HOMER, Alaska—An environmental advocacy organization is calling for the immediate inspection of all oil and gas pipelines in Alaska’s Cook Inlet after two underwater lines broke and leaked in recent months, with one still spewing natural gas into the inlet.
The inlet, home to endangered beluga whales and other species, is the oldest producing oil and gas field in Alaska. Many of the pipelines—including the two that recently leaked—were built in the 1960s.
The Center for Biological Diversity issued the legal petition on Thursday, asking the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to inspect the pipelines.
“It’s scary to think about how decayed some of the offshore pipelines littering Cook Inlet may be,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney with the center. “These old, vulnerable pipelines pose a toxic threat to the people and wildlife of Cook Inlet.”
Both of the pipelines that leaked—one carrying natural gas, the other oil—are owned by Hilcorp Alaska, a subsidiary of Houston, Tex.-based Hilcorp. The company operates virtually all the oil and gas infrastructure in Cook Inlet. Hundreds of miles pipelines traverse under the inlet.