McAfee & Taft RegLINC: Senate committee reauthorizes pipeline safety programs By Jared Burden

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May 5, 2011, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted to pass S. 275, the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011, moving the process of reauthorizing the pipeline safety program one step closer to becoming reality. The bill was introduced by Sens. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and was passed by a bipartisan voice vote. The bill will now be considered by the full Senate.

If enacted, this bill will institute a regulatory scheme more rigorous than that now imposed on the pipeline industry. Among the more salient features included in the bill are stiffer penalties for violators, fines for obstructing pipeline investigations, fees for construction projects that are large or use new technology, and a provision allowing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to recover its costs for the oversight of pipeline design and construction projects.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Jared Burden.

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