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Baker Botts comments on new PHMSA rules

Published by
World Pipelines,

The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing new requirements for natural gas pipelines.

While the new requirements aim to enhance the safety of pipeline development and maintenance, they could also significantly increase the regulation burden pipeline companies face.

Baker Botts’ client alert on the proposed rules can be found here.

The proposed rules are available for review. Comments must be submitted within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

"The significant growth in the nation's production, usage and commercialisation of natural gas is placing unprecedented demands on the nation's pipeline system," said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in the announcement of the proposed requirements. "This proposal includes a number of commonsense measures that will better ensure the safety of communities living alongside pipeline infrastructure and protect our environment."

The proposed measures would call for, among other things, an increase in the monitoring and inspection of pipelines located outside of high consequence areas, an expansion of the regulation of onshore gas gathering, seismicity analyses to mitigate the threat of outside force, enhanced measures to manage corrosion and enhanced repair criteria for pipelines outside of high consequence areas.

Edited from source by Elizabeth Corner

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