DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s been more than a year since a natural gas explosion killed a 12-year-old girl inside her northwest Dallas home.
On Monday, three bills aimed at trying to prevent future tragedies like this will be heard in a Texas House committee.
Atmos Energy said heavy rains and shifting soil caused the natural gas explosion that claimed the life of Linda Rogers last February.
In the last year, Atmos has replaced 98 miles of pipes.
The explosion happened in State Representative Rafael Anchia’s district. He’s authored the three bills that will be heard in the Texas House Energy Resources Committee at 2:00 p.m.
Rep. Anchia is Chairman of that committee.
House Bill 864 ensures operators (gas companies) notify the Texas Railroad Commission within one hour of incidents that result in injuries, property damage or significant unintentional gas loss and specifies what information must be provided. Additionally, this legislation mandates the Texas Railroad Commission retain this information indefinitely.
House Bill 866 requires operators remove and replace all cast iron pipeline material in their system by December 31, 2021, increase the replacement of pipelines posing the greatest risk each year, and develop a risk-based program for pipeline removal and replacement.
House Bill 868 would require interactive mapping information of dangerous leaks be made available on gas company websites so consumers could search the information for locations important to them like their neighborhood, workplace or child’s school.
The goal of these bills is to increase transparency from natural gas companies.
“I commend Chairman Anchia for his leadership. These are important bills that will make deadly and disfiguring house explosions due to outdated gas lines less likely. Dangerous, outdated, and failing gas lines must be replaced at a much faster pace. And the public has the right to know if gas is leaking underneath them,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
“Last year’s natural gas explosion affected the entire Dallas community. As a legislator, and more importantly a father, I am committed to pursuing meaningful legislation that will improve safety in the system. Monday’s hearing will move us one step closer to realizing that goal,” said Chairman Rafael Anchia.