Industry building on Congress� work to enhance pipeline safety; applauds enactment of new law

WASHINGTON—The United States interstate natural gas pipeline industry is hard at work building on Congress’ efforts to enhance the nation’s pipeline safety through an aggressive safety program, anchored with an overarching goal of zero pipeline incidents.

           “Given the increasing role that natural gas will play in fueling our economy, ensuring the safety and reliability of our vast delivery network of pipelines is paramount. The pipeline safety legislation signed into law today by the President represents a balanced, bipartisan accomplishment that will significantly improve the safety of natural gas pipelines, and bolster public confidence in our nation’s energy infrastructure,” said Greg Ebel, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America chairman, and president and chief executive officer of Houston-based Spectra Energy. “We commend Congress, committee leadership and their staffs in both the House and Senate, as well as Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation for their tremendous effort in seeing this vital piece of legislation enacted.”

                  Ebel noted that INGAA continues to take a leadership role in pipeline safety, and its members have committed to a series of voluntary steps to improve an already strong safety record.

           “Our goal is continuous improvement of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure,” Ebel explained. “While pipelines are recognized as the safest mode to transport energy across the country, the industry believes even a single incident is one too many, and we will continue to work every day to further improve our performance.”

           To that end, INGAA and its member companies have instituted a full-scale pipeline safety effort that, among others, includes a commitment to expand pipeline integrity management principles to the entire onshore natural gas transmission system operated by INGAA members and to enhance efforts to communicate with the public, landowners, first responders and pipeline safety advocates.

           “As the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration implements the provisions in the enacted pipeline safety legislation, INGAA looks forward to playing a lead role in supporting the continuous improvement of our nation’s pipeline infrastructure,” Ebel said.