OLYMPIA— A year ago yesterday, a natural gas pipeline explosion rocked Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, causing significant damage to dozens of surrounding buildings and negatively impacting operations for many small businesses and non-profits. Representative Noel Frame (D-Seattle), who lives in and represents Greenwood, is sponsoring a bill that would help business owners and non-profits affected by gas pipeline explosions in the future. HB 2135 establishes a mitigation fund to assist entities that suffer damages in future accidents. The House Technology and Economic Development (TED) Committee heard public testimony on HB 2135 yesterday afternoon, including from Scott Nolte of Taproot Theatre Company and Kelly Kasper of HT2 Consulting Services.
“The Greenwood neighborhood has suffered tremendous losses as a result of the natural gas explosion last year,” said Frame. “Businesses were destroyed and neighbors were traumatized. Rising from the ashes of that experience, Greenwood residents and workers have worked to find solutions so that other communities avoid a similar crisis in case an accident like this ever happens again.”
“When an explosion happens, it can have devastating consequences not only on people’s lives, but also their property,” Representative Gael Tarleton (D-Seattle), a co-sponsor of the bill, added. “We can and should offer relief to our communities immediately so businesses survive and communities are kept whole.” Rep. Tarleton also represents Greenwood as part of the 36th Legislative District.
Yesterday morning, Greenwood business owners and community organizations joined Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien to hold a press conference marking the one-year anniversary of the explosion and providing an update on how the community is recovering.
Video of yesterday’s hearing can be found here.