CRS Analysis: Pipelines Remain Vulnerable

February 22, 2012
FedCyber Wire, Incidents
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The nation’s half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil and other hazardous liquids, while highly efficient, remain vulnerable to environmental damage, accidents and terrorist attack, according to an analysis from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

“Both government and industry have taken numerous steps to improve pipeline safety and security over the last 10 years,” the report, Keeping America’s Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress, said. “Nonetheless, while many stakeholders agree that federal pipeline safety programs have been on the right track, the spate of recent pipeline incidents suggest there continues to be significant room for improvement. Likewise, the threat of terrorist attack remains a concern.”

Taken as a whole, releases from pipelines cause few annual fatalities compared to other product transportation modes, CRS acknowledged, citing Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, which found that hazardous liquid pipelines reported an average of 1.8 deaths per year from 2006 through 2010.

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