Both the House and the Senate are moving forward with bills to reauthorize the federal Pipeline Safety Act. The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials held a hearing on February 25th on reauthorization of the Department of Transportation’s pipeline safety program. There was testimony from the federal safety agency, industry stakeholders, and safety advocates. During the Q&A session of the hearing, PHMSA Administrator Dominguez stated that PHMSA is working diligently to publish the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Gas Transmission Rule “within a month” or “in the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, the Senate approved a pipeline safety bill on March 3rd, proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), which reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through 2019 and takes new steps to cut down on spills and other problems with the American pipeline network.
Work will continue to reconcile the various drafts and bills, to develop and approve a single bill for approval by the President.