EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPIPELINE SAFETY HEARING
from Eyewitness News Online
Rockefeller Announces Pipeline Safety Hearing In Charleston
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jan. 5, 2013 1:41 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 7, 2013 11:37 AM EST
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, announced Monday he is convening a field hearing in Charleston on pipeline safety Jan. 28.
On the heels of the Dec. 11 transmission pipeline explosion in Sissonville, Rockefeller - who has made pipeline safety a priority in his four years as chairman - will bring together key witnesses to review the current state of pipeline safety, according to a news release from Rockefeller's office.
"The Sissonville explosion shook West Virginia quite literally, and served as a stark reminder that pipeline safety is serious. And oversight is critically important," Rockefeller said. "This will be the fourth Senate Commerce Committee hearing on this issue during my tenure as chairman, and it's an important one to West Virginia - because we know how much worse things could have been in Sissonville. And West Virginians want to know everything is being done to prevent accidents - and disasters."
Through the hearing, "Pipeline Safety: An On-the-Ground Look at Safeguarding the Public," Rockefeller will review the Department of Transportation's implementation of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, which became law last January and was largely based on legislation he cosponsored and moved through Congress. This forum will also provide an opportunity to review the findings of a Government Accountability Office study about the ability of transmission pipeline facility operators to respond to a hazardous liquid or gas release. The study is expected Jan. 23.
"Passing comprehensive pipeline safety legislation was a good step, but I did push for even stronger provisions in that bill - and we must assess where implementation of that law stands, and whether future actions are needed," Rockefeller said.
It's been nearly a month since the massive pipeline explosion in Sissonville and concern over the safety of that gas-line owned by Columbia, remains.
Friday, federal and state agencies discussed whether it was safe to restore service to the line.
Although only a few hundred feet of the pipe failed, the remainder of the pipe may have to be thoroughly examined as well.
The explosion scorched a section of Interstate 77 and destroyed five nearby homes.
"We don't want just a three hundred foot section of where the rupture was and where the fire was this last time," said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County fire coordinator and deputy emergency manger.
"We want some more comprehensive testing done on the whole line. We don't want that line re-energized until we make sure it's going to be safe," Sigman said.
The Department of Transportation will meet with state and county leaders next week to discuss when the pipe-line can be safely restored.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
2012 NEWS: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.