For Immediate Release
Contact: Carl Weimer (360) 733-8307 or (360) 815-4712
Bellingham Pipeline Tragedy – 5 Years Later
A Public Remembrance
11AM Thursday June 10th
Steps of the Bellingham City Hall (210 Lottie, Bellingham, WA)
On June 10th, the fifth anniversary of the Olympic Pipeline explosion in Bellingham, individuals from local, state and federal government, pipeline agencies, and citizen groups will come together to briefly discuss the aftermath of the Bellingham tragedy. They will discuss what has happened on the ground in Bellingham, what changes have been made in communities throughout Washington as well as at the state level, and what national changes in pipeline safety have come about. There will also be discussion of what more still needs to happen for pipelines to be safe, as well as a reading of some remembrances from people around the country.
Speakers will include:
- Mark Asmundson – Mayor, City of Bellingham
- Alan Rathbun, Pipeline Safety Director, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission
- Chris Hoidal, Western Regional Director, U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety
- Katie Hansen, Pipeline Safety Coordinator, Washington City & County Pipeline Safety Consortium
- Breean Beggs, Board Member, Pipeline Safety Trust
- Carl Weimer, Executive Director, Pipeline Safety Trust
Individual speakers will be available for the media following the event. A copy of many of the remembrances sent to us from people around the country, as well as the Pipeline Safety Trust’s strategic plan is attached for your use.
The Pipeline Safety Trust came into being based on the efforts and recommendations of SAFE Bellingham and the families of Liam Wood and Stephen Tsiorvas who were killed in the 1999 explosion. These Bellingham residents made it their number one priority to organize a perpetually funded oversight organization to ensure safer pipelines nationwide. On June 18, 2003, U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein ordered that four million dollars of the criminal fines imposed as a result of the Bellingham tragedy be awarded as an endowment to fund the Pipeline Safety Trust.