Reauthorized PHMSA Seems Set for Renewed Environmental Emphasis Under President Biden
Transportation & Infrastructure Partners Michael Friedberg and Jameson Rice co-authored an article for Pratt's Energy Law Report analyzing the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) reauthorization enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. In addition to authorizing the funding of PHMSA through 2023, the bill requires that both environmental and safety benefits be considered in cost benefit analyses for proposed regulations. The authors explain that although this requirement does not substantially alter the agency's mission, it does mark a new emphasis on the environment. Their article also summarizes other changes brought about in the reauthorization, including new requirements for gas pipeline leak detection and repair and safety-enhancing testing programs to evaluate new technologies and operational practices.