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Alyeska Pipeline Pump Station 1 Booster Pump Piping Incident

Aerial photo of Alyeska Pipeline Company's Pump Station 1 on the North Slope of Alaska. (Photo courtesty Alyeska Pipeline Co.)

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Public Information Officer (r10_public_information_officer@epa.gov)

Additional Information

Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation - Unified Command Exit EPA disclaimer

EPA is leading the federal response as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator. In that role, we are providing oversight for all spill response activities at the site and ensuring that protecting people and the environment remains the top response priority. At this time, the spill is contained to a pump station and no crude oil has been released into the environment. Since day one, EPA has sent multiple responders to the scene and stands ready to deploy additional responders if the situation warrants. We will continue to provide updates and information on this site as available.

News Briefs

January 11, 2011 - (Seattle, Wa.) In order to protect the environment, water quality and wildlife habitat near Alaska’s North Slope, today the U.S. EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The order requires a timely investigation and response to the recent oil leak at Pump Station 1 of the Trans Alaska Pipeline. The order specifies steps that Alyeska must take to comply with federal environmental laws as it responds to the leak and restarts the pipeline. Under the order, the company will implement the pipeline Restart Plan approved by the Unified Command and take actions to prevent oil spills to the environment during the start up. The restart plan requires Alyeska to increase its spill surveillance program along the full length of the 800-mile long pipeline during start up and to demonstrate that it is prepared to report and respond immediately to any spills that do occur.

“This order directs Alyeska to take all possible steps for a safe start up of the pipeline that protects water quality and the fragile North Slope environment,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Read the Unilateral Administrative Order (PDF) (12pp, 1.9MB, About PDF)

January 10, 2011 (Seattle, Wa.) - Updated statement from Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is leading the federal response as Federal On-Scene Coordinator. In that role, we are providing oversight for all spill response activities at the site and ensuring that protecting people and the environment remains the top response priority. At this time, the spill is contained to a pump station and no crude oil has been released into the environment. Since day one, EPA has sent multiple responders to the scene and stands ready to deploy additional responders if the situation warrants."

January 8, 2011 (Seattle, Wa.) - According to Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deployed its first team of responders to the Incident Command Post in Fairbanks, Alaska to join the federal response to the leak reported today at the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Pump Station 1.  Tomorrow, one of the responders will deploy to the scene on the North Slope to assess the situation and any potential impacts to the environment. A second team of six responders is standing ready to deploy from Seattle on Sunday, should the situation warrant it."

EPA's responders, known as On-Scene Coordinators, will join the unified command which now includes Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (part of U.S. Department of Transportation), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the responsible party.

What happened?

A crude oil spill was discovered in the Booster Pump Room basement at Pump Station 1 of the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska at 8:16am on January 8, 2011. The leak source appears to be from a below-ground pipe that leads to the basement of the booster pump building. The pipe is encased in concrete. Oil flowed in the small space between the walls of the pipe and the concrete, through the wall of the building into the basement. The Alyeska Operations Control Center shut down the pipeline at 8:50am.

What are the impacts?

There are no known releases to the environment. No injuries have occurred.

Next steps?

EPA is part of a unified command that will:


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