On June 18 the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) presented the 2014 Pipeline Emergency Response Forum at the Sheraton North Houston in Houston, TX.
Jeff Titus, emergency preparedness and response specialist from Colonial Pipeline Co., emphasized the top priorities that emergency responders need to know about pipeline operators. He said that people, the environment, the company's assets and reputation should head the list for emergency responders in a pipeline incident.
Titus said that a pipeline's spill scope and potential impact is measured by operating pressures, flow rates, and line and tank size. The defect type of the pipeline is also a main factor, such as ruptures, seepers, pinholes or cracks. He explained that exposure and environmental hazards can vary as well as the cleanup process.
High-consequence areas that require additional planning during an emergency response are those near water supplies, waterways, high population areas, sensitive ecosystems and areas of congregation. Titus stressed that emergency responders must realize that the controlled shutdown of pumps, remotely controlled valves and manual block valves is not instantaneous but takes time. He said that it may take four to six hours for emergency responders to get onsite, depending on operator-response capabilities.
Chris Ruhl, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, said that...