Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines
In recent years, there have been significant hazardous liquid pipeline accidents, most notably the 2010 crude oil spill near Marshall, Michigan, during which almost one million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Kalamazoo River. In response to accident investigation findings, incident report data and trends, and stakeholder input, PHMSA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register on October 18, 2010. The ANPRM solicited stakeholder and public input and comments on several aspects of hazardous liquid pipeline regulations being considered for revision or updating in order to address the lessons learned from the Marshall, Michigan accident and other pipeline safety issues. Subsequently, Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act that included several provisions that are relevant to the regulation of hazardous liquid pipelines. Shortly after the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act was passed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its accident investigation report on the Marshall, Michigan accident. In it, NTSB made additional recommendations regarding the need to revise and update hazardous liquid pipeline regulations. In response to these mandates, recommendations, lessons learned, and public input, PHMSA is proposing to make changes to the hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations. PHMSA is proposing these changes to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of pipeline failures.