As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to enhance pipeline safety, clarify safety oversight efforts, and provide greater regulatory certainty in oil and gas transportation.
Known as the The PIPES Act of 2016, the legislation will now be considered by the Senate and ultimately sent to the President Obama's desk for singing into law.
Specifically, The PIPES Act reauthorizes the federal pipeline safety program within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for four years and requires the agency to update safety regulations, increase transparency, and embrace emerging technologies, for example advanced leak detection systems. The bill speeds up the process of completing outstanding safety requirements included in the 2011 reauthorization, and reforms PHMSA to be a more efficient and data-driven agency.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) welcomed the House passage of new pipeline safety legislation that will help the oil and gas industry reach its goal of zero incidents. “The bill will enhance safety, improve transparency of PHMSA’s rulemaking process, shorten inspection reporting time, and improve workforce management,” said Louis Finkel, Executive Vice President.