Thursday, December 20, 2012

NTSB report on San Bruno pipeline explosion/fire

Anyone wanting to understand pipeline safety should
have a look at the NTSB site. They only investigate major
disasters, and only a couple per year.

Here is the final report about the San Bruno explosion
which destroyed 38 homes, damaged 70, and killed 8 people, injured many more.
(153 pages, extremely detailed)

An easy entry point is to just read the summaries,
which are just a few pages.

Just looking at the first of MANY recommendations by NTSB to many parties
(PHMSA, US DoT, Calif. Gov. and PUC, AGA, INGAA, and the the operator PG&E)
in the San Bruno fire seems to indict the safety of the entire pipeline industry,
and the federal government's ability to provide oversight.

To Secretary of Transportation: Conduct an audit to assess the
effectiveness of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration's oversight of performance-based safety programs.

This audit should address the (1) need to expand the program's use of
meaningful metrics; (2) adequacy of its inspection protocols for ensuring
the completeness and accuracy of pipeline operators' integrity management
program data; (3) adequacy of its inspection protocols for ensuring the
incorporation of an operator's leak, failure, and incident data in evaluations
of the operator's risk model; and (4) benefits of establishing performance
goals for pipeline operators. (P-11-4)

Will be interesting to see if there is followup on these recommendations....

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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