WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) today released the following statement in response to NTSB’s preliminary report regarding the tragic incident in San Bruno, CA, on September 9, 2010:
“AGA is pleased to note that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has conducted with its customary diligence and focus the investigation surrounding the tragic incident in San Bruno, CA, that occurred on September 9, 2010. Many important facts have been established in NTSB's preliminary report and additional testing still needs to be done. AGA is eager to learn the root cause of the incident and stands ready to work with its members, industry research organizations, state and federal pipeline safety regulators and other interested stakeholders to examine these findings and determine any necessary actions to preserve the safety of the nation's natural gas delivery system.
In December 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated a comprehensive pipeline integrity management regulation requiring all operators of natural gas transmission pipelines to develop an integrity management program. This integrity management program stipulates that, with respect to their design, construction, operation, maintenance and inspection requirements, those pipelines in populated areas, and in areas where people congregate, must receive additional assessment, evaluation and repair beyond the DOT regulations that other transmission lines are required to follow. The natural gas industry is working hard to ensure that these pipelines lying in high consequence areas (HCAs) have the integrity inspections completed by the end of 2012.
Natural gas is a clean, efficient, reliable and abundant resource, providing energy to more than 70 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S. In general, serious incidents associated with natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines are extremely rare in the United States. Over the ten-year period between 2000-2009, the gas transmission industry has averaged six serious incidents per year and the gas distribution industry has averaged 35 serious incidents per year. For more detailed information on pipeline accident statistics, please visit to the Department of Transportation website: http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/reports/safety/SerPSI.html?nocache=9871.”