House panel votes to move pipeline safety bill to full committee

A US House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee unanimously approved pipeline safety legislation on Mar. 16 and sent the measure to the full committee for consideration.

“The discussion draft considered today contains targeted mandates for [the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration] to increase transparency and accountability, complete overdue regulations, and improve safety,” Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) said following the vote.

Activity in the House came after the US Senate unanimously passed S. 2276, which would reauthorize the PHMSA through fiscal 2019 while requiring the US Department of Transportation agency to finishing implementing mandates from the 2011 reauthorization bill (OGJ Online, Mar. 4, 2016).

The measure before the committee differs from the Senate’s bill, and would require a conference if the full House passed it in its present form.

“The discussion draft considered today is a starting point,” Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said on Mar. 16.

“I believe it’s particularly important to tighten inspection requirements for certain underwater oil pipelines such as Line 5, which runs cross the Straits of Mackinac separating Lake Michigan and Lake Huron,” Upton said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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