Opinion: Health and safety at risk if more gas pipelines allowed in NJ

PATTY CRONHEIM / NJ SPOTLIGHT – Natural gas pipelines can explode for many reasons.

In San Bruno, California, in 2010, the problem was defective welding.

In the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, last September, it was a faulty replacement process.

And in Edison, New Jersey, in 1994, investigators determined that the explosion resulted from an apparent gouge, probably from excavation equipment, combined with brittle pipe material and excessive operating pressures.

After the San Bruno tragedy that left eight people dead, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended, and Congress directed, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to redo the rules for pipeline safety. Some nine years later, nothing has changed …

Patty Cronheim is outreach coordinator for ReThink Energy NJ.

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