(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Ten years following the deadly Olympic Pipeline explosion in Bellingham, Washington, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell today introduced and passed a resolution in the U.S. Senate designating June 10, 2009 as “National Pipeline Safety Day.” 

Murray delivered a speech on the Senate floor commemorating the tragedy and called up the Resolution which then passed the Senate by unanimous consent. 

“This ten year anniversary is a reminder of a terrible day of pain that we must never forget.  But it’s also a reminder that we can’t just assume someone else is taking care of things.  We can’t slip back to where we were before,” Senator Murray said.  “We have to stay vigilant and continue to work to improve the safety of our pipeline systems.  And that’s why we were proud to pass a Senate Resolution today designating June 10th as ‘National Pipeline Safety Day’ to continue to promote pipeline safety and create greater public awareness of the pipelines that run under and through our communities.”

“On June 10, 1999, a hazardous liquid pipeline exploded in Bellingham, Washington, killing two 10-year old boys and a young man and causing millions in damages,” said Cantwell. “In response to this tragedy, Congress passed more stringent pipeline regulations.  Yet there is more that can be done.  Designating June 10 as ‘National Pipeline Safety Day’ would honor the memory of those lost, as well as increase awareness of pipelines and encourage safer practices.”

In 2002, Senator Murray, with the help of Senator Cantwell, Congressman Rick Larsen and former colleagues Senator Slade Gorton and Congressman Jack Metcalf successfully passed landmark pipeline safety legislation  that has successfully reduced pipeline accidents across America.

Today’s Resolution is an effort to remind communities to remain vigilant and to encourage state and local governments to continue to promote pipeline safety and to create greater public awareness of the pipelines that run under and through our communities.