The pursuit of 'zero leaks'

US President Barack Obama signed the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 into law Jan. 3, reauthorizing the Department of Transportation's existing pipeline safety programs through 2015 while also placing new requirements on both pipeline operators and regulators. On the operators' side of the ledger, the law increases maximum penalties for individual violations to $200,000 from $100,000 and for a series of violations to $2 million from $1 million. It also requires gas transmission pipeline operators to report within 18 months any pipeline segments with insufficient maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) records, to report incidents pushing operating p...

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