What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 6, 2010

In the dark


When a neighborhood in San Bruno, California was decimated by a giant fireball from an exploding natural gas pipeline last month, you probably assumed that the company which operated the pipeline had a plan for such emergencies (correct) and that the plan was open for review by local government officials and first responders, industry watchdogs and the public (wrong).

Apparently, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) doesn't require these companies to provide them with copies of these plans so no one can request to see the plans under any sort of sunshine laws -- including the city, county and state governments wherein the pipelines reside.

The PHMSA merely visit the plans at the offices of these companies.

Isn't that special?
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