Enforcement

Enforcement

The Pipeline Safety Enforcement Program is designed to monitor and enforce compliance with pipeline safety regulations and confirm operators are meeting PHMSA's expectations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally-sound operation of their facilities.

PHMSA monitors compliance through a variety of operations, including: 

In addition to conducting inspections and investigations, PHMSA proactively clarifies its regulatory expectations to facilitate regulatory compliance among pipeline operators. PHMSA also publishes rule interpretations, advisory bulletins, and FAQ's, and holds public meetings and workshops, which are regularly posted on the PHMSA website.

Enforcement Guidance

Enforcement guidance documents are available to clarify PHMSA's enforcement authority by identifying and summarizing precedent, including those from interpretations, advisory bulletins, final orders, and decisions on petitions for reconsideration. This guidance facilitates improved enforcement consistency and is particularly helpful where precedence exists for clarifying performance-based requirements.  For enforcement guidance, please visit our Electronic Reading Room.

Enforcement Actions

PHMSA employs a range of enforcement mechanisms to require pipeline operators to take appropriate and timely corrective actions for violations of federal pipeline safety regulations, and that they take preventive measures to preclude future failures or non-compliant operation of their pipelines.

PHMSA's enforcement actions are available online, including information on pending and closed cases against pipeline operators found non-compliant with federal pipeline safety regulations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business and Agricultural Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards were established to receive comments from small businesses about federal agency enforcement actions. The Ombudsman will annually evaluate the enforcement activities and rate each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on the enforcement actions of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).