For Immediate Release: March 18, 2009
For More Information Contact: Carl Weimer (360) 543-5686 or (360) 223-2636 (cell)
Senator Patty Murray provides valuable funding to increase pipeline safety
In the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which Congress recently passed and President Obama signed, Senator Patty Murray was responsible for the inclusion of $1 million for Pipeline Safety Information Grants to Communities. The purpose of these grants is to allow local communities to obtain independent technical assistance to better understand a wide variety of issues about how pipelines have or may impact local citizens. These grants have been authorized since the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, which Senator Murray also helped pass, but this is the first time that Congress has appropriated the money to implement this program.
“These technical assistance grants for local communities have been one of our highest priorities. We are thrilled that Congress has now funded this program, and we thank Senator Murray in particular for her leadership in making this happen,” said Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust upon learning that this has passed Congress. “Now communities that have experienced pipeline failures, or that have other pipeline safety concerns, will have a source to hire independent technical experts to help them fully understand these issues. We truly believe that the more that people who could be impacted by pipeline failures understand pipeline safety issues, the safer pipelines will be.”
The Pipeline Safety Trust worked closely with the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration to draft the goals and selection criteria for these grants late last year, so now that they are funded implementation should come quickly.
June 10, 2009 will be the tenth anniversary of the pipeline tragedy in Bellingham, Washington that killed three youngsters and wiped out an entire salmon stream. To learn what has been accomplished since that tragedy, and how the community plans to commemorate that sad event visit https://pstrust.org/whatcomcreek/
The Pipeline Safety Trust promotes pipeline safety through education and advocacy, by increasing access to information, and by building partnerships with residents, safety advocates, government, and industry, that result in safer communities and a healthier environment. The Pipeline Safety Trust is the only national public interest organization to focus on pipeline safety issues. It came into being based on the efforts and recommendations of citizens after the 1999 pipeline tragedy in Bellingham, Washington. In 2003, the U.S. Justice Department made a condition of the Olympic Pipeline criminal settlement that $4 million be designated for the start up of this independent non-profit organization to watchdog both the pipeline industry and its regulators.