In light of heightened scrutiny and the quickly evolving pipeline safety regulations and practices, Beveridge & Diamond has assembled the resources below to help our clients stay educated and adapt to these important changes.
Our Pipelines group provides strategic, business-focused legal services to pipeline companies, helping them proactively navigate a changing regulatory environment, update and upgrade compliance programs, and avoid and respond to federal and state enforcement actions.
Pipelines are a vital and often overlooked component of America’s infrastructure. Although the industry’s overall safety record is excellent, recent high-profile accidents in California, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere have brought heightened public, congressional, and regulatory scrutiny to the aging, 2.6 million-mile U.S. pipeline system. This expanded scrutiny has inspired both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to act.
In 2012, Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, and on June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act. Both laws enhanced federal regulatory authority over the operation of pipeline infrastructure. Additionally, PHMSA’s years-long effort to overhaul the federal gas and hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations is nearly complete. The agency is currently finalizing the gas pipeline safety regulations it proposed in April 2016, and has already finalized - but not yet promulgated – new hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations.