LA councilman calls for underground pipeline review

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl called today for examining the city's underground pipelines in the wake of an explosion and fire that devastated a neighborhood in northern California.

"It is imperative that the council look closely at not only the safety of our pipelines, but also at what plans are in place if something tragic should happen,'' Councilman Bill Rosendahl said. "If we don't do our due diligence as elected officials and public servants, the results could be fatal.''

Rosendahl proposed directing various agencies to report on the safety and compliance record of franchises with underground flammable transmission pipelines running beneath the city.

He said the fire and emergency management departments should also report on the city's preparedness to deal with a pipeline rupture or explosion.

Thursday's explosion in the northern California city of San Bruno destroyed dozens of homes and killed several people.

In 1976, Rosendahl said, an 8-inch gasoline pipeline was ruptured by a construction crew on Venice Boulevard in Palms, causing a fire that killed six people, injured 24 and destroyed six structures.

After the magnitude-6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994, a 20-inch natural gas feeder main ruptured and exploded on Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills, burning five homes, Rosendahl said.