Joint pipeline office wants to know cause of recent mishaps

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Joint Pipeline Office is seeking answers from the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. following two mishaps at the Valdez terminal last week.

In a letter to Alyeska Thursday, the oversight agency said it wants a plan for restoring the company's Valdez Marine Terminal to full capacity.

Last week's incidents included an electrical spark in a toxic vapor release system. Regulators said the the situation created a potential for an explosion.

Also last week, the wrong valves were installed at one of the berths. That caused some pipes to shake violently.

The incidents have left only one of the four berths able to load the larger oil tankers, KTUU-TV in Anchorage reported Friday.

The letter from JPO asks Aleyska to explain what caused the events and what the company is doing about them.

Alyeska has until Nov. 13 to provide most of the information. The company has until Dec. 15 to respond to another request in the letter: a thorough explanation of berth operation, maintenance, repair and upgrade plans.

Earlier this week, Alyeska representatives said the company is constantly assessing maintenance issues and would welcome a report from JPO on the overall status and maintenance needs of the pipeline system.

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