S 234

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 234

To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide for enhanced safety and environmental protection in pipeline transportation and to provide for enhanced reliability in the transportation of United States energy products by pipeline, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 31, 2011

Mr. REID (for Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mrs. BOXER)) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide for enhanced safety and environmental protection in pipeline transportation and to provide for enhanced reliability in the transportation of United States energy products by pipeline, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011'.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

      Sec. 2. References to title 49, United States Code.

      Sec. 3. Additional resources for Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

      Sec. 4. Civil penalties.

      Sec. 5. Collection of data on transportation-related oil flow lines.

      Sec. 6. Required installation and use in pipelines of remotely or automatically controlled valves.

      Sec. 7. Standards for natural gas pipeline leak detection.

      Sec. 8. Verification of maximum allowable operating pressure.

      Sec. 9. Considerations for identification of high consequence areas.

      Sec. 10. Regulation by Secretary of Transportation of gas and hazardous liquid gathering lines.

      Sec. 11. Inclusion of non-petroleum fuels and biofuels in definition of hazardous liquid.

      Sec. 12. Required periodic inspection of pipelines by instrumented internal inspection devices.

      Sec. 13. Minimum safety standards for transportation of carbon dioxide by pipeline.

      Sec. 14. Cost recovery for pipeline design reviews by Secretary of Transportation.

      Sec. 15. International cooperation and consultation on pipeline safety and regulation.

      Sec. 16. Waivers of pipeline standards by Secretary of Transportation.

      Sec. 17. Collection of data on pipeline infrastructure for national pipeline mapping system.

      Sec. 18. Study of non-petroleum hazardous liquids transported by pipeline.

      Sec. 19. Clarification of provisions of law relating to pipeline safety.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO 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.

SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) In General- The Secretary shall increase the number of full-time equivalent employees of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration by not fewer than 100 compared to the number of full-time equivalent employees of the Administration employed on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act to carry out the pipeline safety program, of which--

      (1) not fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees shall be added in fiscal year 2011;

      (2) not fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees shall be added in fiscal year 2012;

      (3) not fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees shall be added in fiscal year 2013; and

      (4) not fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees shall be added in fiscal year 2014.

    (b) Functions- In increasing the number of employees under subsection (a), the Secretary shall focus on hiring employees--

      (1) to conduct data collection, analysis, and reporting;

      (2) to develop, implement, and update information technology;

      (3) to conduct inspections of pipeline facilities to determine compliance with applicable regulations and standards;

      (4) to provide administrative, legal, and other support for pipeline enforcement activities; and

      (5) to support the overall pipeline safety mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, including training pipeline enforcement personnel.

SEC. 4. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    (a) Penalties for Major Consequence Violations- Section 60122 is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

    `(c) Penalties for Major Consequence Violations-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary determines, after written notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that a person has committed a major consequence violation of subsection (b) or (d) of section 60114, section 60118(a), or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter such person shall be liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $250,000 for each such violation.

      `(2) SEPARATE VIOLATIONS- A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.

      `(3) MAXIMUM CIVIL PENALTY- The maximum civil penalty under this subsection for a related series of major consequence violations is $2,500,000.

      `(4) DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `major consequence violation' means a violation that contributed to an incident resulting in any of the following:

        `(A) One or more deaths.

        `(B) One or more injuries or illnesses requiring hospitalization.

        `(C) Environmental harm exceeding $250,000 in estimated damage to the environment including property loss.

        `(D) A release of gas or hazardous liquid that ignites or otherwise presents a safety threat to the public or presents a threat to the environment in a high consequence area, as defined by the Secretary in accordance with section 60109.'.

    (b) Penalty for Obstruction of Inspections and Investigations- Section 60118(e) is amended--

      (1) by striking `If the Secretary' and inserting the following:

      `(1) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

      `(2) CIVIL PENALTIES- The Secretary may impose a civil penalty under section 60122 on a person who obstructs or prevents the Secretary from carrying out an inspection or investigation under this chapter.'.

