U.S. Department of Transportation Final Rule Provides $132 Million Annually in Regulatory Relief for Gas Pipeline Industry Without Compromising Safety
WASHINGTON – The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register that eases regulatory burdens for gas transmission, distribution, and gathering pipeline system operators without compromising safety.
“Safety is always the Department’s top priority,” said PHMSA Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott. “It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not overburden the industry with unnecessary operating costs.”
The final rule provides flexibility in the inspection requirements for farm taps, and revises the inspection interval for monitoring atmospheric corrosion for gas distribution service pipelines. The rule provides operators with an estimated annual cost savings of $132 million, mainly from these two provisions.
The final rule also increases the damage threshold for reporting incidents to $122,000, the first increase for inflation since 1984. Going forward, the monetary threshold will be adjusted for inflation.
The final rule published on January 11, 2021 and has an effective date of March 12, 2021.
The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation’s 2.8 million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit https://www.phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.