On Thursday, June 7th at 4:15 AM, residents in 3 states awoke to the sights and sounds of a high pressure transmission line that had ruptured and caught fire. The inferno from Transcanada’s brand new, “best in class” Leach Xpress transmission line is a stark reminder that pipelines new and old can and do fail. Transcanada began operation of this $1.6 billion pipeline in January 2018.
Explosion Rocks 3-State Area
In Ohio, residents for miles contacted 911 about the explosion. Callers reported sounds like that of an airplane, a tornado and a loud roar. Emergency responders from 3 states were contacted and ready to respond to the event.
Transcanada’s Rural Location vs. Duke’s Urban Location
This pipeline failure provides compelling support for why residents in Southwest Ohio are concerned about Duke Energy’s plans to build a high pressure transmission line through our densely populated neighborhoods. While no one was seriously injured or killed in the Transcanada event, what would have happened had that same event blasted through communities like ours?
What Caused the Blast?
The cause of the incident is unknown, at this point. “With a little lightning or even static electricity from the pipeline rubbing on soil, a leak can become an explosion,” according to Najmedin Meshkati, an environmental engineering expert who investigates pipeline incidents. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection are both onsite.
While Transcanada says it cannot transport gas through the damaged Leach Xpress, other pipeline companies provide alternative routes, and the impact on U.S. gas supply is expected to be minor. Much of the gas moving through the Leach Xpress is intended for export.
However, the massive crater and destruction of over 10 acres of forests cannot be fixed so easily.
WHAT TO DO NOW:
- Contact the Ohio Power Siting Board. Express your concerns about Duke’s pipeline — how it affects you, your family, and community.
- Sign this petition, asking the Ohio Power Siting Board to thoroughly review Duke’s entire application and provide sufficient time for those affected by Duke’s plans to do so, as well.
- Support NOPE’s efforts to protect our communities and hold Duke accountable.
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