PHMSA has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) including numerous proposed amendments to 49 C.F.R. Part 190 with regard to PHMSA enforcement and administrative procedures in order to conform the Agency’s regulations with various requirements of the Pipeline Safety Act Reauthorization amendments that were signed into law on January 3, 2012, as well as with current Agency practices.  Most notably, the Agency proposes updates to the administrative civil penalty maximums (and confirms that they will apply to alleged violations after January 3, 2012), to clarify numerous enforcement procedures, and to implement its enforcement authority for 49 C.F.R. Part 194 oil spill response plans.  Operators have 30 days to comment on the proposal, until September 12, 2012.  Click here to read the NPRM (77 Fed. Reg. 48112 (Aug. 13, 2012)).