Aging Gas pipes threaten many neighborhoods


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Hum

The USA TODAY Network release an investigative report on Sept. 23 about the dangers of aging, leak-prone natural gas pipes. The investigation finds gas explosions killed at least 135 people and injured another 600 people over the last decade, and some local gas utilities operate a high concentration of aging pipes despite years of warnings from federal safety regulators to replace them.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2014/09/22/aging-gas-pipes-special-report/16066245/

 

New research today says the nation's capital, notorious for leaking state secrets, has thousands of leaks of another sort: methane from natural gas pipelines.

 

More than 5,800 leaks from aging pipelines were found under Washington, D.C.'s streets by scientists from Duke University and Boston University, who dispatched a car equipped with measuring instruments across the city last January and February. Their findings appear in this week's peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

The researchers found 19 of the leaks had high concentrations of methane, a potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming as well as smog-forming ozone. So they got out of the car and put probes into manholes. They found 12 could have caused explosions because of their levels ? up to 10 times the threshold at which explosions can occur.

 

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DocM

So...with 13.5 people killed a year and almost 320 million people you chance is about 0.0000000422.

Not saying it shouldn't be worked on, but there are things that cause WAY more accidental deaths than gas lines.

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Hum

I have never trusted gas.

 

Growing up, we were woke up a few times in our neighborhood due to gas leaks.

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Ian S.

Honestly we knew this would happen at some point and the problem won't go away. Especially on the east coast, where the pipes and infrastructure are older. We are not only throwing away money, contaminating leaking water as well, but we are also causing many problems that could lead to deaths. Think of sinking into a sinkhole from a water leakage, but then blowing up from an explosion near by from a natural gas line, then having your body thrown into leaking sewage pipes! This is a serious issue whether you want to believe it or not. It may also define how well equipped we are for the future when we become dependent of mining here in the US after other countries become too unstable.

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beanboy89

I work around natural gas. My job is to find leaks. There are a lot of them out there. You can have a leak with a significant amount of gas in the air, but there are only very specific conditions where an explosion can happen.

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123456789A

So...with 13.5 people killed a year and almost 320 million people you chance is about 0.0000000422.

Not saying it shouldn't be worked on, but there are things that cause WAY more accidental deaths than gas lines.

 

Yes, more people get killed by pit bulls than this. They should stop selling these assault-style pets, making our neighborhoods unsafe.

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+Xinok

So...with 13.5 people killed a year and almost 320 million people you chance is about 0.0000000422.

Not saying it shouldn't be worked on, but there are things that cause WAY more accidental deaths than gas lines.

While it's not a major issue now, it has the potential to become a serious problem. Maybe not for a few decades, but eventually. In that context, I think it's worth discussing and implementing a long-term plan to combat this issue.

 

Unfortunately, gas lines are only one of many issues plaguing cities these days. The trouble is that America is past it's peak and our cities are getting old. Other countries with growing economies have the opportunity to build amazing new cities while we're stuck throwing money at maintaining our aging infrastructures. I would like to see more cities replacing old infrastucture with new infrastructure, but too many people are obsessed with culture and don't want anything to change. So our cities won't be getting bullet trains anytime soon...

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Hum

I work around natural gas. My job is to find leaks. There are a lot of them out there. You can have a leak with a significant amount of gas in the air, but there are only very specific conditions where an explosion can happen.

I wouldn't want to be the one who's house explodes. ;)

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FloatingFatMan

It's cheaper for the gas companies to pay out compensation, than it is for them to fix all the leaky pipes.

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DocM

They've been replacing them, especially around here, right down to running new lines to the house meters. Our suppliers have it down to a science, doing a whole sub, street by street, in just a couple weeks before moving on. Like an army of ants.

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