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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-84-024
Details
Synopsis: ON MARCH 15, 1983, AN 8-INCH-DIAMETER LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) PIPELINE OPERATED BY THE MID-AMERICA PIPELINE SYSTEM (MAPCO) WAS DAMAGED BY A ROTATING POWER AUGER BEING USED TO DRILL HOLES IN ROCKY TERRAIN TO PLANT TREES ON LOT 8, SECTION 5, BLOCK 43 OF THE CHAPARRAL ESTATES HOUSING DEVELOPMENT NEAR WEST ODESSA, TEXAS. THE DAMAGED PIPELINE RUPTURED AND WITHIN 3 MINUTES, LPG, WHICH WAS BEING TRANSPORTED AT 1,075 PSIG, ESCAPED, VAPORIZED, AND WAS IGNITED BY AN UNDETERMINED SOURCE. IN THE RESULTANT FIRE, FIVE PERSONS WERE KILLED AND FIVE PERSONS WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED--ONE PERSON DIED 5 DAYS LATER. TWO MOBILE HOMES, A SMALL FRAME HOUSE, AN AUGER TRUCK, TWO CARS, AND A PICKUP TRUCK WERE DESTROYED; 9,375 BARRELS OF LPG WERE BURNED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE MID-AMERICA PIPELINE SYSTEM: DETERMINE PERIODICALLY THE STRESS LEVEL, BURIAL DEPTH, PROTECTION AT ROAD CROSSINGS, AND OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING THE SAFETY OF ITS PIPELINES CARRYING HIGHLY VOLATILE LIQUIDS; CORRELATE THESE FACTORS WITH THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE AT RISK; AND ESTABLISH A RANKED ORDER OF RISKS THAT INCLUDES APPROPRIATE PREVENTIVE ACTIONS THAT WILL BE INITIATED TO PRECLUDE UNACCEPTABLE THREATS TO PUBLIC SAFETY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: West Odessa, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA83MP015
Accident Reports:
Mid-America Pipeline System Liquefied Petroleum Gas Pipeline Rupture
Report #: PAR-84-01
Accident Date: 3/15/1983
Issue Date: 6/18/1984
Date Closed: 8/19/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Mid-America Pipeline System (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Mid-America Pipeline System
Date: 8/19/1987
Response:

From: Mid-America Pipeline System
To: NTSB
Date: 5/19/1987
Response: IT IS MID-AMERICAN PIPELINE COMPANY POLICY TO OPERATE IS PIPELINES WITHIN ACCEPTABLE STRESS LEVELS AS REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGULATIONS FOR LIQUID PIPE LINES - 49 CFR PART 195. THE STRESS LEVEL AT ANY POINT IN THE PIPELINE IS READILY DETERMINABLE AT ANY TIME FROM THE OPERATION PRESSURE IN THE PIPELINE, THE SIZE, GRADE, AND WALL THICKNESS OF THE PIPELINE, THE RELATIVE ELEVATIONS ALONG THE PIPELINE AND THE FLOW RATE IN THE PIPELINE. STRESS LEVELS IN MID-AMERICAN PIPELINES VARY CONSTANTLY BECAUSE OF VARYING PRESSURES DEPENDING UPON THE HYDRAULIC OPERATING CONDITIONS IN THE PIELINE. MID-AMERICAN HAS CONTROL DEVICES THROUGHOUT ITS PIPELINE SYSTEM WHICH, THROUGH THE CONTROL OF PRESSURE AND FLOW, PREVENTS STRESS LEVELS FROM EXCEEDING REGULATORY LEVELS, AND WHICH THEREBY PRECLUDES THE NEED FOR PERIODIC DETERMINATION OF STRESS LEVEL. HOWEVER, DETERMINATION OF STRESS LEVELS IS ADDRESSED WHEN NECESSARY, SUCH AS PRIOR TO A CHANGE IN OPERATING CAPABILITIES OF THE PIPELINE, THE ADDITION OF DIFFERENT EQUIP MENT, ETC. MID-AMERICAN PIPELINES ARE CONSTRUCTED AT THE DEPTHS AS REQUIRED BY 49 CFR PART 195. THESE MINIMUM DEPTHS DO NOT CHANGE UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN REMOVAL OF SOME OF THE COVER OVER THE PIPELINE BY THE LANDOWNER OR OTHERS, OR BY WATER OR WIND EROSION. PERIODIC SURVEILLANCE MOST ALWAYS DETECTS THESE ACTIVITIES AND PROCESSES. RESPONSIBLE LAND OWNERS, WHEN CONCERNED, PROVIDE OR REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO THE DEPTH OF COVER OF THE PIPELINE. MID-AMERICA PROMPTLY RESPONDS TO SUCH REQUESTS BY LANDOWNERS. HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS, UTILITIES AND OTHER PIPELINE OPERATORS ROUTINELY ADVISE MID-AMERICA OF PROPOSED ACTIVITIES IN WHICH DEPTH OF BURIAL OF THE PIPELINE MUST BE CONSIDERED. FROM THESE REQUESTS AND ADVISORIES THE DEPTH OF THE PIPELINE IS DETERMINED ON AN "AS NEEDED" BASIS, IT BEING IMPRACTICAL TO PERIODICALLY DETERMINE THE DEPTH OF BURIAL OF THE ENTIRE PIPELINE. PROTECTION AT ROAD CROSSING CONSISTS OF DEPTHS OF COVER OVER THE PIPELINE IN THE CROSSING, AND ADVISORY MARKERS AT EACH OF THE CROSSINGS. IN SPITE OF DEFACEMENT, MUTILATION, DESTRUCTION, MOVEMENT AND THEFT OF THE ADVISORY MARKERS, MID-AMERICA STRIVES TO KEEP THE MARKERS MAINTAINED AT ROAD CROSSINGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS, AND REINSTALLS MARKERS WHEN FOUND TO BE DEFACED, MUTILATED, DESTROYED, MOVED OR STOLEN. MID-AMERICAN (AND OTHER PIPE LINE OPERATORS) DO NOT ENJOY THE SUPPORT OF ANY NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD OR LEGISLATIVE BODY IN RECOMMENDATIONS ADVOCATING LAWS AND PENALTIES, OR ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS AND PENALTIES PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION OF AND PROSECUTION FOR DEFACEMENT, MUTILATION, DESTRUCTION, MOVEMENT OF THEFT OF ADVISORY MARKERS. MID-AMERICAN CAN CORRELATE AND DOES, IN A GENERAL WAY, RECOGNIZE THESE FACTORS WITH THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT RISK WHEN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT RISK IS SIGNIFICANT, BUT IT DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THAT APPROPRIATE PREVENTA TIVE ACTION DIFFERS, DEPENDING UPON THE RANKED ORDER OF RISKS. 49 CFR PART 195 PROVIDES FOR THE SAFE DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF LIQUID PIPELINES. MID-AMERICA USES ITS BEST EFFORTS TO ADHERE TO THESE REGULATIONS. THESE REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE ADEQUATE. ALTHOUGH ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN, THE NUMBER OF FATALITIES EACH YEAR HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN LOW, ESPECIALLY WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER TRANSPORTATION MODES.

From: Mid-America Pipeline System
To: NTSB
Date: 12/3/1986
Response: THERE HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE OR FOLLOWUP TO THESE RECOMMENDA TIONS.

From: NTSB
To: Mid-America Pipeline System
Date: 12/3/1986
Response: