Funnies Extra!

EPA developing oil spill response plan

8/29/13 (Thu)

EPA developing oil spill response plan

By JILL DENNING GACKLE
BHG News Service

Steve Way won’t use the word catastrophic or disaster when he talks about a potentially large oil spill on Lake Sakakawea. But he admitted that a large scale release is a matter of “when, not if.”
Way is the federal on-scene EPA coordinator given the responsibility of developing a plan in the event that there is a spill of greater than 10,000 gallons that would impact Lake Sakakawea or the Missouri River.
He said he knew 10,000 gallons isn’t a large amount in this part of the country. A tanker truck carries 5,000 to 11,000 gallons. A spill of 374,000 gallons of fresh water in June near Mandaree headed down the bank into Lake Sakakawea. Another spill in December spewed 66,000 gallons of oil and brine on a frozen stubble field and ice-covered lake near Van Hook.
“Ten thousand gallons can happen pretty swiftly,” he said. “You need to be prepared and be able to respond to a large spill.”
Way said several factors could lead to a large spill: pipelines lying on the lake bed, which transport oil and gas from one side to the other, storage facilities and the potential for a well blowout. There are 13 lines 6-12 inches in diameter that convey crude oil, CO2, natural gas or gasoline across the lake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“It’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of when. It’s reasonable to assume that something that requires a large scale clean up effort will happen,” he said. “That’s a reality and that’s certainly why we are investing an effort to try to be as prepared as best we can.”