Washington, DC — Following the San Bruno, CA, incident last week, and with more details emerging, the American Gas Association (AGA) today released the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to those who are suffering and have lost loved ones and homes as a result of last week’s tragic natural gas explosion in San Bruno, CA.
Any natural gas incident, no matter the size, is an incident too many, which is why the American Gas Association and its members are committed to fostering best practices and engaging in industry dialogue with all key stakeholders to advance safe operations.
Natural gas utilities are subject not only to their own stringent internal controls, but also must meet rigorous federal and state oversight to ensure that natural gas is delivered safely, reliably and efficiently through its 2.4 million miles of distribution and transmission pipeline, which serves more than 165 million Americans daily.
As of last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived on site in San Bruno and is investigating the incident to determine its cause. While we are all anxious to learn the root cause of this accident, it is important to note that the NTSB has not yet arrived at any conclusion and may not do so for days or weeks.
We understand, however, that people have immediate concerns about the safety of natural gas transmission and distribution lines. To that end, AGA has attempted to gather relevant data in one place on its web site – www.aga.org. We encourage any and all who are interested in learning more about the safe delivery of natural gas to visit this site and educate themselves about the critical role this clean-burning, highly efficient fuel plays in all of our lives.
In addition to understanding the role natural gas plays in meeting the nation’s energy needs, it is equally important that all citizens are aware of the industry’s one-call safety program – “811 Call Before You Dig.” Citizens should call the number 811 every time there is an excavation project in a neighborhood or community, or even in one’s own front yard. It’s simple, free and could mean preventing an incident.
AGA will continue to work with all relevant parties to apply lessons learned so that the natural gas distribution and transmission system continues to be the safest and most reliable method of delivering energy throughout the nation.”