Kinder Morgan signs pipeline release agreement

Kinder Morgan has signed a consent agreement with several government agencies to resolve claims relating to the release of petroleum products during three pipeline incidents in northern California.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 22 -- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP has entered into a consent agreement with several government agencies to resolve civil claims relating to the unintentional release of petroleum products during three pipeline incidents in northern California.

These releases occurred in the Suisun Marsh area in Solano County in April 2004, in Oakland in February 2005, and near Donner Pass in April 2005.

KMEP has since undertaken a number of operations and pipeline integrity initiatives to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. For instance, the Concord-Sacramento pipeline that was involved in the Suisun Marsh incident was replaced in late 2004 as part of a major expansion project and was routed outside the marsh area, KMEP said.

Terms of the agreement state that KMEP will pay $3.7 million in civil penalties, $1.3 million in natural resource damages and assessment costs, and $170,000 in agency response and future remediation monitoring costs. In addition, KMEP agreed to perform enhancements in its Pacific operations relative to its spill prevention, response, and reporting practices, the majority of which have already been implemented.

KMEP has substantially completed remediation and restoration activities at the three sites; remaining restoration work at the Suisun Marsh and Donner Pass areas is expected to be completed later this year.

The agreement was reached with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the State of California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and the San Francisco Bay and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control boards.

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