US Senator Proposes Scrutiny Of Pipelines : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Murray Proposes Scrutiny Of Pipelines

Source: The Columbian Publication date: Feb 19, 2000

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Seattle, received a frantic phone call after last year's pipeline accident in Bellingham that killed two 10- year-old boys and an 18-year-old man.

The call was from her sister, shocked and upset because she teaches school near the explosion.

The June 10 spill of 229,000 gallons of gasoline that lead to the fatal blast stunned many, especially those who didn't know they lived near a pipeline.

After all, current law doesn't require pipeline companies to inform firefighters, police or the general public about pipeline problems, Murray said Friday.

Nor does it mandate periodic inspections of interstate pipelines.

Murray plans to change all that this legislative session. The "mom in tennis shoes" has added a new cause to her seemingly feel-good agenda.

In addition to rallying for a reduction in classroom size and more teachers, the former pre-school teacher wants scrutiny of pipelines and those who operate them.

Pipeline accidents cause an annual average of about 20 deaths nationwide, Murray said.

So Murray is taking on the pipeline industry by introducing the Pipeline Safety Act 2000.

Her proposal boosts state authority over the pipes and calls for pipeline inspections, currently required only when pipelines are new or being used for the first time.

Initially, Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Bellevue, refrained from backing the measure.

But Gorton's spokeswoman, Cynthia Bergman, said Friday Gorton plans to voice support for the bill, possibly next week, and co- sponsor it.

"He agrees the community should know what's going on in their neighborhoods and under their feet," Bergman said.

Murray's proposal also would do the following:

* Force pipeline companies to report what they are doing to fix pipeline problems.

* Require the Office of Pipeline Safety to review qualifications of pipeline operators.

* Increase research on the reliability of inspection and leak detection devices.

People can contact Murray at 202-224-2834 or via the Internet at

Publication date: Feb 19, 2000 ) 2000, NewsReal, Inc.


-- Carl Jenkins (, February 20, 2000


Good for Murray and Gorton. As much as I dislike government regulaation, if someone runs a pipeline of hazarous chemicals under my backyard, I want to know that it is taken care of.

-- JOHN (LITTMANNJ@AOL.COM), February 20, 2000.

uh, surprised they didn't think of this sooner I s'pose.

-- Hokie (, February 21, 2000.

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