The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently proposed new regulations for natural gas transmission pipelines.
The proposed regulations focus on critical safety requirements for natural gas transmission and the pipelines that carry the gas across the nation.
According to the PHMSA, the proposed regulations would broaden the scope of safety coverage for natural gas transmission throughout the country. This would be accomplished by adding both assessment and repair criteria for the pipelines.
— PHMSA (@PHMSA_DOT) March 17, 2016
Broader safety coverage
The new PHMSA proposal, along with suggesting new regulations, also works to bolster current pipeline regulations by:
- Updating repair criteria for pipelines.
- Providing ways to better evaluate inspection results.
- Clarifying requirements for assessing risk.
- Expanding mandatory data collection.
- Updating inspections mandates.
- Requiring new safety features.
Goal: Reduction in incidents
Reducing the impact of methane leaks is of utmost importance, the PHMSA noted, as methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.
Overall, the goal of the new and updated set of regulations is to reduce the number of overall pipelines incidents in the U.S., which will also, in turn, work to help reduce methane emissions as part of the Climate Action Plan.