Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski in California for pipeline safety meeting

Published: Feb 18 2013 11:03:06 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 12:14:01 PM EST
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is in California Monday and Tuesday to set up a national mayors' council on pipeline safety.

Pawlowski is meeting with San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane, as the two cities have much in common.

Both cities were devastated by recent deadly natural gas explosions and fires. 

A September 2010 pipeline explosion and fire in San Bruno killed eight people, destroyed 38 homes, and badly damaged 70 more. 

A February 2011 natural gas explosion in Allentown killed five people and destroyed eight homes.

According to Pawlowski, “we will engage mayors across the country in a collaborative effort to define and develop pipeline safety protocol specific to our cities. 

“We are creating this council to form a union of cities and to thereby facilitate shared education, ideas, conceptualizations and technology,” he added.

While in California, Pawlowski will watch a demonstration of the Picarro Surveyor, which, according to Picarro officials, "finds leaks that no other technology in the world can find, thus making utility networks safer."

Allentown received a $50,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant relating to pipeline safety issues. A portion of this grant will be used to buy four multi-gas surveyors.

These surveyors will give Allentown Fire Department first responders the ability to detect leaks during emergency response to natural gas, pipeline and other emergency incidents.