Q: Are pipelines required to meet certain regulations to be considered safe?
Yes, pipelines are required to be operated under many different regulations at both the federal and state levels—so it's quite surprising sometimes that dangerous pipeline accidents still occur.
The main agency in charge of pipeline safety is the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. They regulate interstate hazardous liquids pipelines pursuant to the Pipeline Safety Act of 1979. Intrastate hazardous liquid pipelines are almost always regulated by a state. Some states only inspect intrastate pipelines without having enforcement authority, while some states conduct both inspections and enforcement. Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas all participate in the federal/state cooperative gas and hazardous liquid pipeline safety programs.
Safety regulations for pipelines in the United States include how they are built, where they are built, how they are tested, how they are operated and maintained, and what programs and procedures operators must use to ensure the integrity of their pipelines and their operation. Along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, these regulations could be put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, offshore pipelines must also deal with the U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service.
Although pipelines are regulated under many guidelines, in the end, it is the responsibility of the pipeline operator to make sure everything is safe.
If you were seriously injured by a dangerous pipeline in Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas, contact the dangerous pipeline lawyers at The Girards Law Firm today for a free consultation at 888.897.2762.