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Keystone Pipeline to Reduce System Pressure amid Corrective Action Order from PHMSA 3/8/2023

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), issued an Amended Corrective Action Order (ACAO or Amended Order), which requires TC Oil Pipeline Operations, Inc., to take certain additional corrective actions with respect to the pipeline failure that occurred on December 7, 2022, on the 36-inch Keystone Pipeline three miles east of Washington, Kansas.

The ACAO mandates corrective actions to over 1,000 additional miles of pipeline from the Canadian border to Cushing, OK, and from Steele City, NE to Patoka, IL.  

The Amended Order specifies that TC Oil must continue to reduce the operating pressure along the length of the affected segment to the previously agreed upon 923 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) limit. This pressure restriction is to remain in effect until Items have been completed, which include; Review of Prior In-line Inspection (ILI) Results, Mechanical and Metallurgical Testing, Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA), Evaluation of Geohazard Program (EGP), and a Remedial Work Plan (RWP).

Following completion of the aforementioned Items and upon receipt of written approval by the Director of the PHMSA, TC Oil may increase the operating pressure along the Affected Segment to no more than 72 percent of the specified minimum yield strength (SMYS). This pressure restriction is to remain in effect until written approval to increase the pressure or return the pipeline to its pre-failure operating pressure is obtained from the Director.

U.S. Solar Panel Imports from China Reportedly Increasing As Officials Clarify Rules 3/7/2023

The import of Chinese-supplied solar panels into the United States has been increasing, according to Reuters.  The change comes as U.S. officials further clarify rules around imports of goods made with forced labor.  Trina Solar reported that >900 MW of solar panels have cleared U.S. customs in the last four months, of which only 1% were detained for examination.

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