APGA Federal Comments
Pipeline safety is regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). APGA actively participates in PHMSA’s rulemaking process through written comments, participation in public workshops, and during PHMSA’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee Meetings. Click Here for a list of APGA’s written comments on current and recent pipeline safety rulemakings.
APGA State Comments
Pipeline safety statues allow for states to assume safety authority over gas distribution and intrastate transmission pipelines. Thirty-eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico provide serve in that capacity. Each of those states are permitted to apply more stringent regulations above and beyond the federal minimum standard through. When requested by an APGA member, APGA will participate in a state pipeline safety rulemaking process. Click Here for a list of APGA’s written comments on state based pipeline safety issues.
Pipeline Safety Reauthorization & PIPES Act
Every four years Congress must pass legislation to reauthorize the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to regulate the safety of the nation’s pipeline system. The three committees with jurisdiction over pipeline safety are the Senate Committee on Commerce, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.
- Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act - This bipartisan law signed on June 22, 2016, strengthens PHMSA’s safety authority and includes many provisions that will help PHMSA fulfill its mission of protecting people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials. Read more at phmsa.dot.gov/pipes-act.
- 2019 Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Activities
- APGA submitted comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee (read here) and APGA supports the following positions:
- 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.
Pipeline Safety Management Systems
In 2015 during the aftermath of several significant large pipeline incidents and at the recommendation of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the pipeline industry came together to develop a safety management framework for pipelines. The goal of this framework was to further assist pipeline operators to achieve the ultimate goal of zero incidents. The result of this effort was the publication of the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 1173, titled: Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS). Go to the Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS) Planning webpage.
PHMSA Advisory Bulletins
As an agency committed to ensuring the safe transport of hazardous materials within the nation’s 2.3 million pipeline system, PHMSA utilizes and presents public notices and advisory bulletins as sources of information collection, public meetings, safety advisories and general notices. Additionally, the notices and advisory bulletins are linked to the Federal Register as an official public record. Go to the PHMSA Advisory Bulletins webpage.