In one of the most sweeping proposals since the creation of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), the agency has announced proposed regulations to update requirements relating to gas gathering and transmission lines. We find that there are four main areas our readers definitely should be aware of.
First, the proposed regulations would add new assessment and repair criteria for gas pipelines. Most notably, the proposal will subject thousands of miles of pipelines built before 1970 to verification and testing requirements. These older pipelines had previously been exempt from such requirements. This new requirement would mean that operators of older pipelines will need to make safety assessments on pipelines which were largely unregulated. This may be challenging and costly for operators given the lack of records and age of many of these pipelines.
Second, the proposal also expands the agency’s definition of a “gathering line” that is subject to the new safety standards, potentially embracing pipelines previously classified as unregulated production lines. This is an expansive extension of federal authority into oil and gas production areas that have previously been regulated by individual state agencies and state law.
Continue Reading Proposed Rules Coming Down the Pipeline for Gas Gathering and Transmission Lines