“Our imagery of the slopes just after the explosion shows a lot of erosion present, which is expected considering the number of heavy rainstorms that plagued West Virginia in the first half of the year," said Colette Breshears, Genscape Infrastructure Intelligence Analyst.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (PRWEB) July 26, 2018
Last week, Genscape conducted a second flyover of the Leach XPress explosion site after the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) preliminarily identified a land subsidence as the root cause for the June 7, 2018 event. Aerial images indicate earth movement and show areas at risk for future landslide activity, bolstering concerns about geological risk along the pipeline. The PHMSA issued a preliminary safety order to the pipeline owner requiring them to submit a remedial plan within 90 days. Images show some grading work was already completed to stabilize the site mitigate risk. “As a preliminary finding, this notice seems fairly conclusive,” said Colette Breshears, Genscape Infrastructure Intelligence Analyst. “ Our imagery of the slopes just after the explosion shows a a lot of erosion present, which is expected considering the number of heavy rainstorms that plagued West Virginia in the first half of the year. Inclement weather is the biggest risk for any pipeline project under construction or recently completed as it can severely alter the terrain.”
Compared to Genscape’s first flyover, conducted shortly after the explosion, the new pictures show an almost fully restored site, confirming site repairs were complete. Trans-Canada returned the pipeline to service on July 17, reopening a transportation corridor for 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas.
The Leach XPress pipeline project, located in Marshall County, WV, adds 160 miles of natural gas and compression facilities in Southeast Ohio and the West Virginia Northern panhandle. The line allows increased flows to Leach, KY, where gas then moves to the Rayne XPress expansion on Columbia Gulf for transport to the South and Gulf Coast. The Leach XPress pipeline is part of the Columbia Gas Transmission system, which operates over 12,000 miles of pipeline and 37 storage fields across four states.
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