Picarro Surveyor drives down the road and it can tell you if there is a gas leak underground within 300 feet of the vehicle.

On March 1st and March 2nd, Mayor Ed Pawlowski traveled to San Bruno, California to attend the initial meeting of the Mayor’s Council on Pipeline Safety, an organization formed by Pawlowski.   The mayor met with Mayor Jim Ruane, the Mayor of San Bruno, California,

to define and develop a national mayors’ council, which will be open to Mayors around the country who are concerned about pipeline safety and the aging pipeline infrastructure in their cities.

Mayor Ruane was the first mayor Pawlowski reached out to when he decided to form a task force on Pipeline Safety which led to the organization of the Mayor’s Council on Pipeline Safety and this first meeting to discuss how cities can prevent the tragedies that both cities endured.  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.

“We will engage mayors across the country in a collaborative effort to define and develop pipeline safety protocol specific to our cities,” said Pawlowski.  “We will craft policy and position papers. We will disseminate initiatives that improve safety through engineering, damage prevention, land use, public education and community awareness, emergency response preparedness and a system of open communications between cities throughout the country.”

Pawlowski has already engaged the Pennsylvania Municipal League and the US Conference of Mayors by forming a USCM Pipeline Safety Task Force. Pawlowski spoke about the task force last month before the US Conference of Mayor’s Transportation Committee at the US Conference of Mayors 81st Winter Meeting in Washington, DC.

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

During his visit, Pawlowski was able to see a demonstration of the Picarro Surveyor, and instrument that “finds leaks that no other technology in the world can find thus making utility networks safer,”  according to the manufacturer.  The device will “provide measurements that can create risk-based statistical models to help utility operators better assess the integrity of vast pipeline networks, and to use those models to prioritize pipe replacement,” according to the company, Picarro, which is based in Santa Clara, California.