By Rebecca Terrell, The New American (Oct. 13, 2023)
“Caram pointed out that pipeline safety is really a cooperative effort among localities, states, and the federal government. States and counties dictate routing and siting issues, including setback distances and property development. States are not allowed to issue stronger safety regulations than PHMSA’s rules on interstate pipelines, but intrastate pipelines are entirely under the jurisdiction of states.
PHMSA does not have a history of stepping outside its bounds, Caram reported. It has been hamstrung by Congress, with a strict statutory cost-benefit requirement imposed on it. Whenever the agency undertakes any rule-making, the cost to the industry has to be justified by the benefits. That has been a hurdle for them in the past, as has been the fact that there is no significant increase in PHMSA funding despite expansion of pipelines in recent years.”