Spectra has a history of accidents. See this article in the Miami Herald

See this article where two safety inspectors expose Spectra for what they are trying to accomplish and how many corners they are cutting to do so.  For more info on this, go to

“Spectra neither cares for the public nor the workers. This is a fact. They do not care what happens as long as they flow gas.” — former Spectra safety inspector

How much impact a pipeline rupture and explosion has is determined by three factors:  the diameter of the pipe, the pressure at which it operates and how far apart the shut-off valves are.

Generally, smaller pipes like those on lateral lines running as side branches to the main transmission line run at a lower pressure.  The diameter of the Spectra Access Northeast Q-1 Loop is 30 inches and the pressure is 750psi.  Pressure in densely populated areas is generally lower than in rural “low consequence” areas, also known as “sacrifice zones”.  These zones also have different requirements for the gauge of metal used – the thinnest being in the most rural “Class 1” zones.

How far apart the regulator or shut-down valves are depends on the density of population surrounding the pipeline. This can range from 2-1/2 miles apart in densely populated areas to 10 miles apart in rural areas.

See SAFE panel discussion March 2, 2016 “Who Pays for Gas Leaks?”


The Blast Radius: What Does it Mean For Your Neighborhood?

Rachel Maddow January 28, 2015 “Another Day, Another Pipeline Explosion”

Here’s two links about the Pennsylvania 30-inch gas pipeline explosion of 4/29/16


C-Span interview on PHMSA (Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration)

Safety Risks for Compressor Stations