The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking no chances in thewake of the Carlsbad, NM, natural gas pipeline explosion. It hasordered a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposalto refurbish and put back into service the Equilon Pipeline, a406-mile, 42-year old crude oil pipeline from Odessa, TX toBloomfield, NM.

“You could say this is a tangential result of the Carlsbadtragedy,” said Joel Farrell, assistant field manager for resourcesof the Farmington, NM BLM office. The BLM decision this week toupgrade the requirements from an environmental assessment to anEIS, requiring input from, among others, the Office of PipelineSafety (OPS), “wasn’t directly tied to the accident. But the publiccontroversy has increased,” Farrell said. He said the BLM willschedule public meetings in Albuquerque. Also, “we are getting intouch with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departmentof Transportation’s OPS to get them involved and see who will bethe lead agency on this.”

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