US operators working under stricter safety rules this year

US pipeline operators entered 2003 under a new and far stricter safety regime after President George W. Bush signed into law on Dec. 17 the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.The measure updates earlier legislation by expanding education programs, tightening federal inspection and safety requirements, and boosting civil penalties against pipeline operators who do not obey the new rules.The legislation requires that pipelines be inspected within the next 10 years to prevent leaks and ruptures. Pipelines in more urbanized areas are to be checked within the first 5 years of enactment. All pipelines must be re-inspected every 7 years following the first 10-year interval specified under t...

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