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US will require valves on new pipelines to prevent disasters
FOX Business Flash top headlines for April 1
Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for April 1.
BILLINGS, Mont. — U.S. officials on Thursday adopted a rule aimed at reducing deaths and environmental damage from oil and gas pipeline ruptures — a long-delayed response to fatal explosions and massive spills that have occurred over decades in California, Michigan, New Jersey and other states.
But safety advocates said the move by the U.S. Transportation Department would not have averted the accidents that prompted the new rule. That’s because it applies only to newly constructed or replaced pipelines — and not to hundreds of thousands of miles of lines that already crisscross the country, many of them decades old and corroding.
The rule requires companies to install emergency valves that can quickly shut off the flow of oil, natural gas or other hazardous fuels when pipelines rupture. It came in response to a massive gas explosion in San Bruno, California, that killed eight people in 2010, and to large oil spills into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and Montana's Yellowstone River and other spills.
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The National Transportation Safety Board since the 1990s has recommended the use of automatic or remote controlled valves on large pipelines — whether they are existing or new — to reduce the severity of accidents. Following a 1994 gas pipeline explosion and fire that destroyed eight buildings in Edison, Ne Jersey, the safety board urged the Transportation Department to expedite requirements for shut-off valves in cities and natural areas.