    (c) Nonapplicability of Administrative Penalty Caps- Section 60120 is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(d) Nonapplicability of Administrative Penalty Caps- The maximum amount of civil penalties for administrative enforcement actions under section 60122 shall not apply to enforcement actions under this section.'.

    (d) Judicial Review of Administrative Enforcement Orders-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 60119(a)(1) is amended by striking `about an application for a waiver under section 60118(c) or (d) of' and inserting `under'.

      (2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The heading for section 60119(a) is amended to read as follows: `Review of Regulations, Orders, and Other Final Agency Actions'.

SEC. 5. COLLECTION OF DATA ON TRANSPORTATION-RELATED OIL FLOW LINES.

    Section 60102 is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(n) Collection of Data on Transportation-Related Oil Flow Lines-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may collect geospatial, technical, or other pipeline data on transportation-related oil flow lines, including unregulated transportation-related oil flow lines.

      `(2) TRANSPORTATION-RELATED OIL FLOW LINE DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `transportation-related oil flow line' means a pipeline transporting oil off of the grounds of the production facility where it originated across areas not owned by the producer regardless of the extent to which the oil has been processed.

      `(3) CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection may be construed to authorize the Secretary to prescribe standards for the movement of oil through--

        `(A) production, refining, or manufacturing facilities; or

        `(B) oil production flow lines located on the grounds of production facilities.'.

SEC. 6. REQUIRED INSTALLATION AND USE IN PIPELINES OF REMOTELY OR AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED VALVES.

    Section 60102(j) is amended by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

      `(3) REMOTELY OR AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED VALVES-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations requiring the installation and use in pipelines and pipeline facilities, wherever technically and economically feasible, of remotely or automatically controlled valves that are reliable and capable of shutting off the flow of gas in the event of an accident, including accidents in which there is a loss of the primary power source.

        `(B) CONSULTATIONS- In developing regulations prescribed in accordance with subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult with appropriate groups from the gas pipeline industry and pipeline safety experts.'.

SEC. 7. STANDARDS FOR NATURAL GAS PIPELINE LEAK DETECTION.

    Section 60102, as amended by sections 5, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(o) Natural Gas Leak Detection- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall establish standards for natural gas leak detection equipment and methods, with the goal of establishing a pipeline system in which substantial leaks in high consequence areas are identified as expeditiously as technologically possible.'.

SEC. 8. VERIFICATION OF MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE OPERATING PRESSURE.

    Section 60102, as amended by sections 5 and 7, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(p) Verification of Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure-

      `(1) ESTABLISHMENT OF RECORDS-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall require pipeline operators to submit to the Secretary a traceable, verifiable, and complete record of all interstate and intrastate natural gas transmission lines in class 3 and class 4 locations and class 1 and class 2 high consequence areas that have not had a maximum allowable operating pressure established through prior, verifiable pressure hydrostatic testing or an equivalent pressure testing method.

        `(B) ELEMENTS- Each traceable, verifiable, and complete record under subparagraph (A) shall include, with respect to a transmission line, the following:

          `(i) As-built drawings.

          `(ii) Alignment sheets.

          `(iii) Specifications.

          `(iv) All design, construction, inspection, testing, maintenance, and other related records relating to transmission line system components, such as pipe segments, valves, fittings, and weld seams.

          `(v) Such other elements as the Secretary considers appropriate.

      `(2) ESTABLISHMENT OF MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE OPERATING PRESSURE-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall require the operator of each natural gas transmission line described in paragraph (1)(A) to determine the maximum allowable operating pressure for the transmission line based on the weakest section of the transmission line or component thereof.

        `(B) USE OF TRACEABLE, VERIFIABLE, AND COMPLETE RECORD- In establishing the maximum allowable operating pressure of a transmission line under subparagraph (A), the operator shall use the traceable, verifiable, and complete record required for such transmissions line under paragraph (1).

        `(C) LIMITATION- A new maximum allowable operating pressure established under this paragraph for a transmission line shall not be higher than the maximum pressure at which the transmission line has operated previously.

