, tank farms, refineries and tankers as well as specific evacuation training for school staff.”
The residents first raised concerns about the Kinder Morgan’s pipeline running beneath the school grounds at Stoney Creek Community School in late November, the same school where Kinder Morgan held its first local information session on the pipeline expansion plan.
The residents’ letter, dated Dec. 14, also asks for a “long-term gas leak monitoring along all oil pipelines, sub-stations, tank farms and refineries near or adjacent to schools and schoolyards throughout the province.”
BROKE, whose membership includes people whose homes were sprayed with oil in the 2007 pipeline rupture, pointed to another Kinder Morgan spill in 2009, when 200,000 litres of oil leaked from the Burnaby tank farm. According to BROKE’s letter to the minister, there were evacuations in the nearby community.
The letter also mentions a recent motion passed by the Burnaby Teachers’ Association, calling on the provincial government and the Education Ministry and the Burnaby education board to investigate health and safety risks of long-term exposure to jet fuel and other oil products, “including diluted bitumen and the chemicals used to transport it, at schools on or near the present oil pipelines and oil tank farms in Burnaby.”
Outgoing school board chair Larry Hayes told the NOW in late November that the district will be consulting with Kinder Morgan on how to deal with potential oil-related risks.
The Trans Mountain pipeline has been transporting oil products from Alberta to the West Coast since 1953, and Kinder Morgan, the pipeline’s operator, now wants to twin the system to increase shipping capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 750,000. The current pipeline’s right of way runs through two Burnaby school district properties: Stoney Creek Community School and Forest Grove Elementary.
Keep checking this website for updates with a response from the Education Ministry.
To read the full letter, got to Jennifer Moreau’s blog at www.burnabynow.com.
© Copyright (c) Burnaby Now
Original source article: Burnaby residents want Education Minister to draft pipeline safety plan for B.C. schools
Read more: http://www.burnabynow.com/Crunch+Christmas+Bureau/7699095/story.html#ixzz2G2kMpPqC
By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun
Kinder Morgan’s Sumas terminal or tank farm sits across from the intersection of McKee Road and Sumas Mountain Road in Abbotsford. Residents who smell vapours report to the emergency number.
Kinder Morgans Sumas terminal or tank farm sits across from the intersection of McKee Road and Sumas Mountain Road in Abbotsford. Residents who smell vapours report to the emergency number.
A National Energy Board report reveals that Trans Mountain Pipeline operators ignored warning alarms for three-and-a-half hours before responding to a gasket failure that resulted in a crude oil spill last January at its Sumas tank farm near Abbotsford.
It took six hours after the first warning sounded for Trans Mountains Sumas operator to arrive on the scene, where a spill was discovered. The crude oil did not escape from a containment area but noxious fumes were released into the atmosphere, affecting nearby residents.
The NEB estimates 90,000 litres of crude oil escaped.
This latest oil spill report comes at a time when pipeline owner Kinder Morgan is applying to expand the pipelines capacity from 300,000 barrels a year to 750,000 barrels to feed Asian markets. It has given the company a black eye, said Ben West, of the Wilderness Committee.
The report is critical of monitoring staff at Trans Mountains control centre at Edmonton, stating that the control centre operator failed to set an alarm within the required time limit of 15 minutes after an oil transfer had taken place at the Sumas tank farm the evening of Jan. 23, and then failed to respond to leak warning alarms that sounded every hour until the operators shift ended.
The NEB report finds that the leak was detected later than it should have been, the control centre operator did not follow procedures and there were improper alarm settings in a recently-installed data acquisition system. The board states Trans Mountain Pipeline has identified corrective actions to address the reports findings.
The board finds that these actions are appropriate to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.
The report, which was released earlier this month, states that the operator assumed the alarms were being caused by high winds and did not send a field technician to investigate.
Further, the operator failed to understand that the volume in the tank was dropping.
The night shift CCO (control centre operator) did notice the trend, but considering the initial volume change as relatively small, interpreted the cause as a weather event, not a possible leak, states the report.
The spill happened at an undetermined time around midnight Jan. 23 as a result of a gasket failure on the roof of a tank caused by pressure from frozen water in the roof drain system.
