Aging Pipe Infrastructure A Ticking Time Bomb

Recent news coverage of natural gas pipe explosions underscore a serious threat to public safety – the need to replace aging, leaking gas pipes.

Starting in 1991, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued multiple advisories on this very issue following explosions in Philadelphia and Allentown, PA. In those explosions, cast iron pipes installed in 1942 and 1928 corroded, resulting in natural gas leaks. The bulletins issued by PHMSA noted the dangers associated with aging cast iron pipes and urged operators of gas pipelines to conduct comprehensive reviews of their pipeline infrastructure, and to accelerate pipeline repair and replacement of high-risk pipelines.

Despite the fact that these bulletins were provided to utilities companies as far back as 1991, a vast amount of aging cast iron pipelines remain in the ground. Recent explosions in Birmingham, AL and Cordova, AL demonstrate the ongoing danger associated with the continued use of cast iron pipelines.

Glenda Cochran Associates is representing one of the most severely injured victims in the Birmingham Gate City explosion. We have discovered this information in our research on behalf of our client, and hope to increase awareness of this hazard to prevent future catastrophic explosions.