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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-017
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 6:45 P.M. ON 6/9/94, A 2-INCH-DIAMETER STEEL GAS SERVICE LINE THAT HAD BEEN EXPOSED DURING EXCAVATION SEPARATED AT A COMPRESSION COUPLING ABOUT 5 FEET FROM THE NORTH WALL OF JOHN T. GROSS TOWERS, AN EIGHT-STORY RETIREMENT HOME OPERATED BY THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY AT ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA. THE FAILED UGI UTILITIES, INC,. (UGI) SERVICE LINE RELEASED NATAURAL GAS AT 55 PSIG PRESSURE, & THE ESCAPING GAS FLOWED UNDERGROUND TO GROSS TOWERS. THE GAS PASSED THROUGH OPENINGS IN THE BUILDING FOUNDATION, ENTERED THE MECHANICAL ROOM THROUGH FLOOR VENTS, & MIGRATED TO OTHER BUILDING FLOORS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY: ENCOURAGE UGI SERVICES, INC., TO INSTALL AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE IN THE GAS SERVICE TO ANY BUILDING THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OWNS OR MANAGES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Allentown, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MP003
Accident Reports:
UGI Utilities, Inc., Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-96-01
Accident Date: 6/9/1994
Issue Date: 3/6/1996
Date Closed: 11/4/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Excess Flow Valves

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
Date: 11/4/2002
Response: Closed administratively by Notation 6652C. On February 19, 1997, responding to the Housing Authority of the City of Allentown’s letter of May 14, 1996, the Safety Board classified Safety Recommendation P-96-17 "Open-Acceptable Response." In so classifying the recommendation, the Board noted the Housing Authority’s efforts to encourage UGI to install EFVs in the four high-rise housing projects for the elderly that the housing authority operates. The Board further noted that UGI was working to determine whether there was an EFV available that would be suitable for installation in the service lines to these buildings. On May 23, 2002, staff left telephone messages and e-mailed the executive director of the Housing Authority, but there has been no response. However, staff believes that the 1996 response was positive and that, at that time, the Housing Authority had complied with the recommendation, despite UGI’s failure to install the EFVs. Given the 5 years that have transpired since our last correspondence and the fact that the Housing Authority of the City of Allentown did comply with the recommendation, staff proposes that Safety Recommendation P-96-17 be classified "Closed-Acceptable Action." Further, staff believes that a letter to the Housing Authority advising of the revised status would have little meaning for the Authority and serve no useful purpose; consequently, staff proposes that a letter not be sent.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
Date: 2/19/1997
Response: THE BOARD APPRECIATES YOUR EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE UGI TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN THE FOUR HIGH-RISE HOUSING PROJECTS FOR THE ELDERLY THAT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OPERATES. WE UNDERSTAND THAT UGI IS WORKING TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE AVAILABLE THAT WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR INSTALLATION IN THE SERVICE LINES TO THESE BUILDINGS. PENDING FURTHER ACTION, P-96-17 REMAINS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
Date: 5/16/1996
Response: THE BOARD WELCOMES THE AHA'S ENDORSEMENT OF BOTH RECOMMENDATIONS. WE ALSO APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS INCLUDING THE NUMEROUS MEETINGS YOU HAVE HELD, TO IMPLEMENT THESE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS. THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & GAS DETECTORS WILL BEGIN SOON. PLEASE ADVISE US WHEN EITHER THE EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR THE GAS DETCTORS ARE IN OPERATION. IN THE MEANTIME, P-96-17 & -18 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
To: NTSB
Date: 5/14/1996
Response: THE ALLETENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY AGREES WITH, CERTAINLY ENDORSES, & IS ALREADY IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER. LET ME BRING YOU UP TO DATE WHERE WE ARE IN OUR EFFORTS: "REGARDING EXCESS FLOW VALVES-" MEETINGS WERE HELD WITH UGI ON 10/3/95, WITH UMAC, INC. ON 12/21/95. UMAC, INC. & THE AHA EXCHANGE CORRESPONDENCE &/OR PHONE CALLS ON 12/29/95, 1/16/96, 1/29/96, 2/23/96 & 3/18/96 3/18/96.

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
To: NTSB
Date: 3/21/1996
Response: THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY (AHA) HAS CONTINUED TO WORK WITH & ENCOURAGE BOTH THE UGI UTILITIES INCORPORATED (UGI) & UMAC TO COMPLETE THE DESIGN & INSTALLATION OF THE EFV. RECENTLY, HOWEVER, AHA HAS BECOME CONCERNED REGARDING ITS ABILITY TO FULFILL NTSB'S RECOMMENDATION ON THE EFV.