AWC Grant Project Report (the other Washington)

Report
Jim Doherty
Legal Consultant
Municipal Research & Services Center
Seattle
November, 2010

AWC – Association of Washington Cities

WSAC – Washington Association of Counties

PST – Pipeline Safety Trust

WUTC - Washington Utilities and
Transportation Commission

NWGA – Northwest Gas Association

MRSC – Municipal Research & Services Center
Posted a web page
http://www.mrsc.org/Subjects/PubSafe/trans
pipes.aspx

Took the message out to the local
governments
A dozen presentations around the state
Lots of Print and Electronic
Communications
We offered to travel to jurisdictions to meet
with local elected officials and staff
We offered to help them by assisting with the
drafting of procedural or substantive
regulatory ordinances

Verbal support ◦ Gee, nice presentation and info!
◦ Promises that they would follow up and take
action
But very little action (so far)
Not a single call following the California
rupture!

Planning Departments in cities and counties
have been decimated by layoffs and funding
cuts
◦ Only required projects (state mandated
planning efforts) and routine tasks
◦ Or separately funded projects


Is it too early to see the full impact of
our efforts?
Are some jurisdictions awaiting the
issuance of the PIPA report?


Will the release of the report provide the
legitimacy for local governments to address
the issue?
We can hope so.


The Achaeans had Achilles, the Trojans had
Hector (for a while)
In every community we need to get either a
member of the legislative body, a
persuasive planner, or a VERY EFFECTIVE
local citizen to push the issue.



We now have good, well thought out options
to offer to local governments
Many local governments are currently in a
defensive mode, unwilling or unable to take
on new initiatives
The pipelines are underground and most
people are not concerned until they see
flames and hear sirens



Continue with same pattern: educate & seek
to motivate, provide $$$ to prime the pump
Elicit support from industry and get industry
more involved with local government
planning (acknowledgement of risk?)
Can PHMSA take a bolder role in the process?

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