For Immediate Release
For More Information Contact: Carl Weimer (360) 543-5686 or (360) 223-2636 (cell)
Pipeline Safety Trust Doubles Size of Board of Directors by Adding Pipeline Expertise From Across The Country.
At the Pipeline Safety Trust’s annual meeting this past weekend the board voted unanimously to double the size of the board from five members to ten, and greatly expand the expertise and geographical diversity of its members.
Added to the Trust’s board were:
- Bob Rackleff is a County Commissioner and corporate speechwriter from Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Rackleff has hands on experience stopping needless pipelines in Florida, was a founding member of the National Pipeline Reform Coalition in the 1990’s. He brings to the Pipeline Safety Trust a wealth of experience at all levels of government from his current commissioner position, to serving as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter.
- John Devens, Ph.D., has served as executive director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council in Alaska since March of 1997. He was mayor of the City of Valdez at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and represented the city during the cleanup. From 1978-1992, he was president of the Prince William Sound Community College, which he founded. From 1993-96, he was president of Sterling College in Vermont.
- Katherine Hansen is a lawyer from Woodinville Washington. Ms. Hansen currently serves as the Chair of the Governor appointed Washington Citizen Committee on Pipeline Safety. She previously was the Pipeline Safety Coordinator for the Washington City and County Pipeline Safety Consortium where, among other things, she organized outreach to local governments about pipeline safety and land use decisions.
- Jim Pates served from 1986 to 2004 as the City Attorney of Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he led efforts by Fredericksburg for improvement in pipeline safety after that city twice lost their water supply because of breaks in the Colonial Pipeline. He was a founder of the National Pipeline Reform Coalition, and has testified before Congress on various pipeline safety bills. Mr. Pates is the author of two papers on pipeline safety and the producer of a 1996 public service video, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: What Every Local Government Should Know About Pipeline Safety.”
- Rebecca Johnson is the Operations Director for the Interfaith Community Health Center in Bellingham Washington. She is the Board President for Northwest Youth Services, and also serves on the Board of Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood. She recently finished her masters degree in non-profit management. Her family’s home abuts Whatcom Falls Park where the Olympic Pipe Line exploded in 1999.
“The experiences and expertise of these new board members will ensure that the Pipeline Safety Trust continues to grow as a national presence pushing for greater pipeline safety” said Carl Weimer the Pipeline Safety Trust’s executive director. “While the great loss we here in Bellingham experienced has served as the catalyst for change, this board understands that it will take a coalition of people from around the country representing citizens, local government, agencies, and the industry to truly make pipelines safer.”
Friday will be the 6th anniversary of the Bellingham Pipeline tragedy.
The Pipeline Safety Trust promotes fuel transportation 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 in the country to focus on pipeline safety issues. It came into being based on the efforts and recommendations of Bellingham citizens and the families of Liam Wood and Stephen Tsiorvas who were killed in the 1999 Olympic Pipeline explosion. 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.