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API: PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety Rule, While Improved, Still Threatens to Weaken Pipeline Safety

Michael Tadeo | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2017 – API Midstream Group Director Robin Rorick released the following statement on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) new safety regulations for hazardous liquid pipelines.

“Pipelines are extremely safe and 99.999 percent of the product reaches its destination without incident, but we’re not satisfied until 100 percent of our product reaches its destination without incident,” said Rorick. “That is why we have been working with the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and supported the development of an effective rule to address pipeline safety for liquids pipelines. We share the same objective of safe pipeline operations with PHMSA, however, we are concerned that this rule has the potential to decrease pipeline safety rather than improve it. We appreciate PHMSA taking into account our comments during the rulemaking process, and while this rule is an improvement over previous versions, the agency’s ‘one size fits all’ approach in portions of the final pipeline rule creates situations where industry will be forced to redirect its attention away from areas that present higher risks to those that are lower in risk.

“Pipeline operators work diligently and spend billions of dollars every year to construct, operate and maintain their facilities in a safe and reliable manner. It makes little sense to issue a rule that at times inhibits or weakens an operator’s ability to do that.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.