GREENSBORO, N.C. - Upset about the Colonial Pipeline leak keeping you from getting gas? This might add fuel to the flames: 14 times the government's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued enforcement action against the company since the year 2000.
Most recently was this summer when inspectors raised concerns about improper training of control room staff and not doing enough required inspections. Pipeline valves are supposed to be checked by the company at least twice a year, but the government only found records showing one inspection for multiple valves.
It's not the first time Colonial Pipeline has had that violation. Records from all the way back in 2002 show "failing to inspect" mainline valves.
And in 2011, "Colonial did not adequately inspect" the surface conditions on the pipeline right of way.
Inspectors IN 2006, 2008 and 2009 also cited the company for corrosion concerns-- the number one reason why pipes fail. One violation notes colonial pipeline knew about the deficiencies and "did not correct within a reasonable time."
Finally an inspector in 2011 wrote: "Colonial would be unable to ensure a prompt and adequate response to the scene of a larger emergency."
For all of these issues, Colonial paid a little more than $350,000 in fines.
To be fair, 2 Wants To Know looked at the two other pipeline companies of similar size. fines are based on the seriousness of the violations, so this gives you an idea of how Colonial compares. Marathon paid $272,000 but Sunco paid more than double with $832,000.
2 Wants To Know has e-mailed and called colonial pipeline for comment several times. We even sent someone out to try and talk in person with the Greensboro office. Colonial Pipeline hasn't responded. But check this out from their website: Days after the leak happened, Colonial Pipeline posted this press release saying "a new report documents improvements in pipeline safety."
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