Content partner KUAR FM 89.1 News reports:
The U.S. Coast Guard kept a 2-mile section of the Arkansas River near Little Rock, Ark., closed to navigation Wednesday, following the rupture of a Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline near the city’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
The break is just downstream of the city’s heavily traveled Interstate 30 bridge.
Spectra Energy Corp. spokesman Creighton Welch says the cause of the leak has not been determined. The leak occurred on a backup Texas Eastern line that crosses underneath the river, which has been running near flood stage following heavy rains in the region. The line closed when it ruptured and roughly 4 million cubic feet of gas in the line escaped, Welch says.
Dive crews using sonar equipment have been working the area since Monday, Welch told the Associated Press.
Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally told the Associated Press that the section of the river will remain closed until Spectra crews can identify the leak’s cause. He said no injuries have been reported.
The Arkansas River has heavy barge traffic through Little Rock, part of the McClellan-Kerr navigation system that links Oklahoma’s Port of Catoosa with the Mississippi River.
Talk Business & Politics received a statement from the Sierra Club on Tuesday regarding the leak.
“This spill is yet another example of the dangers posed to Arkansas by pipelines and dirty fuels. Whether we are talking about oil spills in Mayflower or the gas spill this week, the dangers to our health and natural resources from ruptured pipelines are enormous and unnecessary,” said Glen Hooks, chapter director for the Sierra Club of Arkansas.
“As the number of pipeline accidents pile up in Arkansas, it is time for our state to start moving away from dirty and dangerous fuels. Step one should be stopping the construction of new dangerous pipelines currently proposed for Arkansas. Pipeline ruptures in Arkansas are becoming commonplace – how many will it take before we, as a state, finally say no?” Hooks said.
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