News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on the 16th anniversary of the Bellingham pipeline accident. The pipeline rupture and subsequent fireball killed three young people, destroyed property, and prompted Congress to adopt new safety standards for the millions of miles of pipelines running across the country.

“For many in Washington, June 10th, 1999, will forever be a day marked by fear, loss, and tragedy,” Senator Murray said. “But it is also a day Congress woke up to long-standing problems with the inspection and oversight of our national pipeline system. While this country has enacted new policies, we have more work to do to honor the legacy of those lives lost 16 years ago and make sure our pipeline system and communities are safe.”

Additional information:

In 2002, Senator Murray successfully passed landmark pipeline safety legislation that cracked down on pipeline operators, tightened safety standards, increased fines, hired more inspectors and required better training. In 2009, led by Senators Murray and Maria Cantwell, Congress unanimously designated June 10th as National Pipeline Safety Day.  As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, Sen. Murray works to provide the necessary funding to support pipeline inspections, enforcement personnel, and grants to states for pipeline safety programs.