Pawlowski Presenting at One-Call Forum
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is
representing the National League of Cities today at a panel discussion
on pipeline safety in West Palm Beach, Florida.
meeting is being held to gain a perspective from local government on the
impact of exemptions in state one-call laws on safety.
was requested to participate by the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration. The panel also includes representatives
from the National Association of Counties, the American Public Works
Association, The American Farm Bureau Association and the American
Association of Railroads.
Excavation damage is a leading cause
of pipeline accidents and Congress has directed to PHMSA to study the
impact of exemptions on public safety.
In May 1994 an
excavation crew bent a natural gas line leading to the Gross Towers
housing complex in the 1300 block of W. Allen Street while removing a
buried heating oil tank. The company left the pipe uncovered and
unsupported until damaging it again in early June. That night, a gap in
the gas line caused gas to flow into the complex, triggering two
explosions and a fire. One person was killed and 60 others were injured.
Pawlowski chairs a US Conference of Mayors Pipeline Safety
Task Force and is working with San Bruno, California Mayor Jim Ruane to
define and develop a national mayors’ council.
San Bruno and
Allentown have been devastated by recent deadly natural gas explosions
and fires. A September 2010 pipeline explosion and fire in San Bruno
killed eight people, destroyed 38 homes, and badly damaged 70 more. A
February 2011 natural gas explosion in Allentown killed five people and
destroyed eight homes.
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