U.S. won't tighten rules requiring pipelines more than four feet beneath rivers

|By:, SA News Editor

The U.S. Transportation Department doesn't plan to change regulations to better protect underground pipelines from riverbed erosion, saying its review found riverbed erosion contributed to just one in every 200 significant hazardous-liquid incidents involving pipelines during the past two decades.

The issue has consequences for TransCanada's (TRP) proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would cross nearly 1,100 bodies of water; at 14 major river crossings, TRP plans to bury pipe at least eight ft. beneath the riverbed, well within the 9-41 ft. of scour recently observed on the flooded Missouri River.

TRP CEO Russ Girling reiterates he is “very confident” the controversial pipeline will be approved by Pres. Obama.