November 02, 2016

Democratic Committee Leaders Ask DOT to Investigate Colonial Pipeline Company

WASHINGTON, DC — Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ),Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL), Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Ranking Member Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today requesting a thorough investigation of the Colonial Pipeline Company following  a fire and explosion at a Colonial pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama earlier this week. 

The explosion on Monday night, which killed one person and left several others injured, is the third major incident at a Colonial facility in just over a year and at least the seventh incident in the last five years. 

“This is an unacceptable situation, and we are concerned that the number, frequency and severity of significant incidents on Colonial’s system over the past five years could be symptomatic of severe underlying problems with the system and the company’s management of that system,” the members wrote. “Therefore, we urge you to immediately undertake a full and thorough investigation of the safety of the Colonial system, including Colonial’s management, as well as the robustness of its maintenance and integrity oversight activities for the pipelines in the system over the past five years.”

The members also requested an initial briefing from the Department of Transportation on the safety of Colonial’s pipeline system as soon as possible.

A copy of the letter is available here.