Tester pipeline safety measure passes out of committee

Senator’s amendment requires pipeline safety agency to better protect America’s rivers

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester’s pipeline safety measure to protect America’s rivers was included in a Senate Appropriations bill.

Tester’s amendment requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to report on existing pipeline safety precautions along America’s major rivers, including the use of real-time monitoring during floods and PHMSA’s collaboration with other agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey.

Erosion, caused by fast-moving water, can expose pipelines buried under major rivers, leading to leaks or ruptures like the Poplar Pipeline incident along the Yellowstone River near Glendive in January.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our air and water clean, and we need to make sure PHMSA does its job and addresses threats to our rivers,” Tester said. “This amendment will help make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent leaks and spills into our major rivers.”

PHMSA is responsible for overseeing the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline carrying crude oil, natural gas and other hazardous substances.

Tester successfully urged the President to nominate a permanent PHMSA director last month. PHMSA has been operating without a permanent director since October.

Senator Steve Daines cosponsored the amendment.