"Transportation Chief to Unveil Pipeline Safety Effort"

"WASHINGTON — With so many pipeline accidents in the last few months that federal investigators cannot get to them all, the secretary of transportation plans to introduce a safety campaign on Monday aimed at coordinating federal, state and local oversight and making more information available to the public about potential hazards under foot.

'I want to be able to say to people, when you throw a light switch, you shouldn’t cause an explosion in your front yard,' the secretary, Ray LaHood, said in an interview. 'We ought to have the decency to tell people there’s a pipeline in the front yard, if they want to know that.'

And pipeline owners will come under pressure to assure that their pipelines, mostly out of sight and out of mind, are safe, he said.

Mr. LaHood will announce the campaign in Allentown, Pa., where an explosion from a natural gas pipeline killed five people on Feb. 9."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times April 4, 2011.

Monday, April 4, 2011