President Obama signed into law the “Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016.” A House amendment to S. 2276 passed earlier this month, and the final legislation sailed through the Senate last week.
The PIPES Act was the product of unusual cooperation between Republican and Democrat members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, and it will reform the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to increase efficiency and transparency.
“We came together, Republicans and Democrats, to improve pipeline safety, and we got the job done with this important law. Every day, American families and businesses depend on safe and efficient energy transportation. The PIPES Act will ensure that our nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipelines continue to provide critical access to energy, and we are proud of the bipartisan work that made this effort a success,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), among others.
The PIPES Act will update safety regulations and require pipeline operators to embrace new technologies to reach the goal of zero pipeline incidents.
Don Santa, president and chief executive officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, added “this legislation, which continues to authorize the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, focuses PHMSA to complete the regulatory mandates under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011 and requires PHMSA to set minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities which will complement our efforts.”