By Ben Hulac, CQ Rollcall (Oct. 5, 2022)
That new construction may get funding from the infrastructure law and the new climate, health care and tax law, said Bill Caram, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, a nonprofit advocacy group founded in the aftermath of the 1999 explosion of a gasoline pipeline in Bellingham, Wash.
“In the middle of fighting off all these industry petitions on the rules they’ve got out, it is going to be really difficult for them to do that with current staffing levels,” Caram said.
Safety standards of pipelines vary based on when the structures were built. Newer pipelines are typically regulated with newer and more stringent rules, while older lines have less stringent requirements, said Sara Gosman, a professor at the University of Arkansas’ law school.
“If you are building a new pipeline, if you are fixing a pipeline and putting in a new portion of that pipeline,” updated standards would apply, said Gosman, a board member of Pipeline Safety Trust. “But otherwise, we freeze time, and whatever the standard was at the time is the standard that applies.”