Actions Needed to Enhance Pipeline Security
As required by the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, we assessed Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actions taken to implement a pipeline security annex. The annex is part of a Memorandum of Understanding, which DOT and DHS signed in 2004 to facilitate transportation security measures.
Within DOT, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) has responsibility for pipeline security and safety. Within DHS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for pipeline security. In 2006, PHMSA and TSA signed the annex to establish clear lines of authority and responsibility over pipeline security matters.
We found that the PHMSA and TSA have taken initial steps toward formulating an action plan to implement the provisions of the annex; however, further actions are needed as the current situation is far from an “end state” for enhancing the security of the Nation’s pipeline system.
We recommended that PHMSA collaborate with TSA to complete the following actions: (1) finalize the action plan for implementing the annex provisions and program elements and effectively execute the action plan, (2) amend the annex to clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of PHMSA and TSA in overseeing and enforcing security regulations for liquid natural gas operators, and (3) maximize the strategy used to assess pipeline operators’ security plans and guidance to ensure effective and timely execution of congressional mandates in the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.