Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is expected to pay San Bruno a visit Thursday as part of an effort he has been working on to strengthen federal pipeline safety rules so that a tragedy such as the Sept. 9 gas pipeline explosion doesn’t happen again.
According to Rep. Jackie Speier’s office, LaHood will tour the explosion site in the Crestmoor neighborhood with the congresswoman before checking out a pipeline removal project in San Francisco. A press conference will follow in San Francisco in the afternoon.
They are expected to be joined by Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, San Bruno city officials and California Public Utilities Commission representatives.
For the last few months, LaHood has been calling for stronger pipeline safety regulations and practices among officials and industry leaders. He held a gas pipeline safety meeting in April with oil and gas industry representatives, public safety advocacy groups and government stakeholders and cited, in particular, the San Bruno blast and another in Allentown, PA, that killed five people as incidents that can’t continue to happen.
In the summer, the federal government will begin enforcing a new rule that requires all gas pipeline operators to identify threats such as corrosion, natural forces and excavation damage, and evaluate and prioritize risk, the Los Angeles Times reported.