PHMSA Audit Requested by the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
PHMSA Audit Requested by the Ranking Member of the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
November 10, 2016
Due to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) lack of timeliness in implementing pipeline and hazmat safety programs, the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee requested an audit to be conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
PHMSA is responsible for developing and enforcing regulations for safe operation of about one million daily hazmat shipments and 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the U.S. PHMSA also responds to congressional mandates and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
“Since 2005, PHMSA has implemented 173 of its 263 mandates and recommendations, but has missed many deadlines. Twenty of 81 mandates, 60 of 118 recommendations from NTSB, and 10 of 64 recommendations from the GAO and OIG remain open. The Agency has also missed about 75 percent of its mandated deadlines and 85 percent of the deadlines that DOT requires OAs to set for notices of proposed rulemaking and final rules.”
A proposal to map the nation’s network of tens of thousands of miles of “gathering lines” that connect oil and gas wells into larger pipeline systems also remains incomplete.
A 2011 law required PHMSA to conduct 42 rule-makings and studies. More than a quarter of those projects remain incomplete to the frustration of lawmakers. “We cannot achieve the intended objectives of the Pipeline Safety Act until it has been fully implemented,” commented Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Fred Upton.
Five recommendations were made to PHMSA by the DOT as a result of the audit. PHMSA agreed with four and proposed an alternative to one.
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Source: Audit Reports – Office of Inspector General