The Trump Administration’s recent executive order signals potentially significant changes to the regulatory landscape for domestic energy infrastructure generally and LNG in particular. Among the notable features of the order are the provisions directing US DOT to (1) update its 49 C.F.R. Part 193 regulations for LNG facility safety; and (2) issue regulations allowing LNG to be transported in approved rail tank cars.
Continue Reading LNG a Focus of Recent Executive Order

The Pipeline Safety Act (PSA) is up for reauthorization at the end of September of this year and, in the wake of recent high-profile incidents and increased scrutiny of the effectiveness of PHMSA pipeline safety oversight, it remains to be seen whether Congress will impose new substantive amendments to the statute or simply pass a

In a recent critique, offered a harsh evaluation of PHMSA, pointing out (among other things) that the Agency has been lax in enforcing existing rules and slow to promulgate new ones. The article dubs PHMSA the “can’t-do agency,” claiming that it “lacks the manpower to enforce the rules and the willpower to write stronger ones.”
Continue Reading Criticism of PHMSA Downplays Constraints and Industry Achievements

The authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish minimum safety standards for the design, installation, and construction of pipeline facilities is clearly set forth in the Pipeline Safety Act (49 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.) (PSA or the Act), as is its authority to conduct design review of certain new facilities and new and novel technology by virtue of the 2012 amendments.
Continue Reading PHMSA Broadly Interprets Its Construction Oversight Authority

On March 26, 2013, a coalition of environmental groups and private citizen landowners, headed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, filed a petition with PHMSA and the USEPA seeking new regulation of pipelines transporting diluted bitumen (dilbit).  The petition, brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Pipeline Safety Act (PSA), Clean Water