While an environmental impact statement released this week says that chances for a rupture in a pressurized gas pipeline is "remote," local residents say an explosion of two similar pipelines in Kansas last week is reason enough to keep federal officials from routing it through the Salt Lake Valley.
The explosion of a propane and methane gas pipeline in Topeka, Kan. last Friday caused the temporary evacuation of 200 people and left a crater 30 feet in diameter and 25 feet deep in a highway. No one was injured.Some 387 incidents involving death, property damage and injury have occurred during the past four years with the operation of pipelines. Four incidents have occurred in populated areas with no injuries, however.
More than $39 million in property damage was reported from pipeline problems. Over that same time, 20 people have died and 79 have been injured, according to Barry Messner with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"It's a little scary because the route passes our fault lines," Renee Coon said.
The environmental impact statement says the pipeline could be affected by landslides and earthquake liquefaction. The favored pipeline route runs near residential areas in West Valley City, Bountiful and North Salt Lake. Other alternatives could impact residents in Farmington and Centerville.
North Salt Lake City Councilman Carlin Jacobson said, "They can claim it only affects a small percent, but the pipeline would be so close to my house it could be the percent that kills me and my family . . . not only us, but the whole neighborhood."