Senators Killion, Dinniman Introduce Resolution Forming Senate/House Commission To Make Recommendations To Improve Pipeline Safety, Construction Practices
On March 13, Senate Concurrent Resolution 33 was introduced by Senators Tom Killion (R-Delaware), Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) and others to form a Senate/House Commission to make recommendation on legislation to improve the Safety oversight and interagency coordination over pipelines in the state.
On announcing the concurrent resolution, Senators Killion and Dinniman said, "Natural gas and oil extraction has increased dramatically over the last decade in the Commonwealth resulting in the construction of new pipeline infrastructure to transport hazardous liquids, gases and other byproducts in large quantities through the most sensitive areas of Pennsylvania.
"As such, many communities in the Commonwealth have experienced the negative aspects associated with pipeline construction. Our communities now face increased safety risks due to these high pressure pipelines being situated in close proximity to homes, schools and population centers.
"The construction of pipelines has also resulted in hundreds of environmental and safety violations along with the contamination of private water wells and public waterways.
"These incidents and safety concerns have demonstrated a clear need for exploring measures which will improve management, increase safety and provide for more comprehensive oversight of pipeline construction and operations.
The Commission is charged to "develop and recommend legislation to improve the safety, oversight and interagency coordination for pipelines in this Commonwealth" with the support of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.
The recommendations are due by July 1, 2020.
Since this is a concurrent resolution, it would have to be adopted by both the Senate and House before the Commission is established.
A very similar proposal last session-- Senate Resolution 373-- was reported out of Committee, but was never taken up by the full Senate.
This resolution is in addition to a package of other pipeline related bills introduced by Senators Killion, Dinniman and others so far this session.
Governor’s Pipeline Task Force
In February 2016, the Pipeline Task Force presented a series of 184 suggestions to Gov. Wolf to help Pennsylvania achieve responsible development of natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the state. Among the recommendations were--
-- Plan, site and route pipelines to avoid/reduce environmental and community impacts
-- Amplify and engage in meaningful public participation
-- Establish early coordination with local landowners and lessors
-- Educate landowners on pipeline development issues
-- Develop long-term operations and maintenance plans to ensure pipeline safety and integrity
-- Train emergency responders
-- Enhance emergency response training for responder agencies
-- Employ construction methods that reduce environmental impact
-- Minimize impacts of stream crossings
-- Ensure adequate agency staffing for reviewing pipeline infrastructure projects
Click Here for a copy of the report.
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[Posted: March 13, 2019]
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