News Stories that Demonstrate Why Better Planning Near Pipelines Is Needed

Development in once-rural areas put populations closer to natural gas pipelines Washington Post – Aging pipelines – and growing populations in the once-rural areas where pipelines were routed decades ago – have increased the risks associated with ruptures throughout the United States.

California catastrophe focuses concern over Snohomish pipelines Everett Herald – No federal or state rules dictate how close a home can be built to a pipeline. County rules say only that developers shouldn’t build on the pipeline right-of-way. Now the suburbs are creeping right up to pipelines laid decades earlier on rural land.

Pipeline safety guidelines expected soon: Measures aimed at safe development near lines Kalamazoo Gazette – Guidelines for safe development near pipelines, being crafted by the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA), a collaboration of pipeline operators, local government planners and real estate developers, are expected to be made public in the coming months.

Many live next to dangerous pipelines; no rules to stop it Gannett News Service – Despite hundreds of oil- and natural-gas-pipeline accidents in the past decade, no federal regulations govern how far major pipelines should be from homes, schools or businesses.

Gas line risks weighed at site of new hospital Times Herald – The portion of the hospital building closest to the pipelines will house the emergency room on the ground floor, the intensive care unit on the first floor and patient rooms on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the five-story building, McCammitt said. The southeast corner of the building is about 150 feet from the easement and the three pipelines.

Officials concerned another oil spill could contaminate drinking water KSL – Salt Lake City – Nierrmeyer is asking Chevron to help develop a robust new plan which addresses risks and vulnerabilities, with water and emergency planners. The hope is the plan will enhance training, mitigation planning and perhaps include new pipeline shut-off valves at key spots.

School Closures – Three schools – two in California and one in Texas – are closed by local school boards because of proximity to pipelines

State denies Martinez plans for new school The school site was considered unacceptable because it is transected by two gas pipelines, one water line and three oil pipelines. That means the existing school cannot be improved and no new public school may be built there.

Quick closure of N. Sacramento school debated This story describes the quick closure of this California elementary school after the school district received a risk analysis about nearby pipelines. The risk assessment can be downloaded here.

School Board votes to close Pumphrey Elementary School. This link will download a document that includes all the stories regarding this closure of an elementary school in Texas near Houston. The risk analysis that was used to make this decision can be downloaded here.

Danger From Below

Video from Energy Now Network – In “Danger From Below,” Energy Now goes inside the community of San Bruno, California, devastated by a gas pipeline explosion.

California pipeline explosion raises concerns in Pasco