Citizen Pipeline Safety Committee Urges Feds To Uphold State Inspection Authority

The thirteen member Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety in Olympia, Washington, has reacted to the fact The Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) is considering pulling back interstate agent agreements. These agreements currently authorize Washington and other states to inspect interstate pipelines on behalf of PHSMA, and the committee feels that this move will decrease the effectiveness of inspections and is a concern for public safety.

The committee states that maintaining the Washington state inspection authority will ensure public safety with the authority having faster response time, more public trust, and better knowledge of the local area. In the past the PHSA has been criticized for reports that lack depth and not frequent enough to be effective. Washington received its state authority to inspect pipelines after, in 2001, an explosion killed three people in Bellingham.

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