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Williams Safety Record

The Compliance and Safety Records of Williams (WMB),

Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ), Williams Midstream

• 2002 – Williams is reported to be in Financial distress and on verge of



• 2002 – Williams has class action lawsuit filed against it alleging that it failed to

disclose failing financial conditions (33)


• 2003 – Williams pays $20 million (along with Encana Company) to settle claims

of reporting false data to manipulate the U.S. natural gas market (25)


• 2004 – FINED $30,000 for a fire at a well in Parachute, Colorado (47)


• 2007 – Williams agrees to pay $290 million to settle class action lawsuit filed in 2002


• 2008 – Natural gas explosion in Virginia [Transco] the blast ripped a 32-foot section

of pipe from the ground and caused a 1,100 feet burn zone. Property

damage reported to exceed $3 million (35)


• 2009 – FINED $952,000 for failure to monitor corrosion adequately with the

Virginia pipeline explosion in 2008 (36) (43)


• 2010 – Transco Pipeline leak in Texas. Leak was not reported for 4 days. The 1/4

inch diameter leak caused a reported $57,000 in property damage. Aerial patrol did

not see the leak. Found by an operator who saw some bubbles. (22)


• 2010 / 2011– FINED $275 Thousand over failing to implement and/or maintain

storm water measures to prevent potential pollutants during planned

construction in Parachute, Colorado. State inspectors notified Williams (Bargath) in

Nov. 2010 of violations and told them to take immediate action. According to

report, Williams did not fix violation for 7 months. (8) (28)


• 2011 – FINED $23,000 by PHMSA for failure to conduct own annual

inspections of Natural Gas compressors stations in Texas and Louisiana (18)


• 2011 – [Transco] Natural Gas Pipeline rupture & explosion in Alabama. 8 acres

burn. Coating failure blamed as cause. Reports state that the corrosion was not

recognized by Williams even though they claimed to have systems in place. (2) (36)


• 2012 – Gas leak caused explosion at Natural Gas Compressor Station in

Pennsylvania. Williams restarts the station within 24 hours and started pumping

fracked gas despite request from PA Dept. of Environmental Protection not to do

so. DEP states they make it very clear on the above matter but because it was not an

official order no fines were issued. 1 ton of Methane released. (2) (16)


• 2012 – Transco/Williams FINED $50,000 by PHMSA for failure to follow own

internal policies with controlling corrosion in Natural Gas pipeline in NY (18)


• 2012 – Transco natural gas leak in New Jersey (18) (44)


• 2012 (Dec. 20) – The beginning of the Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) pipeline

leak in Parachute, Colorado (population 1,000). Parachute Creek runs through the

small town, which is nestled next to the Colorado River.


• 2013 (Jan) – Williams discovers leak of NGLs in Parachute plant while working on

construction to expand the plant. Reports say the leak was found by ACCIDENT.

Leak stopped, but Benzene, a cancer causing agent, has contaminated soil.

Williams says leak not affecting creek. (8) (34)


• 2013 (March 8) – Williams begins cleanup (2 months later) of Benzene

leak (NGL) in Parachute, CO. Authorities and landowners notified that the soil has

been contaminated. No mention that groundwater is poisoned. Reports say that

Williams didn’t report the spill/leak earlier because they thought less than 25

gallons had leaked.


• 2013 (March 15) – Groundwater in Parachute is contaminated with Benzene

from NGL leak. Spill finally announced to public. Benzene is cancer-causing agent

that breaks down bone marrow. (8) (20) (34) (41)


• 2013 (March) – Reports say Williams/Transco rejects U.S. Army Corp of

Engineers safety recommendations in connection with the proposed Rockaway

Lateral natural gas pipeline, claiming the requirements would “needlessly delay” the

project and force cost overruns. (7)


• 2013 (March) – Williams Natural gas pipeline in West Virginia ruptures (30)


• 2013 (April) – Parachute, CO residents question credibility of Williams who is in

charge of testing their water and want the government to take over. Contamination

continues to spread into their creek. (8) (42)


• 2013 (April) – Williams say faulty pressure gauge cause of leak in Parachute. Diesel

found at gates of Parachute water supply. Benzene detected in creek. State

Health Dept takes over oversight of leak. (8) (9)


• 2013 (May) – Benzene levels rise in Parachute, CO creek. State agency tells Williams

violated it the law. (8)


• 2013 (May) – Williams announces it will not expand the Parachute, Co plant expansion

NOT because of the NGL leak but due to low gas prices. (8)


• 2013 (May 21) – Williams holds Analyst Day in New York City. CEO Alan Armstrong

states they have been working on the Bluegrass pipeline project for about 9 – 10

months. Williams states Bluegrass Pipeline is BIG and it’s RISKY in terms of



• 2013 (June 13) – Williams’ Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) cracker plant that process NGLs

in Louisian Explodes and Burns. That chemical plant was in middle of $350

million expansion. 700 contract workers were present; 2 people killed (ages 29 &

47); 70 injuries; 62,000 pounds of toxic chemical released (1) (4) (5) (6) (39)


• 2013 (June 14) – Investigations into Williams Louisiana explosion reveals three

years of noncompliance with Federal Clean Air Act, Williams had NOT

conducted an OSHA inspection in 10 years.