The temperature was cold and a strong wind was blowing. There had been a transfer of warmer crude oil into the tank earlier in the evening; after the transfer, the control centre operator failed to set the warning alarm.
There were two alarm systems, a new system and a legacy system. The new alarm was set at 11:26 p.m., Jan. 23 but the one that the operator was to use for monitoring, the legacy system, was not set until 1:11 a.m., Jan. 24.
At 2:39 a.m., Jan. 24 the first alarm from the legacy system was received. The command centre operator decided it was a false alarm.
At 3:11 a second alarm was received, from the new system being installed on the pipeline, but the operator again assumed it was a false alarm.
At 4:11, a third alarm was received. The centre operator deemed it notable but did not see any change in the tank level so left a note on it for the day shift.
A new shift arrived at 5 a.m. The day operator reviewed tank levels but determined the one-cubic-metre change was within the accuracy level of the measuring device.
At 5:47 the fourth alarm was received and at 5:50, the operator called the Sumas terminal operator to investigate. The terminal operator arrived on the site at 6:50, discovered the leak and closed the roof drain, isolating the source.
The control centre received the first odour complaint at 7 a.m.
The fact that, similar to Enbridges 2010 spill on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, Trans Mountain Pipeline staff ignored warning alarms raises concerns over Trans Mountains plans to twin its Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline, said Jay Ritchlin, director-general of the David Suzuki Foundation.
Even with highly advanced systems you will have a spill. This case seems to be a really egregious case of human error. Its tragic. What you have is the release of a chemical that does significant harm to human health and the environment during the peak period when you could actually hope to do something about it, he said. I think people are seeing more and more instances of spills and are seeing difficulty in getting any realistic response. I think it will make people more suspicious that these kinds of things can be run safely.
After the spill, Kinder Morgan spokesperson Lexa Hobenshield said the only threat to residents was from nuisance odours.
In an email Tuesday, she said: We take all incidents at our facilities seriously. Kinder Morgan Canada completed a thorough investigation and learned lessons after oil from a storage tank was released into a fully contained area on KMCs Sumas Terminal property on January 24, 2012.
As a result of our investigation, we have established new prevention and community notification measures, which we have communicated to the Sumas Mountain community, and will continue to provide updates as needed. (What are these?)
Abbotsford resident and pipeline opponent Michael Hale, who discovered the NEB report, said it reinforces his concerns.
There seems to be a propensity on the companys part to minimize the seriousness of what was involved, he said.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
As Kinder Morgan visits Fraser Valley communities holding open houses on its Trans Mountain oil pipeline twinning project, the National Energy Board (NEB) has issued a critical report into the company’s oil spill in Abbotsford earlier this year.
On Jan. 24, 110,000 litres of oil leaked from a holding tank at Kinder Morgan’s Sumas Mountain terminal site. The cause was pressure on a gasket caused by freezing water, according to the NEB.
The report issued earlier this month to interested parties and posted on the NEB site on Nov. 22 found “the leak was detected later than it should have been,” the company’s management of procedures was “inadequate” and that the operator “failed to recognize the leak situation” on two occasions.
Critics of the company and its Trans Mountain pipeline say the report reveals deficiencies in Kinder Morgan’s response to leaks.
“When I ask the company about the risk of spills they point to the spill at the tank farm in Abbotsford in January this year, which they claim was ‘quickly contained,'” Michael Hale, Chilliwack resident and member of the PIPE UP network said. “Over 110,000 litres of a noxious petroleum product were spilled. The more information I get, including this report from the National Energy Board, suggests that the containment was not that simple or quick.”
In material handed out at the Chilliwack open house on Tuesday, the company says: “Trans Mountain pump stations and terminals have monitoring and spill containment systems that are rigorously maintained and meet NEB standards.”
The comparison has been made to the huge oil spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010 that was not noticed by Enbridge’s monitoring system in Edmonton for 17 hours.
In the Abbotsford spill, the NEB report said that at 2:39 a.m. on Jan. 24, a “creep” alarm was received at Trans Mountain’s Edmonton control centre but it was determined to be a false alarm due to high winds.
A second alarm at 3:11 a.m. was also dismissed as false.
