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PHMSA reauthorised by House Energy and Commerce Committee

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World Pipelines,

The American Gas Association (AGA) comments on the reauthorisatuon of pipeline safety legislation:

Pipeline safety legislation continues to make progress towards becoming law. Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed their bill reauthorising the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The AGA is pleased to see continued progress towards legislation to help ensure the safety of America’s pipeline network.

“Pipeline safety has strong bipartisan support and that is why we are seeing continual progress on this legislation,” said Dave McCurdy, AGA President and CEO. “We commend the Energy and Commerce Committee for their bipartisan collaboration on this bill. We look forward to seeing Congress continue to work together towards getting a final pipeline safety reauthorisation bill on the President’s desk this year.”

The bill passed yesterday includes an updated provision outlining Executive Order Authority mirroring the language in the pipeline safety bill passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on April 20. The language clarifies the conditions that would allow PHMSA to issue an Emergency Order Authority, clarifies the definition of imminent hazard and establishes procedures under which operators can challenge an order in court.

The two House committees must now merge their individual bills into one House bill and take it to the floor for a vote. The Senate passed S. 2276, the Securing America’s Future Energy: Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act (SAFE PIPES Act) by Unanimous Consent on 3 March, 2016.

Natural gas utilities supported the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006 and the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011, both of which outlined several programmes that helped continue to improve the safety of the USA’s pipeline network. AGA member companies have implemented many aspects of these programmes either through regulations or voluntarily.

Edited from source by Elizabeth Corner

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