Reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Program

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Deputy Assistant IG for Competition, Economic, Rail, & Special Programs Mark Dayton testified before the House Transportation on Highways and Transit Subcommittee regarding reauthorization of the pipeline safety program. While noting that the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has made progress in responding to recommendations made by OIG in a 2000 report, Mr. Dayton addressed six issues where additional work remains: (1) unfulfilled, long-overdue Congressional mandates on integrity management of natural gas transmission pipelines and mapping of the pipeline system; (2) the need to expand pipeline safety research and development to improve the capabilities of internal inspection devices that can detect certain pipeline defects before failures occur; (3) incomplete improvements in pipeline accident data collection and analysis; (4) pipeline inspectors who have not been trained in using internal inspection devices and interpreting test results; (5) completing baseline inspections by 2008 for all hazardous liquid and natural gas transmission pipelines; and (6) need to develop actions plans for security roles among agencies.