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House Subcommittee Holds Pipeline Safety Roundtable in King of Prussia

House Subcommittee Holds Pipeline Safety Roundtable in King of Prussia

Washington, DC – This morning, the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials under the leadership of Chairman Bill Shuster held a public roundtable discussion on pipeline safety issues in King of Prussia.

Chairman Shuster was joined at the meeting by his fellow members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation including Representatives Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent, Pat Meehan, and Lou Barletta. The group heard from a wide array of federal, state and local elected officials and stakeholders in the pipeline community in order to gather input on pipeline safety concerns in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“It is important for us as elected representatives and policy makers to get an on-the-ground assessment of the important issues that affect communities and businesses where pipelines are concerned” Shuster said. “There is a limit on what you can accomplish at a distance from Washington, DC and I was pleased to hear from such a diverse set of participants at today’s roundtable.”

“Pipelines are critical to Pennsylvania’s economy,” Shuster continued. “Our state has a tremendous opportunity to develop the Marcellus Shale, create jobs and transform our economy. This cannot happen without pipelines that bring gas to markets in our region and we must make sure our network infrastructure is safe and up to the task.”

“The safety of the approximately 700 miles of pipeline that snake throughout Chester County is critical to providing communities with peace of mind and helping meet our nation’s demand for home-grown energy,” Congressman Gerlach said. “I want to thank Chairman Shuster for engaging stakeholders in a discussion about reasonable approaches to addressing issues surrounding the safety and security of a vital part of Pennsylvania’s infrastructure.”

“In light of last month’s deadly natural gas explosion in Allentown, which claimed the lives of five of my constituents, I was particularly interested in learning more about the aging pipelines located in Pennsylvania’s cities,” Congressman Dent said.

“Much of the pipeline infrastructure in Allentown consists of cast iron pipelines. If aging cast iron systems expose communities to greater safety risks, it is important that federal, state and local authorities work together to facilitate thorough inspections of older pipes and replace those found to be deteriorating.”

“I appreciate this opportunity to join my colleagues for a productive discussion about addressing the need to secure Pennsylvania’s pipelines,” said Congressman Meehan. “Today we focused on finding real solutions, getting answers, ensuring accountability, and determining the best way to move forward. While pipeline accidents have seen a decline over the past decade, recent tragic events in Allentown and Philadelphia highlight the need for continued federal cooperation. I look forward to working with Chairman Shuster and other members of the subcommittee on addressing this important issue.”

"Today's discussion serves as the beginning of an important dialogue on the ways to improve pipeline safety in our Commonwealth and our country," Representative Lou Barletta said. "As Pennsylvania strives to become a leader in energy production, we have a responsibility to step up to the plate and find ways to improve our pipeline infrastructure while keeping our communities safe."