US Senator: Pipeline mandates not followed : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Pipeline mandates not followed, Murray says

Friday, February 25, 2000


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS An inspector general's preliminary report has found that a federal agency failed to implement pipeline inspection standards Congress mandated in 1992 and 1996, Sen. Patty Murray said yesterday.

The report also found that the Office of Pipeline Safety has not developed internal inspection devices, or "smart pigs," capable of detecting seam weld defects that can cause pipeline ruptures, the Washington state Democrat said.

The criticisms in the preliminary report mirror many of those made last year at congressional hearings on pipeline safety in the wake of a Bellingham accident.

Then, the Research and Special Programs Administration, which oversees pipeline safety, was faulted for ignoring safety recommendations.

Murray said the preliminary report from Transportation Department Inspector General Ken Mead "moves us further along" in the effort to ensure Americans living near pipelines are safe.

Murray last August asked the inspector general to investigate the practices of the RSPA's Office of Pipeline Safety and the pipeline industry as a whole.

The preliminary report also found that RSPA inspectors are not trained in internal inspection devices and cannot interpret the results of internal inspections conducted by pipeline operators, Murray said.

A spokesperson for RSPA did not return a call requesting comment.

Also yesterday, Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., said he plans to hold a field hearing on pipeline safety March 13 in Bellingham. Gorton also said a bill Murray introduced is "an excellent start" and that he plans to co-sponsor


-- Carl Jenkins (, February 25, 2000

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