"Tougher Pipeline Safety Rules Gain Support in Congress"

"Washington -- Tougher natural gas pipeline safety legislation gained support on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in the wake of the deadly San Bruno explosion that claimed its eighth fatality Monday.

Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced their own pipeline safety bill, following one introduced by California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and underscoring the growing national interest in a regulatory overhaul since the Sept. 9 explosion.

The bills, introduced as a Senate panel conducted a hearing on the San Bruno explosion, contain a number of similar provisions. They include a requirement for the installation of remote-controlled and automatic shut-off valves, a measure that proponents say would have limited the damage from the explosion in the community just south of San Francisco. It took utility officials an hour and 46 minutes to manually shut off the pipeline. The bills also would require more inspections and increase penalties for safety violations."

Richard Simon reports for the Los Angeles Times September 29, 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010