Pipeline deal OK'd after assurances

DOWNEY - Seemingly satisfied with safety and insurance issues raised two weeks ago, the City Council on Tuesday approved the transfer of an underground oil pipeline to an outside company.The franchise agreement will net the city nearly $20,000 in annual payments, plus a one-time franchise granting fee of $10,000. Council members delayed the agreement two weeks ago after council members and a resident questioned the pipeline's safety and associated insurance coverage. Public works director John Oskoui wrote in a new report that ultrasound technology will be used to "identify cracks, holes, welds, pipe wall thickness as well as internal and external corrosion," and told council members Tuesday that the pipeline will be monitored by the state fire marshal and Downey firefighters. Oskoui also said a $20 million insurance policy "is adequate and far exceeds the coverage" provided by LT Pipeline Inc., who is taking over the 16-year-old pipeline. The franchise agreement runs 20 years but can be voided if LT Pipeline fails to meet safety guidelines, Oskoui said. The agreement was approved, 4-0, with Mayor Luis Marquez abstaining because he lives within 500 feet of the pipeline. -Eric Pierce, city editor

********** Published: March 24, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 49