The Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2020, reauthorizing pipeline safety programs through FY 2023, passed in the U.S. Senate on August 6, 2020 and goes to the House next for consideration. The House bill would need to be reconciled with the Senate bill before legislation can be signed by the President and become law. Some key factors of Senate bill S.2299:
- requires fees for compliance reviews of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities;
- authorizes the establishment of limited safety-enhancing testing programs to evaluate innovative technologies and operational practices testing the safe operation of natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities;
- sets forth requirements for idled natural or other gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines;
- updates the standards for LNG facilities;
- establishes the National Center of Excellence for Liquefied Natural Gas Safety and Training to include a repository of information on best practices relating to LNG operations;
- requires each distribution integrity plan developed by an operator of a gas distribution pipeline to include the risks from the presence of cast iron pipes and mains and risks that may result from the operation of a low-pressure distribution system;
- directs operators to establish protocols for communicating with fire, police, and other relevant public officials after a disaster that includes fires, explosions, or one or more fatalities; and
- requires procedural manuals for operations, maintenance, and emergencies to include certain written procedures.
For a copy of Senate Bill S.2299, contact Jessica Foley.