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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-84-025
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: PROVIDE, BY REMOTELY OPERABLE VALVES OR OTHER MEANS, A CAPABILITY TO RAPIDLY ISOLATE FAILED SECTIONS, AND EVALUATE THE NEED FOR REDUCING THE SEPARATION OF REMOTELY OPERABLE VALVES OR OTHER CLOSURE DEVICES.
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: 2/21/1989
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Mid-America Pipeline System (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Remote Operated Valves

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Mid-America Pipeline System
Date: 2/21/1989
Response:

From: Mid-America Pipeline System
To: NTSB
Date: 9/7/1988
Response: YOU REQUESTED MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE STUDIES TO WHICH WE REFERRED CONCERNING THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF VALVE SPACING AND REMOTE OPERATION IN REDUCING THE HAZARD OF A PIPELINE FAILURE. THESE ARE: "PIPELINE BREAK FLOW MODEL PREPARED FOR THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE," AND "A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF TWO ALTERNATIVE VALVE SPACING AND REMOTE OPERATION REGULATORY PROPOSALS ON PIPELINES CARRYING HIGHLY VOLATILE LIQUIDS." BOTH OF THESE WOULD BE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE API. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS SO THIS RECOMMENDATION MAY BE CLOSED ACCEPTABLY.

From: NTSB
To: Mid-America Pipeline System
Date: 4/1/1988
Response:

From: Mid-America Pipeline System
To: NTSB
Date: 10/8/1987
Response: CONSIDERATION OF THE POPULATION AND THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE MANUAL GATE VALVE ARE THE PRIMARY DETERMINANTS. ONLY IN THE POPULATED AREAS HAVE WE ADDED OPERATORS TO EXISTING VALVE SETTINGS. NORMALLY, THE DESIGN OF THE SYSTEM (LOCATION OF THE GATE AND CHECK VALVES) TAKES INTO ACCOUNT ANY POPULATED AREAS. STUDIES HAVE CONFIRMED THAT REMOTE OPERATED VALVES DO NOT REDUCE THE HAZARD OF A PIPELINE FAILURE IN A POPULATED AREA. WE BELIEVE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN ACTED UPON IN AN ACCEPTABLE MANNER AND SHOULD BE CLOSED.

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

From: Mid-America Pipeline System
To: NTSB
Date: 5/19/1987
Response: MID-AMERICA HAS INSTALLED AND WILL CONTINUE TO INSTALL REMOTELY OPERATED VALVES TO RAPIDLY ISOLATE FAILED SECTIONS OF PIPELINE WHERE ANALYSIS INDICATES THEY ARE NEEDED. 49 CFR PART 195 DOES NOT REQUIRE CLOSE SPACING OF VALVES. STUDIES HAVE INDICATED THAT CLOSE SPACING OF VALVES DOES NOT SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THE RISK TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN THE CASE OF A PIPELINE FAILURE.

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: