This year the Title 49 CFR pipeline safety regulations come up for re-authorization. Initially authorized by the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, they are on a four year schedule for review, updating and funding.
The last time this law came before Congress was in 2010. Significant incidents – Deepwater Horizon drilling platform failure, Marshall, Michigan Kalamazoo liquid pipeline rupture, San Bruno gas pipeline rupture – extended the proceedings and a new law, the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 was not passed until December 2011.
So here we are, four years later, looking for a new pipeline safety law. If there is no law by the end of the year that doesn’t mean PHMSA and pipeline safety go away, it just means it continues to operate under the current law and funding mandate.
Senators Deb Fischer (NE) and Cory Booker (NJ) introduced a bill on November 10 that will streamline hiring, prioritize safety objectives, and increase communication between all stakeholders in the pipeline arena. It will require assessments of integrity management systems, and periodic reporting to Congress on the status of pipeline regulations. Hearings should begin soon.
All this and more from WinDOT, The Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia. Now on the web, access from any device, any where.