Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you live near a natural gas pipeline?

In San Bruno, CA, 66 people were injured in a blast from a ruptured natural gas pipeline on September 9th.  The fire burned for hours and destroyed 37 homes and left 18 others uninhabitable.  Eight people have now died. 

Problem is, nobody from the feds on down can tell if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. had a plan in place to respond to this sort of disaster, and whether the plan was being followed because the company didn't like to give out copies to anybody. 

Get this:  "The federal pipeline safety agency doesn't ask natural gas pipeline operators for the plans because it isn't required to do so" ...  "Congress requires PHMSA to inspect the emergency response plans," Valentine said. "There is no regulation requiring operators to submit these plans to PHMSA and for the agency to retain them."

So they just eyeball them when they get around to visiting facilities for inspections.  When they get around to it.  Nobody knows if the plans are adequate until it's too late, and in the meantime, people die.