Northwest NEWS

October 19, 1998


Pipeline failure is unacceptable risk

   I have no confidence that the Olympic oil pipeline proposal will be safer for my family than the alternative of no oil pipeline. I am not impressed by the so-called state-of-the-art pipeline technology, especially when it guarantees 100% chance of pipeline failure by 30 years. No way do I believe that Olympic can build a pipeline impervious to every accident of nature. No project is immune to operator errors, or a few bad welds. The most common causes of rupture are excavations by unwary farmers, road workers, or even post-hole diggers. The promised monitoring system may not detect less than a 600 barrel (25,200 gallon) rupture. Not to worry though, segmenting by block valves which, because of the welding required, also has a higher tendency to corrode and leak, will keep the risk to within 50,000 barrels, but only if detected immediately. Oh joy!
   This oil pipeline will run directly on top of the aquifer that my family, along with 20,000 of my neighbors, depend on for fresh drinking water. Subjecting the well-being of my family and yours to certain oil pipeline failure somewhere along the line anywhere across the state is an unacceptable risk. No thanks.
   Lisa Snowden, Snohomish