from the AOPL weekly newsletter
Government Accountability Office testimony submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the record of the July 27 hearing states: “Finally, regarding the 7-year reassessment requirement, our preliminary view is that these reassessment intervals should be based on technical data, risk factors, and engineering analyses rather than a prescribed term. We expect to make a recommendation to the Congress that the 2002 act be amended along these lines when we report on this issue. We expect to report to this Subcommittee and to other committees both on PHMSA’s implementation of integrity management and the 7-year reassessment requirement in September.” For the full testimony, go to http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d061027t.pdf.
This is an excellent development and moves pipeline safety reauthorization forward significantly. It supports the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s highest reauthorization priority, opens the door further to challenge the 5-year reassessment period for liquid pipelines, and removes lingering objections that Congress should not act on reauthorization legislation until the views of GAO on this issue are known. We now need to get a provision added to the Energy and Commerce version of HR 5782 that reflects this recommendation.