It took two more alarms and a shift change before a terminal operator was sent out at 5:50 a.m. to attend the Sumas site and investigate the cause of the alarm.
At 6:50 a.m.-four hours after the first alarm-the operator arrived on site, discovered the leak, closed the valve and isolated the source.
There were no injuries or environmental damage as the leak was contained to the site although noxious fumes were released that affected neighbours.
The NEB was notified of the leak at 8:16 a.m. after the Transportation Safety Board and before the nearby Auguston Traditional School, the Abbotsford Police, FVRD, Fraser Health and MLAs John van Dongen and Randy Hawes, among other agencies.
Since 1961, there have been 78 reported spills on the Trans Mountain pipeline some of which were below the reportable threshold of 1.5 cubic barrels.
More than 70 per cent of all spills have occurred at pump stations or terminals, according to Kinder Morgan.
The company is currently amid public consultation meetings on a $4.3-billion twinning of its 1,150-kilometre pipeline. This would more than double the capacity from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 750,000 bpd.
For its part, Kinder Morgan representatives say they have learned from recommendations made after every spill.
Critics are quick to point to incidents such as the one in Abbotsford as a cause for concern.
“Including the spill 2012, there have been a total of four major spills since Kinder Morgan bought this line in 2005,” said Chilliwack resident and PIPE UP member Sheila Muxlow. “One in Abbotsford in 2005 spilled 210,000 litres into Kilgard Creek. A spill of 250,000 litres in Burnaby in 2007 caused people to be evacuated from their homes, a cleanup that took over a year and fines levied on Kinder Morgan. Another spill in Burnaby in 2009 resulted in 200,000 litres being spilled at the tank farm there.”
The Nov. 22 report concluded: “The NEB expects companies to demonstrate a commitment to continual improvement in safety, security, and environmental protection, and in promoting a positive safety culture and strong management systems. The Board is satisfied that TMPU’s corrective actions are appropriate to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.”
Read more stories from the ChilliwackTimes.com.
© Copyright (c) Chilliwack Times
Original source article: Kinder Morgan ignored warnings in Sumas Mountain oil spill: report
Read more: http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/business/Hoping+study+answers+grad+rate+question/7626511/story.html#ixzz2EEqTA3lv
Burnaby residents concerned over Kinder Morgan pipeline
Kinder Morgan pipeline may be too close to Burnaby schools.
Burnaby Residents Opposed to KinderMorgan Expansion (BROKE) claim that the numbers of schools are located in the route of the Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain pipeline are much higher than reported.
Besides Stoney Creek Community School and Lyndhurst Elementary, I received information this morning that even the Forest Grove Elementary is adjacent to the Trans Mountain right of way in the Forest Grove neighbourhood, BROKE spokesman Alan Hunter said.
There are many other schools along the route too. We dont have an accurate count yet, but we are building it. One problem is that we cannot get an accurate up to date map of the present pipeline routes in Burnaby there are jet fuel and pipelines carry a mix of products from synthetic crude to diluted bitumen and Kinder Morgan has not announced where the route will be except to say it will generally follow the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline route from Alberta to Burrard Inlet, he said.
He also said that the residents were appalled to know that the Ministry of Education does not have an evacuation plan for the schools on the jet fuel and crude oil pipeline route.
We have safety plans for schools and public buildings in case of a seismic event but nothing for children in schools near volatile jet fuel pipelines or near pipelines, tank farms and sub-stations that carry a toxic cocktail of chemicals some of which, like benzene, that are known carcinogenic, he said.
BROKE is now following up with the Ministry of Education, all school districts, the BC Federation of Teachers, the Burnaby Teachers Association, all PACs on the pipeline routes and near tank farms to develop comprehensive plans for child and worker safety.
A jet fuel line passes within meters of housing developments around Forest Grove and by Stoney Creel Community School. Jet fuel is very volatile and there is no specific safety plan for children or teachers at the school or along the pipeline routes.
Both pipelines present a real and present danger in case of a seismic event or a leak. And Kinder Morgan plans to build a third one to expand the shipment of heavy crude oil shipped at high heat at high temperature with a toxic cocktail of chemicals like cancer-causing benzene.
