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Group Planning to Lobby Congress on Pipeline Safety

Carl Weimer — executive director of The Pipeline Safety Trust, a nonprofit group that advocates for fuel transportation safety — sends TWI a list of his group’s legislative priorities for pipeline safety. The group will be lobbying Congress to make the changes when it reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration this year.

For more on PHMSA, see my series on pipeline safety.

Here are the Pipeline Safety Trust’s priorities:

Expand the miles of pipelines that fall under the Integrity Management rules

  • Implement a rulemaking to phase in similar integrity management rules for all miles of transmission pipelines

Move forward to address unregulated pipelines and clarify regulations of gathering and production pipelines

  • Complete ASAP rulemaking on phase two of the low stress liquid lines
  • Implement a rulemaking to clarify the point where onshore regulated gas gathering lines begin (49 CFR Part 192.8). That point should be defined to ensure there are no unregulated gas pipelines off of well pads in class 2, 3, or 4 areas, or other “identified sites” where large groups may gather
  • Implement a rulemaking to include all Type A gathering lines (49 CFR Part 192.9) under the full requirements of the Integrity Management program (49 CFR Part 192 Subpart O) that currently only applies to transmission pipelines

Assure implementation of the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) recommendations

  • Provide a minimum of $500,000/year for a program to provide promotion and outreach to local governments to help get PIPA recommendations implemented

Continue to make more pipeline safety information publicly available (inspections, spill plans, HCAs, pipeline MAOPs) and to involve the public to a greater degree

  • Address concerns with industry-developed standards incorporated into federal regulations (fees, participation)
  • GAO or other study to make public awareness programs meaningful and measurable
  • Enhanced reporting Integrity Management performance measures

Continue implementing and funding of Technical Assistance Grants to Communities

  • Continue to provide a minimum of $1 million/year for the TAG Grant program
  • Allow PHMSA to use up to $50,000 annually for increased grant program promotion
  • Amend Section 60130(d) to remove the prohibition on funding through user fees
  • Ensure that municipal pipeline operators are not eligible for TAG grants for programs that should be a normal part of their pipeline operations
  • Amend Section 60130 (a) to increase the amount of an individual grant to $100,000

Continue to push state agencies on damage prevention

  • Move forward ASAP on the rulemaking described in PHMSA’s October 2009 ANPRM
  • Require adequate reporting of excavation damage to pipelines to guide implementation and enforcement of damage prevention programs

Require development and implementation of performance standards for leak detection

  • Require notification of authorities for leaks within 1 hour of detection

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