Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman John Garamendi Demands Progress from Department of Transportation on Pipeline Safety Rulemaking

June 22, 2018
Press Release
Rules governing pipeline safety that were mandated in 2011 still have not been written, jeopardizing public safety

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, demanded answers on the timing of regulations required in the wake of the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno. In a hearing with Howard “Skip” Elliott, the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Garamendi challenged the Department of Transportation on when it would complete the rulemaking process governing automatic or remote-control shut-off valves for natural gas pipelines. The absence of this important safety feature was a significant contributor to the San Bruno pipeline explosion on September 9, 2010, which killed 8, injured 58, and destroyed 58 homes.

Mr. Garamendi challenged Mr. Elliott on why it has taken nearly eight years since the date of the San Bruno tragedy to write and implement a rule on this issue: “I’m going to be on you like a bad spell, and I can assure you that the California delegation will be there also,” Garamendi said. “It was September 9, 2010. 8 people died, 58 homes were destroyed, and you don’t have a calendar. That’s not acceptable, sir, it’s just not acceptable.”

Mr. Garamendi followed through on a promise to deliver a calendar to Mr. Elliott for his use in determining a day when the rules will be drafted and put into place.

“I instructed my staff to deliver a Congressional calendar to Mr. Elliott’s office to aid him in setting a schedule for these rules that are eagerly awaited by residents of California and the nation,” said Garamendi. “I expect that calendar to be returned to me with exact dates on when we can all expect these rules to be in place.”

A video of Congressman Garamendi’s questioning of Mr. Elliott is available here.