      `(3) MANDATORY PRESSURE TESTING- For any segment of a transmission line described in paragraph (1)(A) for which a traceable, verifiable, and complete record is not available under paragraph (1) or for which a valid maximum allowable operating pressure cannot be established under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall require the operator of the transmission line to, not later than 5 years after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011--

        `(A) conduct a pressure test and a pressure spike test as expeditiously as economically feasible; or

        `(B) replace the transmission line segment.

      `(4) ESTABLISHMENT OF INTERIM MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE OPERATING PRESSURE- For any transmission line described in paragraph (1)(A) for which a traceable, verifiable, and complete record is not available under paragraph (1) or for which a valid maximum allowable operating pressure cannot be established under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall require the operator of the transmission line to establish an interim maximum allowable operating pressure for the transmission line that does not exceed 80 percent of the highest pressure at which the transmission line segment has previously operated, until a pressure test and a pressure spike test are completed under paragraph (3).'.

SEC. 9. CONSIDERATIONS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH CONSEQUENCE AREAS.

    Section 60109 is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) Considerations for Identification of High Consequence Areas- In identifying high consequence areas under this section, the Secretary shall consider--

      `(1) the seismicity of the area;

      `(2) the age of the pipe; and

      `(3) whether the pipe at issue can be inspected using the most modern instrumented internal inspection devices.'.

SEC. 10. REGULATION BY SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION OF GAS AND HAZARDOUS LIQUID GATHERING LINES.

    (a) Gas Gathering Lines- Paragraph (21) of section 60101(a) is amended to read as follows:

      `(21) `transporting gas' means the gathering, transmission, or distribution of gas by pipeline, or the storage of gas, in interstate or foreign commerce.'.

    (b) Hazardous Liquid Gathering Lines- Section 60101(a)(22)(B) is amended--

      (1) by striking clause (i); and

      (2) by redesignating clauses (ii) and (iii) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively.

    (c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 11. INCLUSION OF NON-PETROLEUM FUELS AND BIOFUELS IN DEFINITION OF HAZARDOUS LIQUID.

    Section 60101(a)(4) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking `and' at the end;

      (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); and

      (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following:

        `(B) non-petroleum fuels, including biofuels that are flammable, toxic, corrosive, or would be harmful to the environment if released in significant quantities; and'.

SEC. 12. REQUIRED PERIODIC INSPECTION OF PIPELINES BY INSTRUMENTED INTERNAL INSPECTION DEVICES.

    Section 60102(f) is amended by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:

      `(2) PERIODIC INSPECTIONS-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall prescribe additional standards requiring the periodic inspection of each pipeline the operator of the pipeline identifies under section 60109.

        `(B) INSPECTION WITH INTERNAL INSPECTION DEVICE-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in clause (ii), the standards prescribed under subparagraph (A) shall require that an inspection shall be conducted at least once every 5 years with an instrumented internal inspection device.

          `(ii) EXCEPTION FOR SEGMENTS WHERE DEVICES CANNOT BE USED- If a device described in clause (i) cannot be used in a segment of a pipeline, the standards prescribed in subparagraph (A) shall require use of an inspection method that the Secretary certifies to be at least as effective as using the device in--

            `(I) detecting corrosion;

            `(II) detecting pipe stress;

            `(III) detecting seam and weld stress, weakness, or defect; and

            `(IV) otherwise providing for the safety of the pipeline.

        `(C) OPERATION UNDER HIGH PRESSURE- The Secretary shall prohibit a pipeline segment from operating above 80 percent of its maximum allowable operating pressure if the pipeline segment cannot be inspected--

          `(i) with a device described in clause (i) of subparagraph (B) in accordance with the standards prescribed pursuant to such clause; or

          `(ii) using an inspection method described in clause (ii) of such subparagraph in accordance with the standards prescribed pursuant to such clause.'.

SEC. 13. MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE BY PIPELINE.

    Subsection (i) of section 60102 is amended to read as follows:

    `(i) Pipelines Transporting Carbon Dioxide- Not later than 5 years after the date of the enactment of the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011, the Secretary shall prescribe minimum safety standards for the transportation of carbon dioxide by pipeline in either a liquid or gaseous state.'.

