Local safety a prime concern
I don’t write many letters to the editor, but I have something I need to get off my chest. The proposed gas pipeline would slash through Camas Valley and across Wildcat Ridge, some of the most rugged terrain in the coastal range. If something went wrong with the pipeline, the first people who would be expected to deal with the problem are the rural volunteer fire departments of Camas Valley and Tenmile. I’m a member of the Camas Valley department, and we’re completely in the dark about what would be needed; we don’t even know what we don’t know.
If this pipeline goes through, there has to be a standard emergency response to deal with a landslide, or (God forbid) an explosion, but we don’t know what it is. We don’t have the money to buy the right equipment or get the right training to be prepared. Something can happen to pipelines weeks after they’re set up or decades in the future. Either way, the rugged terrain around us means we’d be completely trapped and cut off from other responders, so we’d have to be equipped and ready when we’re needed.
This is a huge safety concern for the people who live here and for the volunteer fire departments who help protect them, but neither Williams Pipeline nor the state of Oregon has ever contacted us with any guidelines, assistance or instructions whatsoever. If the pipeline is approved, would we get that safety information? Who’s going to make them work with us? Who’s going to pay for the necessary preparation and equipment?