Just 24 hours after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006 (H.R. 5782) (see Daily GPI, Dec. 7), the U.S. Senate on Thursday evening followed suit by unanimous voice vote.
The pipeline safety act is seen as essential for the energy industry because it provides funding and direction for the Department of Transportation's pipeline safety oversight programs.
Following the Senate's approval, the American Gas Association (AGA) said the legislation would make a measurable impact on the safety of gas distribution lines by encouraging states to adopt stronger excavation damage prevention laws.
"The greatest threat to the integrity of natural gas utility pipelines comes from excavation damage by outside parties and this measure will make our pipelines safer from that risk," the organization said.
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