Friday, February 21, 2020

DOT's pipeline-safety unit proposes new hazardous-liquids regulations

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed new safety regulations for hazardous liquids late last week to ensure the country’s 200,000 miles of pipelines that carry such liquids are operated, inspected and maintained properly.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeks to protect communities, landscapes and waterways from the potential damage these pipelines could cause in the event of failure. The PHMSA will accept public comments on the proposed standards until January 8, 2016.

The DOT isolated five main goals that the regulation seeks to accomplish: strengthening repair criteria for high-risk pipelines, extending reporting requirements on liquid gathering and gravity lines, implementing periodic evaluations of the protection measures surrounding High Consequence Areas, increasing the frequency and quality of assessments, and better managing risk through prescriptive regulations and performance-based measures.

The PHMSA is seeking to implement these measures to protect public and environmental health based on the challenges of aging infrastructure, a changing industry and a growing population. After the public-comment period, the administration will consult with pipeline-safety advisory committees and seek executive-level clearance, among other steps along the road to a final regulation.

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U.S. Department of Transportation

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