New rule to boost safety standards on pipelines

20 January 2017

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently announced that it has passed a rule to boost safety requirements on the country's oil and refined products pipelines. The rule requires pipeline operators to have a system for detecting leaks and to establish a timeline for inspecting affected pipelines following an extreme weather event or natural disaster, PHMSA said in a statement.

PHMSA said it aims to improve the quality and frequency of tests used to assess threats and the condition of pipelines. Technology touted by pipeline operators routinely fails and while there are guidelines, there are no strict federal mandates in place for a particular system to catch spills, experts have said.