NARUC releases updated compendium of state pipeline safety rules

US states have implemented nearly 210 new pipeline safety regulations in the last 2 years, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) said in an updated compendium of such requirements.

It said the “Compendium of State Pipeline Safety Requirements & Initiatives Providing Increased Public Safety Levels—Second Edition,” which the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) developed, demonstrates that most state agencies enforce requirements above and beyond those mandated by federal agencies.

“While pipeline safety is everyone’s responsibility, the owners and operators of the system must make sure they are in compliance with applicable laws,” said NARUC Pres. Philip B. Jones, a member of the State of Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission. “As this report shows, states are leading the way in adopting commonsense, state-specific regulations that suit the needs of the public.”

The document identifies more than 1,000 separate state provisions tailored to local conditions in the Lower 48 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, according to NARUC. The provisions are grouped into 23 categories, of which the top three are enhanced reporting, with 23% of the total; design and installation requirements, with 14%; and leak surveys and responses, with 10%.

“The purpose of this report is to highlight the hundreds of areas where actions have been taken to improve pipeline safety improvements throughout the country and to showcase the many different areas of focus,” said NAPSR National Chairman Randy Knepper, who also chairs NARUC’s pipeline safety staff subcommittee and directs the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission’s Safety Division.

“While numerous efforts are under way already, states continue to look for reasonable ways to enhance pipeline safety in their regions,” he said, adding, “The consequences for not maintaining continuous improvement are simply too high.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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