AGA Provides Industry Perspective at NTSB Hearing on San Bruno Incident

News Release

AGA Provides Industry Perspective at NTSB Hearing on San Bruno Incident

Washington, D.C. - Two representatives from the American Gas Association (AGA) today testified before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has held a series of hearings this week on the tragic natural gas pipeline rupture and explosion that occurred in San Bruno, Ca., on September 9, 2010. The hearings are part of an ongoing investigation and intended to collect information that will assist in the NTSB s examination of the incident.

Determining the root cause of this tragic accident is not only critical to understanding how to improve upon current pipeline safety practices, but also will help identify what actions might be taken by operators to enhance public safety, said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. AGA and its member companies stand ready to do all that they can to assist NTSB in its mission to learn more about this occurrence, and to work with other stakeholders, so that future accidents of this type can be prevented.

The NTSB focused the third and final day of its hearings on pipeline inspection technologies and industry practices. AGA s vice president of Operations and Engineering, Christina Sames, and Chuck Dippo, AGA operating section chairman and vice president of engineering services, and system integrity at South Jersey Gas Company, discussed industry benchmarking, data sharing and how pipeline operators address pipeline safety.

AGA commends the NTSB for its diligence in conducting this public hearing, said Sames. It is critical for pipeline operators and regulators to know the details of incidents like this so that all stakeholders understand the key issues needing further consideration. AGA will continue to engage our utility operators, research organizations, and other stakeholders to understand what happened and what actions should be undertaken to prevent future incidents.

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, Sames added. The natural gas delivery system is the safest form of energy delivery that exists, and the industry is continually working to advance safety.

The NTSB investigation will not be completed for several months. For more details and to view Sames and Dippo s prepared presentations, please click here.