Surge tanks needed at pipeline valve locations

Until Kinder Morgan does, their assurance of pipeline safety rings hollow.

Re: Trans Mountain offers safety assurance, Letters (Oct. 16)

Lisa Clement, spokesperson for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, assures us that: “Safety is a top priority for Kinder Morgan and all of its employees.”

I’m glad to hear that. She also mentions numerous blocking valves at strategic locations that allow sections of the pipeline to be isolated in case of an emergency.

I’m sure she and the engineers know full well that blocking valves alone do not prevent an oil spill. If there is a pipeline rupture the valve upstream and next to it must be turned off gradually to slow down the long column of oil because of the inertia of its mass and speed.

So a large volume of oil will be spilled unless the oil can be diverted into a surge tank at every valve location.

In her long letter Ms. Clement did not mention surge tanks as part of every valve installation, so it’s fair to assume that Kinder Morgan has not made provisions for that. Until they do, their assurance of pipeline safety rings hollow.

Hartmut Schmid,