U.S. regulators yet to approve full restart of Colonial pipeline
A spokesman for the U.S. regulator told Reuters on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) has yet to approve Colonial Pipeline Co's plan to restore its original gasoline line to service after a leak in September. Colonial Pipeline said it would resume work to remove a bypass line it had constructed as a workaround after the spill and restart the original gasoline line by mid-November. Work was halted after a fatal explosion last week, several miles from the September spill site. The blast led to a near week-long shut down of the line. The September and October incidents were being investigated separately.
The fuel pipeline carries 1.3 million barrels of gasoline from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast to supply fuel to millions of Americans in the Southeast. Colonial previously said a draft restart plan had been submitted to PHMSA. The company said it has cut shipping volumes by 20% while it works to restart the section of its gasoline conduit that was damaged after the spill in September - its biggest gasoline leak in nearly two decades.
Operating rates will not be affected after the replacement of the bypass, Colonial said in a notice to shippers.
"The sections of pipe that will be installed (once the bypass has been removed) have been tested and are in place to expedite the replacement and return to service," a Colonial spokesman told Reuters.