June 10, 2015 We've just come back from a four day trip to California to participate in a couple of community forums in Contra Costa County, visit with our friends in the city of San Bruno, meet some staffers in the Gas Safety Division at the CPUC, and research a report we're writing for the community of Alamo about the liquid products line in their midst and how to improve safety … [Read more...] about Coming Back to Bellingham
Smart Pig Blog
Our question this time comes from a resident of Santa Barbara and relates to the oil spill last month from an onshore pipeline that failed, allowing crude oil to reach the ocean. Question of the week: It would be very helpful for us here in Santa Barbara if you could answer some of our questions. One of the issues in our recent pipeline spill near Santa Barbara is whether there should have … [Read more...] about Valves: Block, remote, automatic – which is best?
Question of the day - I see a pipeline just spilled oil into the ocean near Santa Barbara, California. What can you tell me about the company that operates that pipeline and their safety record? Thanks for the question. The cause and the size of the spill are still being determined, and the clean up will go on for weeks we are sure. Here is a quick analysis of the company that operates … [Read more...] about Santa Barbara Oil Spill
Question of the week – I think it was around this time in 2009 that a gas pipeline blew up in Palm City, Florida near a school. What really happened then, and have things gotten safer in the past 6 years? On May 4, 2009, an 18-inch Florida Gas Transmission Company interstate pipeline ruptured about 6 miles south of Palm City, Florida, releasing about 36 million cubic feet of natural gas and … [Read more...] about Another pipeline incident anniversary – have things changed since 2009?
Question of the week – There are rumors of a new pipeline coming to my community. I’ve heard of another town with its own pipeline ordinance, but I also hear that it’s not up to the community and we really have no say. Should we pass our own ordinance and will it help? You can pass your own ordinance, but whether it will help or not depends on where you are, what type of pipeline is proposed, … [Read more...] about Local options when thinking about new pipelines
Question of the week: I heard the California Public Utilities Commission levied a fine of $1.6 billion dollars against PG&E for pipeline safety violations relating to the terrible San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010. Do you think this will make a difference and improve PG&E’s safety? Is that all that will happen? Reflections on San Bruno, PG&E and the CPUC In case you missed … [Read more...] about Reflections on San Bruno, PG&E and the CPUC
Question of the week: I've looked at some of the pipeline enforcement data online through PHMSA's website, but don't really understand it, and don't see a lot of information available. Can you tell me how pipeline enforcement works, and what is available to the public when there is an enforcement case against a pipeline operator who has some sort of violation of the … [Read more...] about A Call for Transparency in Pipeline Safety Enforcement – Ten Years Later
Question of the Week: I heard something about grants being offered to communities for hiring experts and promoting public participation in pipeline safety proceedings. Can you tell me more about how to access these funds? Answer: PHMSA recently announced a grant opportunity for Community Technical Assistance Grants - Applications are Due April 22, 2015. Community groups and local … [Read more...] about Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity – Apply Now
Reporters ask us a lot about numbers, and we see both accurate and misleading figures being thrown around in the press and even on unnamed official websites, so we’re expanding here on our February 10 blog post that touched on numbers. That post mentioned both numbers from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and industry numbers published recently by API/AOPL … [Read more...] about Oil Pipelines by the Real Numbers
Question of the week We got a message through the Pipeline Safety Trust Facebook page (find us and like us there!) with some questions from Howard, who was trying to find some information about the regulation of compressor stations on interstate natural gas pipelines, like the one being proposed near his New England community. He had heard two distinctly different stories: one that … [Read more...] about Natural Gas Compressor Stations – Does PHMSA regulate?