PHMSA is Working With Lawmakers to Strengthen Pipeline Oversight
PHMSA responded late last night to a number of questions I sent them about pipeline safety. The agency says that 73,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines and 19,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines fall within high consequence areas, the designation that requires close inspection and safety checks.
The statement comes in response to a story I wrote today on pipeline safety. In the story, I report that federal law mandates that PHMSA require only seven percent of the country’s natural gas pipelines and just 44 percent of the country’s liquid pipelines to be inspected.
The agency, in its statement, suggests that PHMSA’s current mandate does not go far enough and stresses that it is working with lawmakers to pass more stringent legislation on pipeline safety.
According to the statement:
PHMSA is working on legislation to strengthen pipeline safety and enforcement, as well as enhance many ongoing regulations. Under the Obama Administration, PHMSA has begun a comprehensive review of the existing pipeline safety regime and developed initial solutions, through legislation, rulemaking, reorganization, and other actions, to ensure that all pipelines are adequately regulated and operators put safety first. PHMSA is committed to providing a strong safety and environmental oversight of the pipeline network that delivers energy fuels to the American public.