JULY 28, 1997
Pipeline meeting successful
by Andrew Walgamott
A community meeting about a recent natural gas leak east of Woodinville drew nearly a hundred local residents and pipeline officials to the East Ridge Elementary gym last week. The Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District (WFLSD) had originally called the meeting to discuss the Northwest Pipeline leak June 27 and future evacuation plans. WFLSD holds such meetings typically after house fires or other events.
Citizens with concerns over pipeline noises and safety issues caught wind of the meeting and passed out flyers to their neighbors, directing them to the meeting to band together to watchdog Northwest Pipeline. In both ways the meeting was a success.
Dominic Marzano, WFLSD deputy chief, hoped to capitalize on citizens' interest and the Adairs passed around a mailing list to residents who wished to keep abreast of developments with Northwest's noisy pipeline. Marzano said he hoped to form a partnership with the pipeline company and the neighborhood to come up with a localized plan for similar events. As for the Adairs, their mailing list came back to them with 69 interested names.
During the meeting, gas officials and Marzano took the public back through the first moments of the leak and agencies responses. Initial 911 calls led emergency crews to wrong locations. Marzano also conceded that evacuation of the Saybrook development could've been better. But most of the gathered were there to speak with Northwest Pipeline.
Grant Jensen, district manager, likened the pipeline to "a large underground trucking company." He outlined safety procedures Northwest Pipeline takes to make sure their parallel 26-inch and 30-inch lines don't break.
"Over the road trucks scare me more than this," Marzano said at one point.
Still, residents weren't convinced. After Jensen told the audience that the pipeline was elastic and "it could move several feet," Martin Adair asked about the danger of "stress corrosion cracking."
"That's a good question and we don't have an answer," Jensen replied.
Afterwards, Amy Adair said she and others were consulting with attorneys about steps they can take against the company. Already, the company has fast-tracked a project to silence their compressor station which sends thumps down the line.