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Louisiana Pipeline Spills and Ruptures are Damaging the Land

With dozens of hazardous material and gas distribution pipelines running below East Baton Rouge Parish, many residential homes and businesses are at-risk should a pipeline leak or rupture occur.

According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), there are more than 67,668 miles of pipeline in Louisiana; see the image below to see where gas transmission pipelines (blue) and hazardous liquid pipelines (red) run in East Baton Rouge Parish.

In Louisiana, three pipeline failures were reported between 2010 and 2011; two of the pipeline failures occurred within two weeks of each other.

In November 2010, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company experienced a pipeline failure in Natchitoches due to a pipeline rupture. About $116,000 of property damage was reported. Just weeks prior, a pipeline ran by Shell Pipeline Company in Vinton was corroded and cracked which lead to $375,000 in property damage.

The Natchitoches pipeline failure affected a semi-rural area while the Vinton leak affected rural marsh near the intercostal waterway.

In the past 20 years, an average of 9,564 gross barrels of hazardous liquid have been spilled in the United States. The cause of these spills include:

  • Pipeline corrosion
  • Excavation damage
  • Equipment failure
  • Incorrect operation

Human errors primarily cause there accidents as natural force damages only caused about five percent of all pipeline system serious incidents. Natural gas distribution incidents led to $65 million in property damage across the U.S.

Although it may seem that the incidents are far and few between, the state of Louisiana is losing about a football field's worth of land each hour, according to a New York Times exposé on the loss of Louisiana's coastal wetlands.

At Simien & Simien we understand the environmental damage oil and gas production are causing. If your land has been damaged due to pipeline ruptures, failures or general recklessness on the part of an oil or gas company, we can help you get the justice you deserve.

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