Inhofe Praises Senate Passage of new Pipeline Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today praised unanimous passage of S. 2276, the PIPES Act, Monday evening, which reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through fiscal year 2019.

“I applaud the Senate for passing this important, bipartisan pipeline safety bill, and I appreciate Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune for working with me on language to support Oklahoma’s critical energy infrastructure,” said Inhofe. “This legislation provides energy security and reliability while also supporting safe pipeline construction. The passage of this important bipartisan legislation will support our economy, not only across the nation, but most importantly here at home in Oklahoma."

The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security chair, Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and ranking member, Cory Booker (D-N.J.), introduced legislation in the Senate alongside Committee Members Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Nov. 10, 2015. The Senate Commerce Committee approved the bill on Dec. 9, 2015. The bipartisan and bicameral PIPES Act now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Re-prioritizing and requiring PHMSA  to complete outstanding mandates from the 2011 reauthorization bill.
  • Requesting that GAO conduct an assessment of inspections process and Integrity Management programs for natural gas and liquid pipelines.
  • Encouraging PHMSA to investigate and report on advanced mapping technologies for pipeline networks.
  • Providing Emergency Order authority to PHMSA so they can correct pipeline problems that are an imminent hazard. 

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