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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-84-029
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 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: ADVISE ITS MEMBERS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACCIDENT NEAR WEST ODESSA, TEXAS, ON MARCH 15, 1983, AND DEVELOP PRACTICES FOR ITS MEMBERS TO FOLLOW CONCERNING NOTIFICATION OF PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS OR OCCUPANTS OF REAL ESTATE OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANY PIPELINES OR PIPELINE EASEMENTS OR RIGHTS-OF-WAY WHICH CROSS THE PROPERTY AND OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS POSED BY THE PRODUCTS TRANSPORTED AND ADVISE THEM OF THE NEED TO CONTACT THE OWNER OF THE PIPELINE BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY EXCAVATION OPERATIONS.
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: 3/8/1989
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: National Association of Realtors (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: National Association of Realtors
Date: 9/12/1990
Response:

From: National Association of Realtors
To: NTSB
Date: 3/17/1989
Response: RESPONSE ATTACHED -- THIS WAS IN RESPONSE TO A SAFETY BOARD LETTER DATED MARCH 8, 1989, CLOSING P-84-29 AS UNACCEPTABLE ACTION. NO FURTHER EVALUATION IS NECESSARY HERE. THE NAR HAS NOT CHANGED ITS POSITION REGARDING THE RECOMMENDED ACTION AND THE BOARD STILL BELIEVES THAT THEY CAN AND SHOULD PROVIDE THE INFORMATION SUGGESTED TO ITS MEMBERS.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of Realtors
Date: 3/8/1989
Response:

From: National Association of Realtors
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/1988
Response: IT IS QUITE IMPOSSIBLE FOR USE TO ACQUIESCE IN THE CREATION OF AN OBLIGATION OR AN EXPECTATION WHICH OUR MEMBERS HAVE NO PRACTICAL CAPACITY TO FULFILL.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of Realtors
Date: 12/14/1988
Response:

