Pipelines are safe. They already are the safest way to transport energy – and getting safer.

In a recent op-ed published in the Post-Gazette, “Gas Pipelines Represent Prosperity” (Sept. 5 Perspectives), David Spigelmyer and James Kunz of the Marcellus Shale Coalition described the many benefits that Pennsylvanians could see from the expansion(…)

Many Drone Operators Seeking a Waiver are Missing Required Information

On October 25, the FAA released a statement notifying potential applicants seeking a waiver from the small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rules of common errors in the application process.  In the two months since FAA started issuing waivers from the(…)

PHMSA Releases Emergency Order Interim Final Rule

On October 14, the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its Interim Final Rule (IFR) entitled “Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures” in the Federal Register.  The agency had previously issued a pre(…)

PHMSA Releases a Final Rule Expanding the Required Use of Excess Flow Valves

On October 14, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its Final Rule entitled “Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences” (EFV Final Ru(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Issues Performance-Based Standards for Applicants Seeking a Waiver of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued Performance-Based Standards highlighting information that an applicant must include in order to seek a waiver of Part 107, the rules that apply to the operation of a small unmanned aircraft sys(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Releases Application and Instructions for Small Drone Waivers

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the form and instructions on how to apply for a waiver from certain requirements included in the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” Final Rule.  This(…)

PHMSA Issues New Advisory Bulletin Covering “Purged but Active” Pipelines

Today, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published an Advisory Bulletin entitled  “Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status.”  Section 23 of the PIPES Act required PHMSA to issue an ADB within 90(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Congress and the FAA Ease the Way for Use of Drones by the Energy Industry

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued regulations permitting the use, with certain limitations, of small unmanned aircraft systems (small drones) for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. On July 13, 2016, Congress passed severa(…)

PHMSA Releases New Crude By Rail Rulemaking Proposal

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released an advance copy of a rulemaking proposal that would amend the oil spill response plan requirements in 49 C.F.R. Part 130(…)

PHMSA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Pipeline Safety Laws and Regulations

On June 30, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an interim final rule, effective August 1, 2016, titled “Pipeline Safety:  Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties.”  This interim rule increases the m(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Reauthorization Bill Provides PHMSA with Significant New Authority

On June 22, 2016, the President signed into law the PIPES Act, reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pipeline safety program through fiscal year 2019.  Among several amendments to the Pipeline Safet(…)

Issuance of PHMSA Corrosion Control Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2016-04) (PHMSA-2016-0071)

On June 15, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an advisory bulletin to pipeline operators related to the effectiveness of coating and corrosion control measures on buried, insulated pipelines. PHMSA’s advis(…)

PIPES Act Sent To President For Signature

On June 13, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) legislation that reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pip(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Five Questions About PHMSA's Proposed Rules for Gas Transmission and Gathering Lines

On March 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a pre-publication version of its long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for gas transmission and gathering line(…)

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Creates Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development

On May 27, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the formation of a task force to help the Commonwealth, the natural gas industry and communities partner for the development of new pipeline infrastructure to allow natural gas and related bypr(…)

National Transportation Safety Board Identifies Pipeline Safety as Key Issue

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has included “enhancing pipeline safety” on its 2014 Most Wanted List, which identifies its top 10 priorities for the year.  The NTSB warns that although “[p]ipelines remain one of the safest and most ef(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Extends Comment Period for Integrity Management and Class Location Inquiry

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in today’s Federal Register extending the period for responding to its inquiry about expanding the integrity management program r(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Amends Administrative Enforcement Procedures

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in today’s edition of the Federal Register that amends its administrative procedures for federal enforcement actions effectiv(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Revises Draft Integrity Verification Process and Extends Public Comment Period

As announced in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has released a new draft of its proposed Integrity Verification Process (IVP) for gas transmission lines a(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Proposes to Update Industry Standards Incorporated by Reference

On August 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that contained a package of periodic updates to the vol(…)

PHMSA Considers Expanding Integrity Management and Eliminating Class Location Requirements for Gas Pipelines

On August 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on whether to apply its integrity management (IM) program requi(…)

Rockefeller Asks GAO to Study Issues Regarding Oil and Gas Transportation

U.S. Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV), Chair of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, recently asked the Government Accountability Office to assess the impact of current shale oil and gas development on the nation’s existing transportati(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator to Hold Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced in today’s Federal Register that a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting will be held on August 8 to 9, 2013, in Arlington, Virginia.(…)

