Allred Supports Bill on Pipeline Safety in Transportation Committee
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, voted to pass the SAFER Pipelines Act out of committee today. The bill reauthorizes pipeline safety programs overseen by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
This bill, in part, responds to recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following its investigation into several deadly pipeline incidents. This included the more than two dozen homes in Texas that have blown up since 2006 due to leaking natural gas, which resulted in nine deaths and 22 injuries, as well as a multi-part investigation by the Dallas Morning News.
“Every North Texan should feel safe in their home, and I am working to put in place common-sense rules that will work to prevent the terrible tragedies that occurred in our region,” said Allred. “Bad actors should be held accountable and keeping North Texans safe from dangerous and deadly gas explosions is something we can all agree on. I am dedicated to protecting consumers and working to ensure our energy sector can safely continue to create good jobs.”
The SAFER Pipelines Act includes several provisions to hold bad operators accountable, such as increasing the maximum civil penalties for pipeline operators who violate federal pipeline safety statutes or regulations, removing the civil penalty cap for a related series of violations, and making operators who operate pipelines recklessly eligible for referral for criminal violations of pipeline safety law.
The bill includes include provisions calling for new rules requiring all transmission pipelines located in high-consequence areas to have automatic or remote-controlled shut-off valves; requiring pipeline cracks to be repaired when the pipelines are located in high-consequence areas and requiring information about distribution systems that could lead to a point of failure.
Earlier this year, the state of Texas passed a new pipeline safety law aimed at removing some of the state's oldest and most dangerous pipes.