From: National Association of Realtors
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/1988
Response: WE HAVE CAREFULLY REVIEWED THE RECOMMENDATION AND THE FACTS NOTICE OF THE POSSIBLE EXISTENCE OF SUCH EASEMENTS AND THE AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH CAUSED ITS ISSUANCE. WHILE WE CORRESPONDING NEED TO SO ADVISE POTENTIAL PURCHASERS. A APPRECIATE THE PROBLEMS WHICH THIS RECOMMENDATION IS FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAM TO INCLUDE INTENDED TO RESOLVE OR MITIGATE, WE BELIEVE IT SEEKS ACTIONS INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH EASEMENTS ON EXISTING TITLE RECORDS, AND PRACTICES BY REAL ESTATE AGENTS WHICH EXCEED BOTH THE AND TO INFORM REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN AREAS AFFECTED BY SUCH SCOPE OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WHICH THEY CUSTOMARILY PIPELINES OF THE NATURE AND EXISTENCE OF SAME, WOULD BE PERFORM AS WELL AS THOSE FOR WHICH THEY ARE QUALIFIED AND NECESSARY. SUCH A PROGRAM WOULD REQUIRE A DATABASE OF MAY FAIRLY BE EXPECTED TO PERFORM. ACCORDINGLY, WE BELIEVE INFORMATION REGARDING SUCH PIPELINES, THEIR LOCATION, AND IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR NAR AND/OR ITS MEMBERS TO UNDERTAKE THEIR HAZARDS. A REAL ESTATE AGENT PROVIDED WITH THAT ACTIONS OF A SOMEWHAT MORE LIMITED SCOPE THAN THOSE INFORMATION COULD THUS REASONABLY BE EXPECTED, IN TURN, TO SUGGESTED IN THE RECOMMENDATION. THE BASIS FOR THIS PROVIDES TO POTENTIAL PURCHASERS THAT INFORMATION RELATING TO POSITION IS EXPLAINED IN FURTHER DETAIL BELOW. A PARTICULAR PROPERTY OR MARKET AREA OF INTEREST. IN THIS THE RECOMMENDATION IDENTIFIES SEVERAL PUBLIC POLICY AND CONNECTION, THE NAR NETWORK OF MEMBER BOARDS COULD ASSIST IN SAFETY ISSUES RESULTING FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED, THE DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH INFORMATION AS THE NTSB OR OTHER INCLUDING "THE RESPONSIBILITY OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS, TITLE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY MIGHT COMPILE AND PROVIDE. RESEARCHERS, LOAN AGENCIES, AND LAND SELLERS TO PURSUE APART FROM THAT ROLE, HOWEVER, WE SEE LITTLE OR NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF PIPELINES THAT MAY POSE REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO PROVIDE THREATS TO PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS OF PROPERTY AND TO PROVIDE MORE COMPREHENSIVE ASSISTANCE, PARTICULARLY IN LIGHT OF THE THAT INFORMATION TO PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS." WE UNDERSTAND HIGHLY TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE HAZARDS AND QUESTIONS THE BASIS FOR THIS CONCERN IS THAT WHILE THESE PIPELINES INVOLVED. I TRUST THE FOREGOING IS RESPONSIVE TO YOUR EASEMENTS ARE GENERALLY RECORDED, SUCH FILINGS DO NOT LETTER, AND WOULD INVITE YOU TO CONTACT ME AGAIN TO DISCUSS DESCRIBE THE SPECIFIC PRODUCTS TRANSPORTED OR THE POTENTIAL THESE MATTERS OR TO DISCUSS AT FURTHER LENGTH THE ASSISTANCE HAZARDS PRESENTED BY PRESSURIZED LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS NAR AND ITS MEMBERS MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE, AS DESCRIBED (LPG). THE RECOMMENDATION FURTHER ASSERTS THAT INFORMATION ABOVE. ABOUT SUCH EASEMENTS IS NORMALLY PROVIDED IN A TITLE SEARCH WHICH IS OBTAINED AFTER, NOT BEFORE, THE PURCHASE, AND IS THEREFORE "GENERALLY ... TOO LATE FOR A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER TO ALTER THE COURSE OF EVENTS...." WE BELIEVE THAT IN SEVERAL RESPECTS THIS MISCOMPREHENDS THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM AS IT RELATES TO REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, THE CAPABILITIES OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO PROVIDE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE IN AVOIDING THE PROBLEM, AND THE REASONABLENESS OF IMPOSING UPON THE AGENT THE OBLIGATION TO DO SO. FIRST, IT IS PROBABLY NEITHER UNIFORMLY NOR EVEN GENERALLY ACCURATE TO SUGGEST THAT IDENTIFICATION OF AN LPG PIPELINE EASEMENT AFTER A PURCHASE CONTRACT IS EXECUTED IS "TOO LATE FOR A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER TO ALTER THE COURSE OF EVENTS." THE VERY REASON A TITLE SEARCH IS PERFORMED, GENERALLY SPEAKING, IS TO IDENTIFY TITLE DEFECTS WHICH, UNLESS REMEDIED, RENDER THE TITLE UNACCEPTABLE TO THE PURCHASER AND PERMIT HIM TO DECLINE TO COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION. WE RECOGNIZE THAT MOST REAL ESTATE SALES CONTRACTS PERMIT TITLE TO BE CONVEYED SUBJECT TO PRIVATE, PUBLIC AND UTILITY EASEMENTS OF RECORD. NEVERTHELESS, THE HAZARDS REVEALED BY LPG PIPELINE EASEMENTS OR THE FACT THAT BUILDINGS ON THE PROPERTY MAY HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED IN VIOLATION OF THE RESTRICTIONS OF SUCH EASEMENTS, AS THE RECOMMENDATION SUGGESTS, ARE LIKELY TO PERMIT A PURCHASER TO AVOID THE OBLIGATION TO COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION AND TAKE TITLE TO THE PROPERTY. THIS PROBLEM IS AGGRAVATED BY THE DIFFICULTY OR IMPOSSIBILITY OF ELIMINATING THE HAZARDS PRESENTED BY THE PIPELINE OR THE BUILDING'S VIOLATION OF THE EASEMENT RESTRICTIONS. OF COURSE, THE PURCHASER MAY INCUR CERTAIN COSTS IN PURSUING WHAT ULTIMATELY TURNS OUT TO BE AN UNCONSUMMATED TRANSACTION, BUT HE NEVERTHELESS AVOIDS PURCHASING A PROPERTY WITH UNDER THESE UNDESIRABLE CIRCUMSTANCES. SECOND, WE BELIEVE THE RECOMMENDATION FAILS TO CORRECTLY ASSESS THE CAPABILITY OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION NECESSARY TO ADVISE POTENTIAL PURCHASERS OF THE EXISTENCE AND HAZARDS OF LPG PIPELINE EASEMENTS. AS INDICATED IN THE RECOMMENDATION, THE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE RECORDS OF SUCH EASEMENTS OFTEN DO NOT EFFECTIVELY PROVIDE ADEQUATE DETAIL TO IDENTIFY THE NATURE OF HAZARDS PRESENTED BY AN LPG PIPELINE. IF THAT INFORMATION IS NOT CLEARLY INDICATED IN PUBLIC RECORDS, HOWEVER, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT IT IS INEQUITABLE AND UNREASONABLE TO IMPOSE UPON THE REAL ESTATE AGENT AN OBLIGATION TO OBTAIN THAT INFORMATION (FROM SOURCES WHICH ARE NOT IDENTIFIED) AND PROVIDE IT TO POTENTIAL PURCHASERS. INDEED, IT IS NOT EVEN CLEAR HOW AN AGENT IS SUPPOSED TO RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO "PURSUE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF PIPELINES." AN AGENT THEREFORE HAS LITTLE OR NO OPPORTUNITY TO REASONABLY BE APPRISED OF THE POSSIBLE EXISTENCE OF A PIPELINE EASEMENT, LITTLE OR NO OPPORTUNITY TO EASILY DISCERN DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE EASEMENT AND THE PIPELINE, AND IN MOST CASES HAS LITTLE FAMILIARITY WITH SUCH PIPELINES OR THE HAZARDS THEY MAY PRESENT. IMPOSING UPON REAL ESTATE AGENTS, THESE RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IS SIMPLY UNJUST. THUS, THE PROBLEM OF PURCHASERS OF PROPERTY NOT KNOWING OF THE EXISTENCE OR HAZARDS OF SUCH PIPELINES ON PROPERTY BEING PURCHASED IS LESS THE FAILURE OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO PROVIDE SUCH

From: NTSB
To: National Association of Realtors
Date: 6/7/1988
Response: