Feinstein and Boxer re-introduce pipeline safety bill


Julie Small/KPCC

San Bruno police cordoned off the Glenview neighborhood where a natural gas pipeline exploded Sept. 9, 2010.

It’s been nearly five months since a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people and destroying dozens of homes. California’s two senators are re-introducing a pipeline safety bill.

The bill by Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer is similar to one introduced last fall in the previous Congress. That bill died when lawmakers failed to bring it up for a vote before the session expired.

This measure doubles the number of federal pipeline safety inspectors, requires remote control shutoff valves and calls for extra oversight for older pipelines in earthquake country. It also increases penalties for safety violations. The bill enforces a laundry list of recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, which released its preliminary report on the San Bruno blast in January.

In a statement, Sen. Feinstein, who is in the Bay Area recovering from knee surgery, says people “shouldn’t have to worry that the pipes beneath their feet will suddenly explode.”

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