Home > 107th Congressional Bills > S. 235 (rfh) To provide for enhanced safety, public awareness, and environmental protection in pipeline transportation, and for other purposes. [Referred in House] ...

S. 235 (rfh) To provide for enhanced safety, public awareness, and environmental protection in pipeline transportation, and for other purposes. [Referred in House] ...

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                                                         Calendar No. 8
  1st Session
                                 S. 235

  To provide for enhanced safety, public awareness, and environmental 
     protection in pipeline transportation, and for other purposes.



                            February 1, 2001

Mr. McCain (for himself, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Hollings, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. 
Bingaman, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Breaux, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Smith of Oregon, 
  and Ms. Landrieu) introduced the following bill; which was read the 
                               first time

                            February 6, 2001

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar


                                 A BILL

  To provide for enhanced safety, public awareness, and environmental 
     protection in pipeline transportation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Pipeline Safety 
Improvement Act of 2001''.
    (b) Amendment of Title 49, United States Code.--Except as otherwise 
expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is 
expressed in terms of an amendment to, or a repeal of, a section or 
other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a 
section or other provision of title 49, United States Code.


    (a) In General.--Except as otherwise required by this Act, the 
Secretary shall implement the safety improvement recommendations 
provided for in the Department of Transportation Inspector General's 
Report (RT-2000-069).
    (b) Reports by the Secretary.--Not later than 90 days after the 
date of enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter until each 
of the recommendations referred to in subsection (a) has been 
implemented, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a 
report on the specific actions taken to implement such recommendations.
    (c) Reports by the Inspector General.--The Inspector General shall 
periodically transmit to the Committees referred to in subsection (b) a 
report assessing the Secretary's progress in implementing the 
recommendations referred to in subsection (a) and identifying options 
for the Secretary to consider in accelerating recommendation 


    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator 
of Research and Special Program Administration, and the Director of the 
Office of Pipeline Safety shall fully comply with section 1135 of title 
49, United States Code, to ensure timely responsiveness to National 
Transportation Safety Board recommendations about pipeline safety.
    (b) Public Availability.--The Secretary, Administrator, or 
Director, respectively, shall make a copy of each recommendation on 
pipeline safety and response, as described in sections 1135 (a) and (b) 
of title 49, United States Code, available to the public at reasonable 
    (c) Reports to Congress.--The Secretary, Administrator, or 
Director, respectively, shall submit to the Congress by January 1 of 
each year a report containing each recommendation on pipeline safety 
made by the Board during the prior year and a copy of the response to 
each such recommendation.


    (a) Qualification Plan.--Each pipeline operator shall make 
available to the Secretary of Transportation, or, in the case of an 
intrastate pipeline facility operator, the appropriate State regulatory 
agency, a plan that is designed to enhance the qualifications of 
pipeline personnel and to reduce the likelihood of accidents and 
injuries. The plan shall be made available not more than 6 months after 
the date of enactment of this Act, and the operator shall revise or 
update the plan as appropriate.
    (b) Requirements.--The enhanced qualification plan shall include, 
at a minimum, criteria to demonstrate the ability of an individual to 
safely and properly perform tasks identified under section 60102 of 
title 49, United States Code. The plan shall also provide for training 
and periodic reexamination of pipeline personnel qualifications and 
provide for requalification as appropriate. The Secretary, or, in the 
case of an intrastate pipeline facility operator, the appropriate State 
regulatory agency, may review and certify the plans to determine if 
they are sufficient to provide a safe operating environment and shall 
periodically review the plans to ensure the continuation of a safe 
operation. The Secretary may establish minimum standards for pipeline 
personnel training and evaluation, which may include written 
examination, oral examination, work performance history review, 
observation during performance on the job, on the job training, 
simulations, or other forms of assessment.
    (c) Report to Congress.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall submit a report to the 
        Congress evaluating the effectiveness of operator qualification 
        and training efforts, including--
                    (A) actions taken by inspectors;
                    (B) recommendations made by inspectors for changes 
                to operator qualification and training programs; and
                    (C) industry responses to those actions and 
            (2) Criteria.--The Secretary may establish criteria for use 
        in evaluating and reporting on operator qualification and 
        training for purposes of this subsection.
            (3) Due date.--The Secretary shall submit the report 
        required by paragraph (1) to the Congress 3 years after the 
        date of enactment of this Act.


