Federal regulators propose $25,000 fine for Alyeska Pipeline Co.

Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A pressure relief valve set too high at Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s North Pole metering station could cost the company $25,000.

The U.S. Department of Transportation last week sent Alyeska a letter proposing the civil fine for the alleged safety violation, discovered by a federal inspector July 26..

The metering facility measures how much oil goes to and from two refineries, owned by Williams Alaska Petroleum Co. and Sourdough Fuel.

Alyeska spokesman Tim Woolston said the company has corrected the problem.

''My understanding was that while we recognized that there was a problem... there was never a concern for the integrity of the pipeline, from our stand-point,'' Woolston said.

Pat Kling, spokeswoman for the DOT in Washington, D.C., said the relief valve problem was ''significant'' in that it causes us concern in the event that there is some overpressurization.''

Overpressurized lines could lead to leaks, Kling said.

The company did not actually exceed its maximum operating pressure,'' Kling said. However, DOT officials felt the improperly set valve was something that shouldn't have happened in the first place, and thus a fine was appropriate, she said.

Alyeska can pay the fine, it can seek to have the fine eliminated or reduced, or it can request hearings to contest the agency's allegations. Woolston said Alyeska is still reviewing its options.

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