The US Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorise the Department of Transportation’s pipeline-safety program.
The legislation, designed to maintain the safety of the US pipeline network, will close gaps in federal standards, enhance the quality and timeliness of agency rulemakings, promote better usage of data and technology to improve pipeline safety, and provide regulatory certainty for the sector.
Jeff Denham, Chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, said “We have a responsibility and an opportunity to ensure the efficiency and safety of the 2.6 million miles of pipelines transporting energy resources to Americans across the country.
“This bipartisan legislation requires Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to complete mandated safety requirements and to evaluate and report to Congress on their rulemaking process, making our pipelines safer than ever before.
“I’m pleased to see so much support in the committee for this bill.”
Michael Capuano, a ranking member of the Subcommittee, said “The legislation contains some important safety provisions, including giving the PHMSA to act quickly to address industry-wide safety hazards as soon as they are discovered.
“The legislation also requires PMHSA to undertake a rulemaking for underground natural gas storage facilities. This bipartisan effort will enhance overall pipeline safety and oversight, and I thank my colleagues for their cooperative efforts.”
Bill Shuster, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said “Pipelines are critical to the economy of Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the entire country.
“Moving energy products safely and efficiently improves our quality of life, keeps energy costs more affordable, and leads to significant job creation.
“The PIPES Act continues to build upon the pipeline safety advances we’ve been making in the US, improves our pipeline transportation system, and provides more regulatory certainty.
“We look forward to working with the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate to complete a final bill this year.”
Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio said “The bipartisan PIPES Act includes critical reforms and new tools to protect communities across the country from serious accidents involving the transportation of natural gas and hazardous liquids by pipeline.
“The legislation provides critical new authority to allow the Secretary of Transportation to impose needed emergency restrictions and safety measures in the event of a serious accident or unsafe operating practices.
“It also provides vital grant funding to help states run robust pipeline inspection programs.”
For further information visit the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee website.