Legislation Pipeline

House OKs pipeline safety amendment

Washington – The House has approved an amendment to fund pipeline safety measures as part of the 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act.

The amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), called for transferring $500,000 from the Department of Transportation’s administrative budget to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The funds would come from the account used to help pay salaries and administrative expenses at the Federal Transit Administration, Griffin said.

The House approved the wide-ranging appropriations bill by a vote of 229-192. At press time, it was awaiting vote in the Senate and, if passed, would go to the desk of President Barack Obama.

PHMSA recently was audited by the DOT Office of Inspector General, which concluded that the agency needed to improve its oversight of state pipeline safety programs. The National Transportation Safety Board sought the review after determining that weaknesses in PHMSA’s California oversight program contributed to a deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA.