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E-M:/ Pipeline safety proposed legislation- Federal
Enviro-Mich message from email@example.com
Based on all the controversies about pipelines in Michigan, this may be of
interest to lots of Enviro-Michers -- AW
Subject: Vice President Gore Announces Comprehensive Legislation to
Improve Pipeline Safety
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
Immediate Release Contact:
Tuesday, April 11, 2000 (202) 456-7035
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE
Bill Would Strengthen Enforcement and Community "Right to Know"
WASHINGTON, DC--Vice President Gore today proposed comprehensive
new legislation to improve the safety of oil and gas pipelines across
the country, and to strengthen citizens? right to know about pipelines
in their communities.
The proposed legislation, the Pipeline Safety and Community
Protection Act of 2000, would reauthorize and strengthen the U.S.
Department of Transportation?s (DOT) pipeline safety program. The
legislation would increase safety measures and inspections in heavily
populated and environmentally sensitive areas, increase penalties for
safety violations, and expand research to develop innovative pipeline
"Pipelines criss-cross our country, carrying the fuel that powers
our homes, our cars, and our factories. These pipelines are vital to
our economy, but without adequate safeguards, they can pose a serious
threat to our families, and to our environment," the Vice President
said. "Our proposed legislation will establish strong, comprehensive
pipeline safety measures, backed by rigorous enforcement, and the best
technology available. It also guarantees every community?s right to
know where these pipelines are and how well they are maintained."
The proposed legislation would require pipeline operators to
establish comprehensive inspection and repair programs to prevent, and
reduce the impact of, pipeline failures. Programs would have to be in
place within a year for highly populated areas and for places where a
pipeline failure would pose the greatest threat to drinking water
sources, wetlands, or other environmentally sensitive areas.
The bill also gives federal and state regulators more authority
to take action following a pipeline spill, and increases by as much as
four times the penalties for violations to help ensure that pipeline
companies perform necessary testing and repairs to pipeline damage.
In addition, the bill allows for citizen suits to seek penalties for
Building on the Administration?s strong commitment to community
"right to know" efforts, the bill would make it easier for residents,
businesses and government officials to get information about pipelines
in their communities. It mandates public access to information about
the location and safety of pipelines, and requires that pipeline maps
be made available to state and local emergency response authorities.
To help detect problems before pipelines fail, the bill provides
for additional research to improve and develop innovative pipeline
inspection tools such as "smart pigs," camera-like devices that move
along inside a pipeline and allow operators to detect damage. Better
monitoring tools could speed up detection of damage to pipelines, such
as tears, cracks and corrosion.
The bill also would strengthen the role of states in ensuring
pipeline safety, increasing federal grants for inspection of
interstate pipelines and for investigation of spills.
Currently, pipelines carry nearly 65 percent of the petroleum and
most natural gas transported in the United States. The DOT?s
Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) oversees the
pipeline safety program that creates safety regulations for pipelines
and penalizes pipeline companies whose operations fail to meet
government safety standards.
An audio version of this release may be found on the White House actuality
line at 202-456-5671.
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