Pipeline Safety: Senate Passes Legislation; House Committees Hold Hearings

By Frank Vlossak

The House and Senate are actively working to enact pipeline safety legislation. Proposed bills in both chambers would reauthorize the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and provide direction to the agency on its regulatory initiatives and activities. The Senate approved the “Securing America’s Future Energy: Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (SAFE PIPES) Act” (S. 2276) by unanimous consent on March 3. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee held a hearing on pipeline safety on February 25, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing on a draft reauthorization bill on March 1. On the regulatory front, PHMSA is poised to publish a long-awaited and significant proposed rule on gas transmission pipeline safety within the next two weeks.

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