Five pipelines carrying highly volatile liquids (HVL) through the utility corridor that crosses the LMI River Road sand mine in Conroe have been buried again. Repairs have almost finished. Last Friday, crews were removing construction equipment and cleaning up. This significantly reduces risk to the public from a pipeline leak, rupture or explosion.
Erosion Triggered by Mining Too Close to Utility Corridor
Erosion from the mine first exposed the pipelines in 2014. The pipelines and mine reportedly argued about the fix in court for years. But after publication in December of aerial photos showing shoddy temporary fixes and badly sagging pipelines, residents lodged numerous complaints with the TCEQ, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Texas Railroad Commission, and the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Materials Stockpiled by January
Major repairs started in January. Contractors started stockpiling culvert, riprap, sand and other construction materials onsite.
Construction Half Done in Mid-February
Construction was well underway a month later in February.
Cleanup Begins Early March
Last Friday, it was all over but the cleanup. Of course, cleanup in a sandmen is a relative term.
Clogged Culvert a Future Risk
Looking at all the sediment spewing from the culverts, one has to worry a bit about those culverts becoming clogged with sand and silt. No shortage of that around here!
Sadly, the wetlands lost since this episode started might have prevented some of that erosion.
Thanks to everyone who wrote regulatory agencies and complained about this situation. It helped produce a quick, happy resolution. Let’s chalk one up in the win column.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/11/2020
925 Days after Hurricane Harvey