Community Meeting Regarding AGL Pipeline - March 20, 2013

posted Mar 19, 2013, 5:54 AM by DECA Atlanta   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 5:54 AM ]

Clairmont Community Alliance will be holding a community meeting for residents

Wednesday, March 20th, 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm

Chamblee Library
4115 Clairmont Rd  Chamblee, GA 30341
(770) 936-1380

The recent gas leak incident emphasizes the importance of getting the kind of factual information we will be presenting at the meeting.  This is necessary in order to focus and intensify our efforts toward getting AGL to change the location of the regulator station planned for land parcel 36.  

When asked today what AGL's responsibilities are to inform the public during an emergency, Commissioner Chuck Eaton of the Public Service Commission, responded:  "I will speak with our staff regarding this issue. There is federal and state overlap, so I want to supply you with the correct answer."   

We appreciated Commissioner Eaton's prompt response on a Saturday morning.  However, we are concerned that the PSC Chair could not answer this straightforward question.  Keep in mind that AGL staff could not answer our specific questions about a safety plan, more generally, at their open house.  

Residents living near to yesterday's gas leak were afraid, confused and did not feel confident that the situation was being handled competently or efficiently.  AGL's blasé attitude toward public safety is unacceptable, and we must take action.  

Matt Sawhill, an AGL lobbyist, wrote to one of our reps this morning:
"According to the report that I got from the CRED Rep this morning: 

It was a small 4" plastic residential line hit during a routine dig. These incidents are not uncommon when installing underground infrastructure. Due to the heightened sensitivity of the regulator station location, the CRED Rep asked the foreman and superintendent to exercise extreme caution throughout the remainder of this process. There were no community advocates or disgruntled constituents present while he was on the scene. 

Y'all can forward any complaints you receive to our dedicated hotline to (hopefully) ease some community tensions associated with this project. "

Several factors of note: 
Sawhill himself only first became aware of the gas leak between 4 and 5 in the afternoon.  

Note how Sawhill minimizes the event in his email and thinks AGL's dedicated hotline will "(hopefully) ease some community tensions associated with this project."  

The line severed yesterday was larger than the one which caused the Kansas City explosion two weeks ago.  According to our sources, incidents of this kind are rare when proper oversight is being exercised.  You can see from Sawhill's email that "extreme caution" was NOT being exercised.  The fact that he would even put such a thing in writing reflects the impunity with which AGL functions.  Our tensions are not eased.  We are outraged. 

Clearly, loud community protest is needed.  


We look forward to seeing you there.

Lori Muskat
on behalf of the Clairmont Community Alliance