There are efforts to make oil pipelines safer. Among them an 811 number that must be called before evacuating, hoping to prevent individuals from causing harm to themselves by rupturing pipelines. Also, the technology of “pigs”–a machine that goes inside the pipe for cleaning—are getting more sophisticated, and there is hope for detecting corrosion and preventing leaks. Laser monitoring by airplane is also in effect in parts of the country, looking for leaks. A fiber-optic system is being developed in Canada to assess temperature and strain on pipelines (and other structures). All of these ideas are helping to catch the leak before it starts, and repair the area so the pipeline remains safe.
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