Gas Pipeline Emergency Plans Not Available to Public

Thursday, October 07, 2010
San Bruno Explosion (AP Photo: Tony Avelar)
There’s no way to know for sure if Pacific Gas & Electric had adequate emergency response plans in place to address accidents like the one that devastated part of San Bruno, California, on September 9, when a PG&E underground gas line led to an explosion that killed at least eight people. The reason for this is that the company and others like it are not required by law to produce copies of such plans to the government.
Prior to the explosion, PG&E did not share its emergency plan with either city, county or state officials. Nor did the U.S. agency charged with gas pipeline oversight—the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration—have a copy, because nothing in federal law requires this disclosure.
The federal pipeline safety administration also has been accused of having “a cozy relationship with the companies it is supposed to regulate,” according to the Associated Press.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
NTSB Examining California Pipeline Emergency Plan (by Sharon Theimer, Associated Press)


Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. 13 years ago
This news is truly shocking; especially considering that about 60 percent of the high pressure, high volume nature gas transmission lines are more than 40 years old and subject to deterioration. Many such as that in San Bruno run through populated neighborhoods. Ekos-Squared provides in depth analysis of a situation in a densely populated area of Hyattsville, Maryland where some of the transmission lines that abut the community and a nearby nursing home are reported to be 80 years old. Moreover, Washington Gas Company has proposed to locate a huge Liquefied Natural Gas production plant in the same neighborhood. To see the full story go to Henry S. Cole, Publisher Ekos-Squared

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