Grey Pipe is the name of a sewage pipeline in Philadelphia, PA. A pipeline spill caused by corrosion caused the pipeline to rust and burst. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of Robert Young who died in the explosion. His wife died in the incident as did his teenage son.
The pipeline in question had been constructed with an outdated regulation for oiling. It was not designed for hot or cold oil. The only way that the pipeline was meant to operate was as if there was hot oil pressure. Robert Young’s father told investigators that he had never used it before the accident and did not know how to operate it. This should have been a warning sign to authorities. The pipeline was never inspected before it was filled with fuel oil.
The pipeline itself was buried below the soil and never exposed to water. The water pressure causes the pipeline to expand which then causes the ball to break. Hot oil causes the ball to expand even more. What this means is that because the pipeline was never exposed to water the containment of the oil somehow became damaged. The spill ultimately caused millions of gallons of water to leak into the soil surrounding the pipeline.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story on the pipeline spill. The report stated that Mr. Young had been working near the buried pipeline when the accident occurred. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Roberta, issued the responsible party for wrongful death. Her attorney stated that Mr. Young had no business being near such a dangerous area. She is seeking compensation for medical expenses as well as her husband’s death.
The spill was contained shortly after it occurred. An excavator was sent to take out the remaining oil that had leaked onto the ground. The pipeline was then shut down. Subsequently, investigations were conducted to determine why the pipeline had leaked. It was discovered that corroded pipe sections had allowed the water to enter.
Environmentalists are calling for immediate action. They believe that the spill could have a devastating effect on the environment. Environmentalists have been touring the affected areas to make sure that the area has been completely cleaned up and that the contaminated soil has been removed. An environmental assessment has been ordered by the State of Pennsylvania.
As the pipeline is still contaminated with potentially dangerous chemicals the government will be conducting soil and groundwater tests. The cause of the spill is still unknown. However, officials believe that it was caused by the corrosion of the pipeline. This corrosion can have a devastating effect on the environment if not treated promptly.
Right now, the company involved in the construction of the pipeline has been in contact with local law enforcement officials. They are currently determining whether or not the soil surrounding the pipeline has reached its contaminant saturation point. Once the cause of the spill has been determined, they will be conducting their investigation to determine how best to clean up the contaminated soil. If no evidence of contamination is found the cleanup will begin immediately. This means that the grey pipe lawsuit will not likely be far behind.
One of the major difficulties faced by pipeline companies is the fact that water, as well as oil and natural gas, is sensitive. This means that once a spill occurs it can be difficult to contain the mess. Controlling the spill will require large trucks to tow the mess away. The company will also need to clean up the contaminated soil.
The spill is currently being handled by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of the suits have been brought against Energy Resources Management as well. These lawsuits claim damages for the negligence that has caused this situation to occur. So far the EPM has settled the lawsuits brought against them for environmental concerns. These suits could only be filed by residents or state agencies if the pipeline was operating under state law.
Many pipeline accidents are occurring around the country each year. An important question that must be answered is what should have been done in the first place. If an environmental assessment has been completed on a pipeline before the accident it will help avoid unnecessary lawsuits. If an assessment is not done it may be too late.