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Natural Gas Company Says Pipeline Safety Regulations Are ‘Stringent’

Spectra Energy is planning a 15-mile natural gas pipeline in New Jersey, and elected officials in the region are questioning its safety. These fears come after a massive pipeline break in Michigan recently spilled one million gallons of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. Amid these concerns, Spectra Energy has written a letter to The Jersey City Independent defending pipeline safety.

In the letter, Spectra Energy Group Vice President Bill Yardley says:

Here’s the reality: There are more than 300,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. Natural gas pipelines are the safest mode of transportation, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. These pipelines are monitored every minute of every day to ensure the integrity of the pipe and the safety of the public. In recent years, technology has improved in the manufacturing of high-caliber strength, durable steel pipe used to transport natural gas. And a series of more stringent government and public safety regulations and requirements has been established in the past decade by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies to ensure continued focus — and improvement — of pipeline safety standards.

Texas-based Spectra Energy operates nearly 20,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in the United States and Canada.

A TWI investigation has shown that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the agency in charge of pipeline safety, has a close relationship with industry, having adopted by reference all or parts of 29 standards written by key oil and natural gas trade associations.

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