Georgia pipeline safety record worse than in Florida

Should we add to Georgia’s string of serious pipeline accidents (worse than Florida’s) by letting a pipeline company with fines for corrosion and leaks from PHMSA and a record fine for PCB spills from EPA gash an even bigger pipeline through our farms and past our towns, churches, and schools?

The data on Florida pipeline accidents in Ichetucknee Alliance’s position paper against the pipeline (the position that got Spectra’s Andrea Grover to say the “preferred” route had moved and “currently” there was no threat to the Ichetucknee River or Columbia County, Florida); that pipeline accident data came from Pipeline Safety Tracker, which finds an even worse pipeline safety record for Georgia: 89 incidents, 7 fatalities, 36 injuries, and $56.3 million in property damage.

Among those Georgia incidents was one near Albany, Georgia, 29 May 2004, caused by “Environmental Cracking Related” which caused $209,447 in property damage. That could be a concern about a proposed pipeline put in by a company whose employees told federal inspectors it never conducted key test for corrosion.

Even worse was this one, reported by Blayne Alexander for WRDW-TV August 6 July 2010, Pipeline explosion injures commissioner, kills son,

THOMSON, Ga. — McDuffie County commissioner Paul McCorkle is recovering after a pipeline explosion sent him to the hospital and killed his son, Jason.

It started with an earth-shaking blast and a smoke cloud visible from miles away.

McCorkle and his son Jason were using a bulldozer to do some work around their property this morning. Their bulldozer ruptured a propane pipeline buried in their work area at around 11 o’clock. A few seconds after the propane began to escape, a spark ignited the gas and caused the explosion.

The pipeline explosion and fire in Milford, Texas 14 November 2013 was also caused by construction workers puncturing a pipeline.

Both of those explosions (Thomson, GA and Milford, TX) were from pipelines much smaller than the huge yard-thick pipeline Spectra Energy wants to gash through south Georgia and north Florida on a 100 foot-wide path.


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