NPR - All Things Considered,
(You can listen to the broadcast by clicking "Listen to the Story".)
by Elizabeth Shogren
"Up until now, pipelines that carry tar sands oil have been treated just like pipelines that carry any other oil. But the Environmental Protection Agency now says that should change. That's because when tar sands oil spills, it can be next to impossible to clean up."
Example: The tar sands spill in 2010, into Michigan's Kalamazoo River. It's the largest land spill in US history. The tar sands spill sank to the bottom o9f the river and IS NOT biodegrading. It has cost $1 BILLION to try to clean it up, but after three years, it remains next to impossible to clean up. The EPA also has learned that a spill results in toxic Benzene gas release. Benzene pollutes the air for anyone living near or in the spill area
NOTE: Dilbit is more corrosive to pipeline systems due to napthenic acidity, asphaltenes, temperature(very hot) , sulphur and pressure. Raw bitumen, is more dense than regular water, and sinks to the bottom in rivers and lakes. It is also more dense that salt/ocean water. (A spill in the Gulof will never get cleaned up.)The tar sands is no way related to heavy crude or light oil.
"Tar sands oil is a lot stickier than conventional crude, so everything it touches, even rocks, cannot be cleaned and needs to be thrown away."Michigan State University professor Stephen Hamilton
A report due by July 2013, The U.S. Pipeline Safety and Hazardous Materials Administration is studying whether dilbit requires special regulations. It seems to me that this problem needs to be regulated , as once tar sands spill, it can NEVER be cleaned up.
Earlier this year, when an Exxon tar sands pipeline gushed over 10,000 barrels of tar sands in a residential neighborhood in Mayflower Arkansas. It ruined everything it touched......and toxic fumes created problems breathing for people living in or near the spill. It has ruined people homes and made it a hazardous, unlivable neighborhood.
XL pipeline project is a toxic spill waiting to happen!