U.S. Department of Transportation Call to Action To Improve the Safety of the Nation's Energy Pipeline System [open pdf - 19KB]
From the Executive Summary: "Today, more than 2.5 million miles of pipelines are responsible for delivering oil and gas to communities and businesses across the United States. [...] Currently, these liquid and gas pipelines are operated by approximately 3,000 companies and fall under the safety regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). [...] While PHMSA directly regulates most of the hazardous liquid pipelines in the nation, states take over when it comes to intrastate natural gas pipelines. Every state, except Hawaii and Alaska, is responsible for the inspection and enforcement of state pipeline safety laws for the natural gas pipeline systems within their respective state. Some states -- about 20 percent - also regulate the hazardous liquid lines within state borders. In the wake of several recent serious pipeline incidents, U.S. DOT/PHMSA is taking a hard look at the safety of the nation's pipeline system. Over the last three years, annual fatalities have risen from nine in 2008, to 13 in 2009 to 22 in 2010. Like other aspects of America's transportation infrastructure, the pipeline system is aging and needs a comprehensive evaluation of its fitness for service. Investments that are made now will ensure the safety of the American people and the integrity of the pipeline infrastructure for future generations. For these reasons, Secretary LaHood is issuing a call to action for all pipeline stakeholders, including the pipeline industry, the utility regulators, and our state and federal partners."
United States Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.gov/