PHMSA Hails Authority to Inspect NGL Plants

In a press release issued earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) stated that a recent federal court decision confirms its authority to inspect natural gas liquids (NGL) pla(…)

PHMSA Proposes to Collect Additional Data for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Accidents

On April 23, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on its proposal to collect additional data on hazardous liquid pip(…)

PHMSA Releases Updated Enforcement Guidance

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently released updated enforcement guidance for complying with its operator qualification (OQ) and hazardous liquid integrity management program(…)

Kinder Morgan Eyeing Tuscarawas County for Fractionation Plant

Kinder Morgan is reportedly eyeing Tuscarawas County for a natural gas processing plant and a fractionation plant. The reports surfaced when EV Energy Partners referenced a “recent announcement” by Kinder Morgan on the two plants. Kinder Morgan has si(…)

Infrastructure Investments to Unlock Access to Utica Shale

Industry officials announced at a conference in Columbus, Ohio, that a series of infrastructure investments over the next year will begin to unlock access to the Utica Shale play. Projects currently underway by Dominion Transmission Inc. and Enterpris(…)

West Virginia House of Delegates Approves Bill to Increase Possible Pipeline Penalty to $2 Million

On February 28, 2013, the West Virginia House of Delegates reportedly approved a measure that would significantly increase maximum civil penalties for safety violations involving natural gas pipelines regulated by the West Virginia Public Service Comm(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Agency to Revise Annual Gas Distribution Report

On February 13, 2013, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register proposing to revise its annual report for gas distribution systems.  According to the notice, PHMSA would like operator(…)

PHMSA Advises Pipeline Operators to Report Incidents to NRC Within One Hour of Discovery

On January 30, 2013, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published an advisory bulletin urging pipeline operators to report pipeline incidents to the National Response Center (NRC) within one hour of discovery.  PHMSA al(…)

U.S. Senate Transporation Committee Holds Pipeline Safety Field Hearing in West Virginia

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, to discuss pipeline safety issues in the wake of the December 2012 gas pipeline incident in Sissonville, West Virginia.  T(…)

Sen. Rockefeller to hold Field Hearing on Pipeline Safety

In response to the natural gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville, West Virginia last month, WCHS Radio 58 and West Virginia Public Broadcasting report that U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller will hold a field hearing on January 28th in Charleston. The heari(…)

PHMSA Touts Record Enforcement Numbers in 2012

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a press release today indicating that the agency posted record enforcement numbers in 2012.  According to the press release, PHMSA issued 116 final orders for the year, the seco(…)

U.S. Government Accountability Office Releases Pipeline Safety Report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report today concluding that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) needs to collect better data and provide additional guidance to improve the ability of pipeline(…)

NiSource Reimburses West Virginia Authorities for Pipeline Explosion

NiSource Inc. has voluntarily reimbursed West Virginia state and local authorities for costs incurred by its December 11th pipeline explosion in Sissonville. Although there were no fatalities in the incident, which occurred just outside of Charleston,(…)

PHMSA Extends Deadline for Submitting 2012 Gas Transmission Line Annual Reports

According to the revised reporting instructions available on its website, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has agreed to extend the deadline for gas transmission line operators to submit their 2012 annual reports from(…)

U.S. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman to Hold Pipeline Safety Hearing in Charleston

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) will be holding a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on pipeline safety.  The date for the hearing entitled, “Pipeline Safety: An On-the-Ground Look at Safeguarding th(…)

PHMSA Cites Progress in Implementing Reauthorization of Pipeline Safety Laws

Yesterday, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released an update on its progress in implementing the requirements of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act, the most recent reauthorization of th(…)

Obama Reelection Sets the Stage for Significant Pipeline Safety Regulatory Actions

As explained in the December edition of the PIOGA Press, President Obama’s reelection has set the stage for a series of regulatory actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  The(…)

Federal Reporting Deadline Looms for Gas Transmission Line Operators

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency responsible for ensuring the safety of our nation’s gas pipelines, has given transmission line operators until March 15, 2013, to determine whether they have suffic(…)

West Virginia Gas Pipeline Accidents Raise Safety Concerns

Two recent gas pipeline accidents in West Virginia have brought greater attention to pipeline safety issues in that state.  On December 11, 2012, a natural gas transmission line near Sissonville ruptured, causing a fire that burned a portion of an int(…)