WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Pipeline’s coating carries health, safety risks

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.

Posted

We’ve heard of the many negative impacts from the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Nevertheless, like the TV ads say, “But wait, there’s more.”

The “more” is more public risk.

Both pipelines are coated with a fusion-bonded epoxy to reduce pipe corrosion and risk of explosion. FBE degrades in sunlight, and it is chalking off the pipes and becoming progressively thinner.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers admit the pipes have been stored longer than the manufacturer’s recommendation. Experts advise me the pipes may be safe for up to two years, but their safety is questionable thereafter. The ACP pipes have already been stored outside for three years and counting, since the ACP is now on hold. Mountain Valley Pipeline developers testified in court that they are concerned about FBE loss as well.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration confirms the FBE loss, but states that the pipes have been inspected and remain safe. Nevertheless, no inspection results for pipe safety, blasting, hydrostatic tests, welding and backfilling will be available to the public until these dangerous projects are completed, and by then it may be too late to correct public safety issues

There have been three catastrophic gas pipeline explosions in nearby states in the past 10 months. Landslides in steep terrain similar to that of the ACP and MVP caused two of them to explode shortly after installation.

But wait, there’s more.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for the 3M Scotchkote fusion-bonded epoxy 6233 used on these pipes lists carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic properties and negative health consequences from this material.

Last summer I asked the Virginia Department of Health to address this issue. They have not told me that this product is safe, nor taken any actions to protect the public health. None of the many other experts I’ve contacted has told me that this product is safe. Nevertheless, it is escaping into our environment — and likely into our bodies — through inhalation and ingestion through drinking water.

Our corporate lapdog government should be protecting us from these pipelines. Instead, it’s protecting them, and leaving us in peril.

William Limpert

Warm Springs, Va.

Comments