FLANAGAN SOUTH (Enbridge)
Enbridge is currently working on overhauling their North American pipeline infrastructure, managing to sneak a series of upgrades and expansions which will essentially result in their own “Keystone XL” right past the mainstream environmental movement. This network, which includes the Alberta Clipper, Line 5, the very same Line 6b which ruptured in “Michigan,” the Flanagan South, and the Seaway Pipeline.
The Flanagan South tar sands pipeline is a component of this larger pipeline expansion project from Enbridge, and will go from Flanagan, IL to Cushing, OK by way of ”Missouri” and “Kansas,” with a final capacity of 775,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day.
The Flanagan South Pipeline Route.
This tar sands pipeline is planned to parallel the existing Spearhead pipeline system and utilize existing pump stations, for the most part. Papers are reporting that construction of the pipeline will begin in August. The pipeline construction is split into four spreads, with contractor Michels Corp. responsible for the first two in Illinois and Missouri, and U.S Pipelines Inc. responsible for the latter two, in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
Enbridge has been interfacing with counties and towns to acquire the necessary permits, while hoping to procure a Nationewide 12 permit from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City, MO. Nationwide 12 would fast-track the permitting process and eliminate a lot of “red tape”–mainly, more in-depth analysis of environmental risks and increased oversight and regulation of construction.
Despite Enbridge’s assertions of safety, pipeline spills are commonplace and catastrophic ones are far from “anomalies”–the very nature of diluted bitumen makes it difficult to accurately gauge internal pipeline pressure on account of gas pockets created by the chemicals used to dilute the bitumen flowing through the pipe. This has been made apparent time and time again, from Enbridge’s Line6B which ruptured into the Kalamazoo River in MI, to other large disasters and incredibly frequent leaks from other lines such as the Keystone 1.
[Below is a map of the existing Spearhead Easement which the Flanagan South will parallel. This map does not show it’s path through Kansas and Oklahoma, yet.]
View Dilbit Pipeline in a larger map