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Speeches

Closing Statement, Board Meeting, Gas Pipeline Explosion, Silver Spring, MD
Robert L. Sumwalt
Washington, DC
4/23/2019

In closing, I would like to thank the staff for your hard work. I also want to thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion.

My special thanks to Rachael Gunaratnam, the investigator-in-charge. But nothing gets done around here by one person; everything happens through team effort. On behalf of the Board, a sincere “thank you” not only to the investigative staff but to the support and program staff as well.

Pipelines provide heating and cooking fuel to millions of homes and businesses throughout the nation. But when pipelines fail, the results can be tragic—as they were the night of the explosion and fire in Silver Spring.

This agency’s employees know that by the time they arrive at an accident scene, nothing that they do can stop the worst from happening. All that they, and that we on this Board, can ever do, is help to prevent the same thing from happening to others.

Today’s recommendations, if acted upon, will prevent such tragedies through systemwide improvements to equipment and procedures.

We stand adjourned.