SEC. 14. COST RECOVERY FOR PIPELINE DESIGN REVIEWS BY SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION.

    Subsection (n) of section 60117 is amended to read as follows:

    `(n) Cost Recovery for Design Reviews-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary conducts facility design safety reviews in connection with a proposal to construct, expand, or operate a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline or liquefied natural gas pipeline facility, including construction inspections and oversight, the Secretary may require the person proposing the construction, expansion, or operation to pay the costs incurred by the Secretary relating to such reviews.

      `(2) FEE STRUCTURE AND COLLECTION PROCEDURES- If the Secretary exercises the authority under paragraph (1) with respect to conducting facility design safety reviews, the Secretary shall prescribe--

        `(A) a fee structure and assessment methodology that is based on the costs of providing such reviews; and

        `(B) procedures to collect fees.

      `(3) ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY- This authority is in addition to the authority provided under section 60301.

      `(4) NOTIFICATION- For any pipeline construction project beginning after the date of the enactment of this subsection in which the Secretary conducts design reviews, the person proposing the project shall notify the Secretary and provide the design specifications, construction plans and procedures, and related materials not later than 120 days prior to the commencement of such project.

      `(5) PIPELINE SAFETY DESIGN REVIEW FUND-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the `Pipeline Safety Design Review Fund' (in this paragraph referred to as the `Fund').

        `(B) ELEMENTS- There shall be deposited in the fund the following, which shall constitute the assets of the Fund:

          `(i) Amounts paid into the Fund under any provision of law or regulation established by the Secretary imposing fees under this subsection.

          `(ii) All other amounts received by the Secretary incident to operations relating to reviews described in paragraph (1).

        `(C) USE OF FUNDS- The Fund shall be available to the Secretary, without fiscal year limitation, to carry out the provisions of this chapter.'.

SEC. 15. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND CONSULTATION ON PIPELINE SAFETY AND REGULATION.

    Section 60117 is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(o) International Cooperation and Consultation-

      `(1) INFORMATION EXCHANGE AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- Subject to guidance from the Secretary of State, the Secretary may engage in activities supporting cooperative international efforts to share information about the risks to the public and the environment from pipelines and means of protecting against those risks if the Secretary determines that such activities would benefit the United States. Such cooperation may include the exchange of information with domestic and appropriate international organizations to facilitate efforts to develop and improve safety standards and requirements for pipeline transportation in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

      `(2) CONSULTATION- Subject to guidance from the Secretary of State, the Secretary may, to the extent practicable, consult with interested authorities in Canada, Mexico, and other interested authorities to ensure that the respective pipeline safety standards and requirements prescribed by the Secretary and those prescribed by such authorities are consistent with the safe and reliable operation of cross-border pipelines.

      `(3) CONSTRUCTION REGARDING DIFFERENCES IN INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that a standard or requirement prescribed by the Secretary under this chapter be identical to a standard or requirement adopted by an international authority.'.

SEC. 16. WAIVERS OF PIPELINE STANDARDS BY SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION.

    (a) Nonemergency Waivers- Paragraph (1) of section 60118(c) is amended to read as follows:

      `(1) NONEMERGENCY WAIVERS-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Upon receiving an application from an owner or operator of a pipeline facility, the Secretary may, by order, waive compliance with any part of an applicable standard prescribed under this chapter with respect to the facility on such terms as the Secretary considers appropriate, if the Secretary determines that such waiver is not inconsistent with pipeline safety.

        `(B) CONSIDERATIONS- In determining whether to grant a waiver under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider--

          `(i) the fitness of the applicant to conduct the activity authorized by the waiver in a manner that is consistent with pipeline safety;

          `(ii) the applicant's compliance history;

          `(iii) the applicant's accident history; and

          `(iv) any other information the Secretary considers relevant to making the determination.

        `(C) EFFECTIVE PERIOD-

          `(i) OPERATING REQUIREMENTS- A waiver of 1 or more pipeline operating requirements under subparagraph (A) shall be effective for an initial period of not longer than 5 years and may be renewed by the Secretary upon application for successive periods of not longer than 5 years each.

