10 Sep '11, 10pm

NY Times: Oil Companies Operating on 'Honor System' When It Comes to Pipeline Safety

For example, the agency requires companies to focus their inspections on only the 44 percent of the nation's land-based liquid pipelines that could affect high consequence areas -- those near population centers or considered environmentally delicate -- which leaves thousands of miles of lines loosely regulated and operating essentially on the honor system. Meanwhile, budget limits and attrition have left the agency with 118 inspectors -- 17 shy of what federal law authorizes. Pipeline operators, critics argue, have too much autonomy over their lines, and too much wiggle room when it comes to carrying out important safeguards, like whether to install costly but crucial automated shut-off valves. "The system as it presently exists, I don't think it really protects the public," said Representative Corrine Brown of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the House transportation subc...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/09/ny-times-oil-pipe...

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