Building on a series of deliberations over the past year designed to strengthen the regulatory environment pertaining to gas leaks and pipeline operations, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said on Friday it has passed a rule to boost safety requirements on the country's oil and refined products pipelines.
Henceforth pipeline operators are required to have a system for detecting leaks and to establish a timeline for inspecting affected pipelines following an extreme weather event or natural disaster.
PHMSA said it aims to improve the quality and frequency of tests used to assess threats and the condition of pipelines.
A spokeswoman for PHMSA said the regulator expects the rule to be published in the Federal Register very soon, adding that from then it takes 6 months for the rule to go into effect.