    Section 60109 is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(c) Integrity Management.--
            ``(1) General requirement.--The Secretary shall promulgate 
        regulations requiring operators of hazardous liquid pipelines 
        and natural gas transmission pipelines to evaluate the risks to 
        the operator's pipeline facilities in areas identified pursuant 
        to subsection (a)(1), and to adopt and implement a program for 
        integrity management that reduces the risk of an incident in 
        those areas. The regulations shall be issued no later than one 
        year after the Secretary has issued standards pursuant to 
        subsections (a) and (b) of this section or by December 31, 
        2002, whichever is sooner.
            ``(2) Standards for program.--In promulgating regulations 
        under this section, the Secretary shall require an operator's 
        integrity management plan to be based on risk analysis and each 
        plan shall include, at a minimum--
                    ``(A) periodic assessment of the integrity of the 
                pipeline through methods including internal inspection, 
                pressure testing, direct assessment, or other effective 
                    ``(B) clearly defined criteria for evaluating the 
                results of the periodic assessment methods carried out 
                under subparagraph (A) and procedures to ensure 
                identified problems are corrected in a timely manner; 
                    ``(C) measures, as appropriate, that prevent and 
                mitigate unintended releases, such as leak detection, 
                integrity evaluation, restrictive flow devices, or 
                other measures.
            ``(3) Criteria for program standards.--In deciding how 
        frequently the integrity assessment methods carried out under 
        paragraph (2)(A) must be conducted, an operator shall take into 
        account the potential for new defects developing or previously 
        identified structural defects caused by construction or 
        installation, the operational characteristics of the pipeline, 
        and leak history. In addition, the Secretary may establish a 
        minimum testing requirement for operators of pipelines to 
        conduct internal inspections.
            ``(4) State role.--A State authority that has an agreement 
        in effect with the Secretary under section 60106 is authorized 
        to review and assess an operator's risk analyses and integrity 
        management plans required under this section for interstate 
        pipelines located in that State. The reviewing State authority 
        shall provide the Secretary with a written assessment of the 
        plans, make recommendations, as appropriate, to address safety 
        concerns not adequately addressed in the operator's plans, and 
        submit documentation explaining the State-proposed plan 
        revisions. The Secretary shall carefully consider the State's 
        proposals and work in consultation with the States and 
        operators to address safety concerns.
            ``(5) Monitoring implementation.--The Secretary of 
        Transportation shall review the risk analysis and program for 
        integrity management required under this section and provide 
        for continued monitoring of such plans. Not later than 2 years 
        after the implementation of integrity management plans under 
        this section, the Secretary shall complete an assessment and 
        evaluation of the effects on safety and the environment of 
        extending all of the requirements mandated by the regulations 
        described in paragraph (1) to additional areas. The Secretary 
        shall submit the assessment and evaluation to Congress along 
        with any recommendations to improve and expand the utilization 
        of integrity management plans.
            ``(6) Opportunity for local input on integrity 
        management.--Within 18 months after the date of enactment of 
        the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2001, the Secretary 
        shall, by regulation, establish a process for raising and 
        addressing local safety concerns about pipeline integrity and 
        the operator's pipeline integrity plan. The process shall 
                    ``(A) a requirement that an operator of a hazardous 
                liquid or natural gas transmission pipeline facility 
                provide information about the risk analysis and 
                integrity management plan required under this section 
                to local officials in a State in which the facility is 
                    ``(B) a description of the local officials required 
                to be informed, the information that is to be provided 
                to them and the manner, which may include traditional 
                or electronic means, in which it is provided;
                    ``(C) the means for receiving input from the local 
                officials that may include a public forum sponsored by 
                the Secretary or by the State, or the submission of 
                written comments through traditional or electronic 
                    ``(D) the extent to which an operator of a pipeline 
                facility must participate in a public forum sponsored 
                by the Secretary or in another means for receiving 
                input from the local officials or in the evaluation of 
                that input; and
                    ``(E) the manner in which the Secretary will notify 
                the local officials about how their concerns are being 


    (a) In General.--Section 60112 is amended--
            (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    ``(a) General Authority.--After notice and an opportunity for a 
hearing, the Secretary of Transportation may decide a pipeline facility 
is hazardous if the Secretary decides that--
            ``(1) operation of the facility is or would be hazardous to 
        life, property, or the environment; or
            ``(2) the facility is, or would be, constructed or 
        operated, or a component of the facility is, or would be, 
        constructed or operated with equipment, material, or a 
        technique that the Secretary decides is hazardous to life, 
        property, or the environment.''; and
            (2) by striking ``is hazardous,'' in subsection (d) and 
        inserting ``is, or would be, hazardous,''.

              TO KNOW.

    (a) Section 60116 is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 60116. Public education, emergency preparedness, and community 
              right to know
    ``(a) Public Education Programs.--
            ``(1) Each owner or operator of a gas or hazardous liquid 
        pipeline facility shall carry out a continuing program to 
        educate the public on the use of a one-call notification system 
        prior to excavation and other damage prevention activities, the 
        possible hazards associated with unintended releases from the 
        pipeline facility, the physical indications that such a release 
        may have occurred, what steps should be taken for public safety 
        in the event of a pipeline release, and how to report such an 
            ``(2) Within 12 months after the date of enactment of the 
        Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2001, each owner or operator 
        of a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facility shall review its 
        existing public education program for effectiveness and modify 
        the program as necessary. The completed program shall include 
        activities to advise affected municipalities, school districts, 
        businesses, and residents of pipeline facility locations. The 
        completed program shall be submitted to the Secretary or, in 
        the case of an intrastate pipeline facility operator, the 
        appropriate State agency and shall be periodically reviewed by 
        the Secretary or, in the case of an intrastate pipeline 
        facility operator, the appropriate State agency.
            ``(3) The Secretary may issue standards prescribing the 
        elements of an effective public education program. The 
        Secretary may also develop material for use in the program.
    ``(b) Emergency Preparedness.--
            ``(1) Operator liaison.--Within 12 months after the date of 
        enactment of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2001, an 
        operator of a gas transmission or hazardous liquid pipeline 
        facility shall initiate and maintain liaison with the State 
        emergency response commissions, and local emergency planning 
        committees in the areas of pipeline right-of-way, established 
        under section 301 of the Emergency Planning and Community 
        Right-To-Know Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11001) in each State in 
        which it operates.
            ``(2) Information.--An operator shall, upon request, make 
        available to the State emergency response commissions and local 
        emergency planning committees, and shall make available to the 
        Office of Pipeline Safety in a standardized form for the 
        purpose of providing the information to the public, the 
        information described in section 60102(d), the operator's 
        program for integrity management, and information about 
        implementation of that program. The information about the 
        facility shall also include, at a minimum--
                    ``(A) the business name, address, telephone number 
                of the operator, including a 24-hour emergency contact 
                    ``(B) a description of the facility, including pipe 
                diameter, the product or products carried, and the 
                operating pressure;

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