KENAI, Alaska — The Cook Inlet Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council is almost finished with a pair of reports surveying regional pipelines and the state and federal authorities that oversee them.

A natural gas leak last year in Cook Inlet spurred the surveying efforts, the Peninsula Clarion reported Tuesday.

The council’s studies will ultimately lead to a set of recommendations from industry and government experts about how to reduce the risk of future leaks.

Researcher Tim Robertson, who works for the consultancy group that the council commissioned, said the survey results will be a “win-win.”

“Everyone has the same goal making sure the infrastructure is in good shape and continues operating to the future and there’s no environmental damage from it, and it helps the economy,” Robertson said. “There’s been great support from the industry and from the agencies both. It does not seem to be controversial, at least so far.”

Structural or mechanical failures caused 80 percent of the 88 spills in Cook Inlet since 2001, according to Nuka Research and Planning Group.

Last year’s natural gas leak happened in late 2016 or early 2017 when friction against a sharp rock on the Cook Inlet seafloor created a leak in a 50-year-old underwater pipeline.

Ice cover on the inlet prevented the leak from being repaired for three months. The pipeline had leaked on at least two previous occasions from similar causes.


Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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