Natural Gas Utilities Express Concern Over PHMSA’s Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines Proposed Rule

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In comments submitted today on the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines Proposed Rule, The American Gas Association (AGA) voiced support for the intended pipeline safety benefits behind many of the proposed modifications to pipeline safety regulations.

However, according to AGA and its members, PHMSA’s proposal fails to consider the extensive existing regulatory and voluntary safety initiatives in place and imposes prescriptive and burdensome requirements on operators that will likely not address the perceived regulatory pipeline safety benefits.

The Proposed Rule represents a shift away from performance-based regulations, which recognize the unique characteristics of each pipeline system, to prescriptive regulations, which define how an activity is to take place regardless of the circumstances or the characteristics of the system. The concern is that these new regulations result in a Proposed Rule that is largely unworkable, significantly increases costs to residential customers, and significantly reduces the opportunities for operators to undertake voluntary initiatives targeted at advancing pipeline safety.

 

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