Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Nice New Home On Top of a Pipeline?

For a homeowner fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new home in this time of economic crisis, it would indeed be troubling to be told that the dream home you want is sitting within fifteen feet of a buried gas pipeline. Regrettably, this scenario is not unheard of. Recently in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, the Police Jury has agreed to allow a local developer to build a residential neighborhood over a natural gas pipeline. Not all jurors and local residents are happy about this. Jason Reid, a resident of Bossier Parish where the pipeline is said,
I wouldn't put my house on top of it, not with my family.
James Harris, the developer, plans to build 50 houses on the land in question. Eight of the houses would be over the pipeline. However, there may be a conflict of interest in a sense because Mr. Harris is not only the developer, he is also a member of the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC). He has said,
We want what the MPC and the Police Jury want. We want what's safe for the homeowner.
The case can be made that pipelines under homes is nothing new. There are hundreds of oil and gas pipelines in Bossier Parish, crisscrossing under many residential neighborhoods. The problem here is one of liability because the homes are not yet built. The Police Jury is concerned it might be held liable should an explosion occur. As a matter of fact, Mr. Harris himself told the Police Jury that his crews have already hit and ruptured the pipe once! This pipe, laid in about 1943, was originally buried "below plow depth," but Harris had it lowered to 16 feet below the surface. And, not to worry, all parties have agreed in principle to maintain a 30-foot easement from the property lines of the adjacent homes.

Still fresh in the minds of concerned citizens is a huge explosion in Carthage, Texas (pictured above), last February (2009). Residents in the area were evacuated as far as one and a half miles away. However, both the Police Jury and Harris say they are satisfied that everything will work out and that adequate safety precautions have been taken.

Would you purchase one of these homes?

Read the entire article here.


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