Calnev Pipeline

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Calnev Pipeline
Country United States
From Los Angeles, California
To Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada
General information
Type Oil products
Owner Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
Technical information
Length 550 mi (890 km)
Maximum discharge 0.128 million barrels per day (~6.38×10^6 t/a)
Diameter 14 in (356 mm)

The Calnev Pipeline is a 550-mile (890 km) long buried refined oil products pipeline in the United States that is owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. The pipeline consists of two parallel lines, the larger, has a diameter of 14 inches (360 mm) and the smaller one has a diameter of 8 inches (200 mm).[1] The lines carry gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel from Los Angeles, California refineries as far as Nellis Air Force Base south of North Las Vegas, Nevada. It carries approximately 128,000 barrels per day (20,400 m3/d). Jet fuel from the pipeline is also delivered to the McCarran International Airport tank farm in Paradise. Additional terminal facilities are located in Barstow, California.

The line was the sole source for the products it delivers to Las Vegas until the Unev pipeline began operating in 2012. UNEV provides access to refined oil products from Utah.[2]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On December 22, 1980, the pipeline carrying jet fuel ruptured in the Las Vegas Valley, near Tropicana Avenue, spilling fuel for 2 hours. Later, the fuel ignited, forcing road closures. One firefighter was overcome by fumes. Between 50,000 and 100,000 US gallons (190,000 and 380,000 L) of jet fuel were spilled. Prior construction in the area was suspected of damaging the pipeline.[3]

On May 25, 1989, The San Bernardino train disaster: The Calnev Pipeline ruptured in a San Bernardino, California neighborhood, due to damage from the cleanup of a train derailment, that occurred thirteen days earlier. The resulting gasoline fire killed two people, and destroyed eleven homes.



In 2010, Kinder Morgan proposed an expansion project which would add a third, 16-inch pipeline to accompany the two existing pipelines. Several organizations as well as state government agencies responded to the CalNev Expansion Project such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. The project proposed building across Cajon Creek Conservation Area in San Bernardino which would affect over 20 sensitive species. Construction would alter the area's hydrological regime and pose a risk to the animals living in this area.[4] Certain areas of the pipeline also require replacing depleted areas of cathodic protection, which protect the pipeline from rust and potential leaks. In 2015, the cathodic protection system of the pipeline that passes through the Mojave National Preserve needed to be repaired.[5] This repair construction disrupts nearby habitats. However, to omit repair greatly increases the risk of an oil spill.[6]


The CalNev Pipeline begins in Los Angeles, California, runs through with terminal stops in San Bernardino County in the cities of Colton and Barstow and ends outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.[7] San Bernardino County consists of 24 total cities and over 80% of the land is government owned property.[8] Being the largest county in California most of the land is vacant and total population is relatively low.[9] The racial demographic is over 50% Latino with the remaining residents identifying as White, Black or African American and Asian or Pacific Islander.[10] The median annual income across the nation is $55,775 and across California is $64,500;[11] with an average annual income of $50,000 San Bernardino falls below both the national and California medians.[12] In the City of Barstow, a terminal stop for the CalNev Pipeline, the average ranking of schools – elementary through high school – is a 3.3 out of 10.[13] In the City of Colton, another terminal stop for the CalNev Pipeline the average ranking of schools – elementary though high school – is a 2.7 out of 10.[13] In neighboring cities such as Chino Hills the average ranking of schools is a 7.6 out of 10.[13]



All pipelines in the United States have to adhere to the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA sets regulations pertaining to the operation, construction, expansion of pipelines, which private pipeline companies have to adhere to, with federal and state inspectors enforcement.[14] Calnev is an interstate pipeline crossing California and Nevada therefore it’s managed by PMHSA and inspected by federal agents. However, portions of pipeline exclusively within California or Nevada could be inspected by respective State agencies.[14] In 2016, there were seven broad system-wide program inspections and two targeted investigations intended to scrutinize certain safety features in regards to the pipeline.[15] According to PMHSA’s Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications data, Calnev has had one case in the last ten years in which PHMSA issued a Corrective Action Order in 2004 against Kinder Morgan in regards to a failure in Calnev Pipeline which released gasoline to its environment,[16] an order that was marked closed in 2007.[15] There was no proposed and collected penalty.[17]


Recently, President Donald Trump issued a key memorandum altering previous regulations regarding the construction of pipelines in the United States. Issued on January 24, 2017, this memorandum includes expediting the construction of future American pipelines, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as high priority infrastructure projects. One of the key developments stated in this memorandum is that all future new and expanding pipelines to be constructed in the United States are to be built with materials “produced within the United States."[18] In which case, the Calnev expansion project would need to add a new section in their proposal explaining what materials would be used for construction for the current proposal does not address this.[4] Other important new regulations include those mentioned in the order to expedite environmental reviews and approvals on high priority infrastructure projects, which are defined by President Trump to include “critical...pipelines”.[19] With this memorandum, the Chairman of White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has the power to decide whether a project is “high priority” or not within 30 days of receiving project requests in efforts to streamline the approval process.[19]

Expansion plans[edit]

On July 23, 2007, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners announced that it will expand the pipeline by constructing an additional 16-inch (410 mm) pipeline alongside the existing pipelines. It will increase the total pipeline system capacity to 200,000 barrels per day (32,000 m3/d), and with additional pumping stations to more than 300,000 barrels per day (48,000 m3/d).[20]

Opposing Viewpoints[edit]

The CalNev pipeline is opposed by the residents of the communities in which the pipeline runs through. Major opinions of the public during the “public scoping” included Public Safety in proximity to the school, agriculture and soils, transportation and traffic, and fifteen other concerns.[8] The public scoping would not just cover American citizens that the pipeline would contend against, but it would also need the opinions and concerns of the tribal consultation. In response to the major public’s concern, in regards to proximity of schools, Kinder Morgan responded with a statistic that within California 25 schools are located within one mile of a pipeline.[9] During the town hall many residents also brought up the fact that Kinder Morgan's CalNev pipeline had burst in other locations in the past. One lady mentioned that although Kinder Morgan assured the public the pipeline was safe in the past it did burst, but Kinder Morgan replied that the issue was an isolated incident.[9] They continued responding that the issue was due to a prior accident in the area above the pipeline that was beyond their control.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seba, Erwin (2010-04-20). "Kinder Morgan shuts pipe carrying fuel to Las Vegas". Reuters. 
  2. ^ "Holly Energy Partners, L.P. Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results" (Press release). UNEV Pipeline, LLC. February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  3. ^,5016662&dq=pipeline+rupture&hl=en
  4. ^ a b "Calnev Pipeline Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report Scoping Summary" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Preserve Seeks Comments on Environmental Assessment for Calnev Pipeline Cathodic Protection Project - Mojave National Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  6. ^ "4 Key Impacts of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines". 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  7. ^ "Kinder Morgan - CALNEV". 
  8. ^ a b (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b c (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ a b c "California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - San Bernardino County". 
  14. ^ a b "Pipeline101 - Who-Oversees-Pipeline-Safety". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  15. ^ a b "PHMSA: Stakeholder Communications - Operator Information". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  16. ^ "PHMSA: Stakeholder Communications - Enforcement Action Details". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  17. ^ "PHMSA: Stakeholder Communications - Operator Information". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  18. ^ "Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  19. ^ a b "Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  20. ^ "Kinder Morgan to Expand CALNEV to Las Vegas". Downstream Today. 2007-07-23. Retrieved 2007-08-02.