Posted Jun 9, 2016

Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to enhance pipeline safety, clarify safety oversight efforts, and provide greater regulatory certainty in the transportation of energy commodities.

Federal pipeline safety programme reauthorized

The PIPES Act reauthorizes the federal pipeline safety program within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for four years and requires the agency to update safety regulations, increase transparency, and embrace emerging technologies. The bill speeds up the process of completing outstanding safety requirements included in the 2011 reauthorization, and reforms PHMSA to be a more efficient and data-driven agency.

 “Americans rely on the safe and effective transport of energy products through our Nation’s system of pipelines. The PIPES Act improves the safety of this critical infrastructure network, and brings some needed reforms to the federal pipeline safety agency. This legislation was produced in a bipartisan manner, and we look forward to the bill moving through the Senate and to the President’s desk,” said the sponsors of the original House legislation, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA), Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Ranking Member Michael Capuano (D-MA), Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL).

More than $700m authorized for PHMSA

If finalized, the bill would authorize more than $700 million for the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In May, California authorities filed criminal charges against Plains All American Pipeline and one of its employees, 41-year-old James Buchanan, for last year's spill at Refugio State Beach. A pipeline rupture there released around 3,000 barrels of oil. A PHMSA investigation found a "number of preventable errors" led to the spill.

"PHMSA doesn't do the job by itself -- it relies heavily on partnerships with states and local governments to inspect pipelines and enforce the law," Upton said. "But the reality is that more can be done to prevent accidents from occurring and mitigating spills when the unthinkable happens."

Source - UPI

Categories: Industry update

By: Atmos International
Date: 17 April 2019