Transportation Dept. offers new regulations for natural gas pipelines
The Department of Transportation is asking for public input on a proposed new set of regulations to govern natural gas pipelines in the United States.
Cynthia Quarterman, director of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released a document called an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which invites stakeholders to submit written testimony on the need for new regulations.
“Incidents with significant consequences continue to occur on gas transmission pipelines, and this action will help us determine whether new requirements are needed to increase safety,” Cynthia Quarterman, head of the department’s pipeline oversight agency, said in a statement.
A 2.5-million-mile (4-million-km) network of pipelines crisscrosses the United States, carrying everything from crude oil to natural gas to refined products such as gasoline and jet fuel.
The department launched an oil and gas pipeline safety initiative in April after a series of high-profile accidents in the country’s aging web of pipelines.
An explosion on a natural gas pipeline operated by UGI Utilities killed five people this past February in Allentown, Pennsylvania, while a blast on a PG&E Corp line in California last year killed eight people.
Much of the nation’s system of pipelines is more than 40 years old.