Pipeline Safety Reauthorization

Background

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is set to be reauthorized this fall, following the expiration of its funding authorization in the 2016 PIPES Act. Both the House and Senate have begun the process of holding hearings and soliciting input.   

Safety is the highest priority of APGA members. A constant focus on the safety of pipelines, employees, and communities where natural gas is served has long enabled APGA members to maintain excellent safety records. APGA supports scalable mandates and regulations that enhance pipeline safety.

APGA Position on 2019 Pipeline Safety Reauthorization

Funding - Congress should continue funding PHMSA at historic levels. APGA also believes it is important that state programs receive the support needed to appropriately staff and train state pipeline safety inspectors.

Addressing Existing Mandates - All stakeholders are dedicated and committed to addressing existing outstanding Congressional mandates that came out of previous Pipeline Safety Act reauthorizations. Additional priorities have the potential to distract from this focus. Congress should minimize new requirements that may distract from the completion of existing mandates.

New Mandates - APGA supports meaningful mandates that encourage operators to add layers of protection that prevent pipeline incidents. Congress should ensure that any new mandates for PHMSA rulemakings are scalable and flexible due to variability in gas system size, geography, age, etc. APGA opposes actions against any pipelines that can negatively impact the safety or operations of those pipelines.

Comments

House Energy & Commerce – May 1, 2019