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Pipeline Infrastructure Safety Addressed In Legislative Bill

Provisions from the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act, authored by Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), was adopted June 8 in the U.S. House of Representatives through the passage of an amendment to S. 2276, the SAFE PIPES Act. The House amendment strikes the text of the Senate bill and replaces it with an amendment that includes text from the PIPES Act of 2016 (H.R. 4937). This will be the final House action on the bill and is expected to be cleared by the President and signed into law.

“The millions of miles of pipelines in our nation make up the most expansive network in the world and are integral to the safe transportation of energy across the United States,” said Chairman Denham. “We have a responsibility to the American people and this amendment provides certainty of oversight and enhancements to critical safety requirements. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues towards this bipartisan, bicameral solution that will ensure the maintenance and safety of our expansive network.”

Chairman Denham’s PIPES Act of 2016 was introduced on April 14 and passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on April 20 with bipartisan support. The PIPES Act of 2016 reauthorizes the Department of Transportation’s pipeline safety program, closes gaps in federal safety standards and strengthens the rulemaking process for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which oversees the federal program for the safety of the nation’s gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. In addition to the provisions of the PIPES Act of 2016, the House amendment includes text from the Pipeline Safety Act of 2016 (H.R. 5050) and mandates PHMSA to increase transparency and commit to modernization through the utilization of emerging technologies.