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U.S. Senate Transporation Committee Holds Pipeline Safety Field Hearing in West Virginia

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, to discuss pipeline safety issues in the wake of the December 2012 gas pipeline incident in Sissonville, West Virginia.  The Committee heard testimony from Ms. Sue Bonham, a resident of Sissonville; Ms. Deborah Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (the independent federal agency investigating the Sissonville incident); Ms. Cynthia Quarterman, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (the federal agency responsible for ensuring the safety of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines); Ms. Sue Fleming, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (an independent agency that performs audits, investigations, and studies for the U.S. Congress); Mr. Jimmy Staton, a senior executive for NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage; and Rick Kessler, President of the Board of the Pipeline Safety Trust (a nonprofit group dedicated to pipeline safety).  The witness’ written testimony and an archived webcast of the field hearing can be found on the Committee’s website.