Federal PHMSA Proposes New “Rule” for Interstate Pipelines

Back in the USSRAnother new un-legislated law, euphemistically called a “rule”, is on the way from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Last week the PHMSA released details of a new rule that would, among other things, require operators of interstate pipelines (pipelines that cross state borders) that flow natural gas or natural gas liquids or oil or condensate or… you get the idea–those pipelines must report a leak within 60 minutes (but “at the earliest practicable moment” meaning 60 seconds or less if you can manage it) to the feds from when the company becomes aware of such a leak. The new “rule” will also punish big pipeline projects costing more than $2.5 billion by hiking fees on the pipeline to cover PHMSA expenses in putting such a project through a PHMSA anal exam/review. Want to reverse the flow of the already-built pipeline? Tell the PHMSA first. Want to provide a tap on a pipeline for farms? Tell the PHMSA first. Had an accident/spill? Every employee from the janitor on up who may have had something to do with the operation of that pipeline will now get subjected to a PHMSA drug AND alcohol test. Welcome back to the USSR PHMSA…

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