After demands from Tester, Obama nominates permanent director to oversee pipeline safety

(Billings, Mont.)-After demands from Senator Jon Tester, today President Obama announced Marie Therese Dominguez will be nominated to lead the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

“PHMSA needs a permanent leader that will be accountable for pipeline and crude-by-rail safety. I look forward to meeting with Ms. Dominguez to learn more about her qualifications to see if she is the right person who can ensure long-term safety plans are in place and we protect communities, family farms and ranches, and our environment from damaging spills and accidents.”

PHMSA has operated without a permanent administrator since October, making it difficult for Congress to hold the agency accountable for keeping over 2.6 million miles of pipelines carrying crude oil, natural gas, and other hazardous substances safe.

Congress increased funding for PHMSA in December, allowing the agency to hire approximately 130 more employees. The President requested an additional $30 million for PHMSA in his 2016 budget proposal.

Tester’s letter to the President is available HERE.