• 2013 (July 10) – Williams (Bargath) FINED $7,854 by OSHA for failing to protect

workers they sent excavate toxic soil near the Williams’ Parachute, Co plant that

leaked Benzene. Report states that Williams did not have a decontamination

procedure or ensure its employees received safety training related to the spill.

Williams states it has not agreed to or accepted OSHA’s allegations. (49)


• 2013 (July 13) – Benzene levels increase at a point in the Parachute, CO Williams NGL

leak. 130 tons per day of contaminated soil has been stockpiled. (3)


• 2013 (July 20) – Report shows that Williams expects to remove and treat as many

as 26 million gallons of groundwater over a half-year to a year at the site of its

natural gas liquids leak alongside Parachute Creek. About 155,000 gallons of

tainted groundwater removed in March has been disposed of in an

injection well in Grand County, Utah. (52)


1. http://www.marcellusoutreachbutler.org/2/post/2013/06/spill-baby-spill.html

2. http://saneenergyproject.org/2013/07/10/williams-safety-record/

3. http://www.postindependent.com/news/7293598-113/spill-creek-parachute-benzene

4. http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/geismar_plant_explosion_leaks.html

5. http://www.dailyworld.com/viewart/20130628/NEWS01/306280004/Report-Geismar-chemical-

6. http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Williams_Cos_feds_seek_answers_in_deadly_plant_explo


7. http://carpny.org/the-pipeline/ http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/?p=1818

8. http://conservationco.org/2013/05/whats-going-on-in-parachute-creek/

9. leak photos: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-



10. http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/NewsPrint.asp?b=630&ID=62970&m=rl&pop=1&cat=1799&


11. http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2012/dec/02/rockaway-pipeline-project-set-move-

12. http://answersforparachute.com/situation-update/

13. http://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/thirteen-injured-in-williams-compressor-

14. http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/Pipeline/SP/Williams%20Tr


15. http://co.williams.com/williams/our-company/executive-officers/alan-s-armstrong/

16. http://independentweekender.com/index.php/2013/04/10/dep-no-fines-in-lathrop-

17. http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/?p=2056

18. http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/?p=1305





19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_Companies

20. http://wccongress.org/wcc/2013/05/30/parachute-creek-spill-overview/

21. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19529997

22. http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/Pipeline/Failure%20Report


23. http://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/article.asp?id=52738

24. http://aspenjournalism.org/2011/04/12/stormwater-mis-management-in-the-gas-fields/

25. http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-101/issue-31/general-interest/cftc-announces-

26. http://co.williams.com/williams/operations/gas-pipeline/transco/

27. http://co.williams.com/williams/customers/natural-gas-liquids/overland-pass-pipeline/

28. http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/williams-subsidiary-fined-over-stormwater-violatio

29. http://www.ogj.com/articles/2003/07/cftc-settles-natural-gas-fixing-charges-against-williams-

30. http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/?s=williams+company

31. http://wpxenergy.com

32. http://securities.stanford.edu/1023/WMB02/

33. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Class+Action+Lawsuit+Filed+Against+Williams+Companies,+Inc.


34. http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-HM/CBON/1251642662859

35. http://pstrust.org/about-pipelines1/map-of-major-incidents/transco-virgina-accident

36. http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=7242

37. http://www.gjsentinel.com/breaking/articles/williams-subsidiary-fined-for-other-parachute-creek-

38. http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/CEO_of_Williams_Cos_to_retire/20101013_49_e1_cutlin4


39. http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/us/louisiana-chemical-plant-explosion/index.html

40. http://www.epa-echo.gov/cgi-bin/get1cReport.cgi?tool=echo&IDNumber=110000746337

41. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/benzene

42. http://www.postindependent.com/article/20130405/VALLEYNEWS/130409957

43. https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/reports/enforce/documents/120091007/120091007_FinalOrd


44. http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/FYI_Business/20120404_498_e2_hwilli696984

45. http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/fullpage.asp?BzID=630&to=cp&Nav=0&LangID=1&s=385&I




46. http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/NewsPrint.asp?b=630&ID=60830&m=rl&pop=1&cat=1799&


47. http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20041210/NEWS/41210003

48. http://www.stopthepipeline.org

49. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23637022/osha-fines-3-firms-finds-workers-at-

50. http://co.williams.com/williams/our-company/our-history/

51. http://marcellusdrilling.com/2013/05/fire-at-williams-compressor-station-in-susquehanna-county-pa/

52. http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/williams-to-treat-millions-of-gallons-of-groundwat

Pipeline vs Rail & Truck


While accidents associated with the transportation of hazardous materials via rail and road are

more frequent than pipeline incidents, rail and truck spills are limited to the amount of product

that can be held in transit.

According to a review of data from the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Administration

(PHMSA) completed by the Association of American Railroads, total railroad crude oil spills

between 2002-2012 equaled less than one percent of the total pipelines spills (railroads spilled

2,268 barrels total vs. pipelines spilled 474,441 barrels total). Additionally, during the same time

period, average pipeline spills were four times larger than the average rail spill (average 65

barrels by rail vs. average 266 barrels by pipeline).