          `(ii) DESIGN OR MATERIALS REQUIREMENT- If the Secretary determines that a waiver of a design or materials requirement is warranted under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may grant the waiver for any period the Secretary considers appropriate.

        `(D) PUBLIC NOTICE AND HEARING- The Secretary may waive compliance under subparagraph (A) only after public notice and hearing, which may consist of--

          `(i) publication of notice in the Federal Register that an application for a waiver has been filed; and

          `(ii) providing the public with the opportunity to review and comment on the application.

        `(E) NONCOMPLIANCE AND MODIFICATION, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION- After notice to a recipient of a waiver under subparagraph (A) and opportunity to show cause, the Secretary may modify, suspend, or revoke such waiver for--

          `(i) failure of the recipient to comply with the terms or conditions of the waiver;

          `(ii) intervening changes in Federal law;

          `(iii) a material change in circumstances affecting safety; including erroneous information in the application; and

          `(iv) such other reasons as the Secretary considers appropriate.'.

    (b) Fees- Section 60118(c) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      `(4) FEES-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish reasonable fees for processing applications for waivers under this subsection that are based on the costs of activities relating to waivers under this subsection. Such fees may include a basic filing fee, as well as fees to recover the costs of technical studies or environmental analysis for such applications.

        `(B) PROCEDURES- The Secretary shall prescribe procedures for the collection of fees under subparagraph (A).

        `(C) ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY- The authority provided under subparagraph (A) is in addition to the authority provided under section 60301.

        `(D) PIPELINE SAFETY SPECIAL PERMIT FUND-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the `Pipeline Safety Special Permit Fund' (in this subparagraph referred to as the `Fund').

          `(ii) ELEMENTS- There shall be deposited in the Fund the following, which shall constitute the assets of the Fund:

            `(I) Amounts paid into the Fund under any provision of law or regulation established by the Secretary imposing fees under this paragraph.

            `(II) All other amounts received by the Secretary incident to operations relating to activities described in subparagraph (A).

          `(iii) USE OF FUNDS- The Fund shall be available to the Secretary, without fiscal year limitation, to process applications for waivers under this subsection.'.

SEC. 17. COLLECTION OF DATA ON PIPELINE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR NATIONAL PIPELINE MAPPING SYSTEM.

    Section 60132 is amended--

      (1) in the matter before paragraph (1), by striking `Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the' and inserting `Each';

      (2) in subsection (a), by adding at the end the following:

      `(4) Such other geospatial, technical, or other pipeline data, including design and material specifications, as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, including preconstruction design reviews and compliance inspection prioritization.'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

    `(d) Notice- The Secretary shall give reasonable notice to the operator of a pipeline facility of any data being requested under this section.'.

SEC. 18. STUDY OF NON-PETROLEUM HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS TRANSPORTED BY PIPELINE.

    (a) Authority To Carry Out Analysis- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall conduct an analysis of the transportation of non-petroleum hazardous liquids by pipeline for the purpose of identifying the extent to which pipelines are currently being used to transport non-petroleum hazardous liquids, such as chlorine, from chemical production facilities across land areas not owned by the producer that are accessible to the public. The analysis shall identify the extent to which the safety of the lines is unregulated by the States and evaluate whether the transportation of such chemicals by pipeline across areas accessible to the public would present significant risks to public safety, property, or the environment in the absence of regulation.

    (b) Report- Not later than 365 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report containing the findings of the Secretary with respect to the analysis conducted pursuant to subsection (a).

SEC. 19. CLARIFICATION OF PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATING TO PIPELINE SAFETY.

    (a) Amendment of Procedures Clarification- Section 60108(a)(1) is amended by striking `an intrastate' and inserting `a'.

    (b) Owner Operator Clarification- Section 60102(a)(2)(A) is amended by striking `owners and operators' and inserting `any or all of the owners or operators'.

    (c) One Call Enforcement Clarification- Section 60114(f) is amended by adding at the end the following: `This limitation shall not apply to proceedings against persons who are pipeline operators.'.

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