The company whose natural gas line blew up and killed a 12-year old girl last week in Dallas is refusing to reveal where old steel pipes still exist in the city.
As the Dallas Morning News reported, Atmos Energy claims it would pose a “security risk” to reveal which Dallas neighborhoods still have the steel pipes. A company spokeswoman maintains ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the firm has maintained a veil of secrecy over its pipelines.
It was last week when a gas blast destroyed a home and killed 12 year old Linda Rogers. The blast knocked the home off its foundation and the roof collapsed.
Since then, gas has been turned off to more than 2,800 customers and they will likely be without natural gas for another two to three weeks while the company replaces the line with plastic pipes.
The steel pipes were installed in the 1940s and 1950s and they remain a problem because of the contraction and expansion of the clay soil in North Texas.
Some homes in Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove still have steel pipes. The Railroad Commission of Texas has not ordered any replacement of the aging pipes.
Nearly 8 years ago, Atmos agreed to replace 100,000 steel service lines in order to prevent natural gas explosions. The Railroad Commission gave thought to ordering all gas utilities to replace more than 2 million steel service lines with plastic.
Instead, the commission did not order any replacement and created a rule directing gas utility firms to survey their lines, determine which ones might be threats for failure and then make a plan for replacements.