August 07, 2020

Duckworth, Fischer Pipeline Safety Bill Passes Senate


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), respectively the ranking member and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety, released the following statements after their legislation to reauthorize the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) unanimously passed the Senate:

“Pipelines carry much of the energy that powers our nation, and helping ensure the safe transportation of that energy is critical for homeowners and businesses across Illinois and our nation,” said Duckworth. “I am thankful for Senator Fischer’s partnership throughout this process and am glad to see the Senate pass this important bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes PHMSA’s pipeline safety programs and invests in emerging technologies that will make the operation of pipelines even safer and more efficient.”

“I am pleased that our bipartisan legislation reauthorizing PHMSA to advance pipeline safety passed the Senate. It will ensure that PHMSA has the necessary resources and Congressional direction it needs to do its job,” said Fischer.

Key Provisions in the Bill:

  • Ensuring states have the resources they need to enforce the federal safety regulations they are required to oversee, allowing PHMSA to focus its resources on interstate pipeline safety. 
  • Authorizing PHMSA to take the lead in examining new technologies to support the safe and efficient operation of pipelines.
  • Continuing congressional oversight of PHMSA’s work to complete outstanding mandates from the 2012 and 2016 reauthorizations by requiring the agency to periodically report to the Senate Commerce Committee on the progress of its work. 
  • Incentivizing operators to notify PHMSA of violations prior to discovery by the agency. This will encourage greater response to violations and incidents.
  • Ensuring distribution system operators have plans in place to quickly alert first responders of pipeline incidents.