There was, of course, the pipeline rupture in 2007 in Burnaby that resulted in evacuations and then there were more evacuations in 2009 around Seaforth Elementary School near Government Road and around Forest Grove from a spill, Alan Hunter recalled.
BROKE is not the only organization raising the issue of schools and pipelines. The Burnaby Teachers Association also has concerns.
Teachers in Burnaby, to the best of my knowledge, have not received any health and safety training or specific evacuation training to respond to any oil spills or exposure to these highly toxic chemicals, Association president James Sanyshyn said.
The Wilderness Committee is equally worried about the pipelines and schools, pointing to the US where a Nevada mother launched a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan recently.
Committee spokesperson Ben West called the case a great tragedy. Its exactly the type of tragedy we need to prevent from happening here in BC, he said.
With Kinder Morgan holding info sessions at several elementary and secondary schools in the province, we hope this news will serve as a warning to local residents about the threats posed by pipelines running through highly populated communities.
Kinder Morgan is planning to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has been running oil from Alberta to Burnaby since 1953. The company hopes to twin the existing line, more than doubling capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 750,000, along the existing right-of-way where possible.
BROKE raises alarm over lack of evacuation plans for schools near Kinder Morgan pipeline
BURNABY, BC. Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) are raising the alarm regarding emergency earthquake planning for schools near Kinder Morgans existing pipeline.
Its ironic that Kinder Morgan is holding their information session at Stoney Creek Community School this Saturday given the risk their pipeline poses to that school in the event of an earthquake, said Elsie Dean of BROKE.
“B.C. schools have good seismic emergency plans but schools close to oil pipelines or oil tank farms have no such plans for emergencies or leaks, said Dean. We remember the major oil spill in Burnaby in 2007 where residents had to be evacuated and the gas line rupture in 2008 above Seaforth Elementary School where residents also had to be evacuated. But our schools which are close to heavy oil pipelines, storage tanks and refineries have no evacuation or emergency preparedness plan or even long term monitoring for pipeline corrosion and leaks. We are very concerned about the serious and long term health impacts for students and teachers.”
“Having no specific evacuation plan for an oil pipeline spill puts students and faculty at risk of exposure to a cocktail of dangerous chemicals like benzene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, said Dean. This ticking time bomb is meters from the school where Kinder Morgan is hosting its information session, and chances are that the pipeline could not withstand even a moderate earthquake.”
“Teachers in Burnaby, to the best of my knowledge, have not received any health and safety training or specific evacuation training to respond to any oil spills or exposure to these highly toxic chemicals, said Burnaby Teachers Association President James Sanyshyn. The BTA will be raising this issue with our senior administration and trustees and pushing for detailed response plans at all effected schools. Ignorance is no defence – schools must be prepared for the worst case scenarios.”
In addition to earthquakes, excavator accidents, and other causes of pipeline rupture, we should be concerned about the air and water pollution caused by the normal loading of diluted bitumen into tankers, and normal spillage, said Karl Perrin of BROKE. As barrels per day increases, we might expect ‘normal’ spillage to increase.
Benzene is a known carcinogen according to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program, and the Environment Protection Agency.
High prenatal exposure to PAH is associated with lower IQ and childhood asthma. The Center for Children’s Environmental Health reports studies that demonstrate that exposure to PAH pollution during pregnancy is related to adverse birth outcomes including low birth weight, premature delivery, and heart malformations. Cord blood of exposed babies shows DNA damage that has been linked to cancer. Follow-up studies show a higher level of developmental delays at age three, lower scores on IQ tests and increased behavioural problems at ages six and eight.
While health impacts of small PAH amounts on specific individuals are difficult to substantiate, the depressing impact on property values of industrial fumes and noise is beyond dispute, said Perrin.
Kinder Morgans “information” sessions have already been criticized by a host of community organizations for offering nothing substantive regarding their plans to double capacity to transport dirty oil from the tar sands, meaning they are nothing more than an exercise in corporate propaganda.
Kinder Morgan is a US based company formed after the bankruptcy and break-up of Enron.
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Representatives of BROKE will be present for the Kinder Morgan information session to monitor the session and engage the public.
Karl Perrin 604.872.7326, 778.887.7395
Elsie Dean 604.294.5834
BROKE e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org