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Pipeline Dangers Examined by Federal Investigators

Posted By Arnold & Itkin LLP || 21-Mar-2013

Today, there are 1.8 million miles of gas delivery lines running underneath the earth throughout the United States, traveling below almost every town and city in our country. For this reason, the dangers of pipelines and explosions is ever present, and due to the recent string of pipeline explosions in our country, federal investigators are now looking into what could possibly be causing this overwhelming amount of disasters. San Bruno, California and Allentown, Pennsylvania have experienced firsthand these terrifying tragedies and the outcome of what happens to a city after a pipeline explosion. Sadly, with the pipelines stretching throughout what seems to be every inch of our country, any town could be next, facing the disasters of dangerous pipelines at any moment.

Gas pipelines have been used in some communities for nearly a century, meaning that the materials used below their homes are both outdated and unsafe. Many of these pipelines contain cast iron, and this material does not work well with the latest technology that was developed to automatically detect leakages in the pipelines. Because of this very obvious problem, local authorities are seeking to do whatever they can in order to have higher consequences for those gas companies who do not bring up to date their gas lines to the current federal standards.

At this time, the gas companies can only be fined $100,000 per day and up to $1 million when there are multiple violations, though for multi-billion dollar corporations, these fines barely hurt them. Just this last April the U.S. Secretary of Transportation shared that they are seeking to ask lawmakers to make these fines more substantial, raising it to $250,000 per day and $2.5 million. They hope that when the companies actually feel the pain of heavier fines that they will be more proactive in abiding by the federal regulations.

Pipeline accident are far too common, and just since 1990 our country has experienced over 3,000 natural gas pipeline accidents; and these are only he ones that have been officially reported to the government. While a majority of these accidents did occur in areas where there were little or no people present, there were still many incidents that placed people's lives in danger. Reports show that 30% of these accidents over the past two decades caused serious injuries and death for victims close to the site.

It is imperative that these gas companies be held accountable for their actions, and suffers the costs of placing the lives of innocent people at risk. In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in an industrial accident, contact a trusted plant explosion attorney at Arnold & Itkin today for the legal representation you deserve. We will do whatever we can to help you fight your claim and receive the compensation you and your family deserve for your pain and suffering.

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