In This Issue

Beginning Steps on Pipeline Security Legislation

The joint majority and minority staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hosted a meeting this week to discuss sections 406-408 of S.1052, which would establish a federal pipeline security program.  The bill outlines a plan for the Federal Government to provide increased security support to the most critical interstate and intrastate natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipeline infrastructure and operations. It also discuses the need for an incident recovery protocol plan to ensure the continued transportation of natural gas and hazardous liquids to essential markets in the event of an incident affecting the interstate and intrastate natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission and distribution pipeline systems.

Under S.1052.407, a complete review of the pipeline security plans and inspection of the critical facilities of the 100 most critical pipeline operators will occur in order to target inspection and enforcement actions to the most vulnerable and critical pipeline assets and correctly assess regulatory demands.

The bill has the Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Homeland Security in the lead with support from both public and private entities in the form of interstate and intrastate transmission and distribution pipeline operators labor, first responders, shippers of hazardous materials, State Departments of Transportation, public safety officials and other relevant parties. But, this bill requires a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Transportation to divide up the roles and responsibilities in ensuring pipeline security between these two agencies.  The recent terrorist attack on the mass transit system in London probably increases the odds of passage of a comprehensive security package for critical transportation assets and other at-risk facilities such as chemical plants.  You can get a copy of the bill at