Monday, October 23, 2017

Senate Sends Natural Gas Pipeline Safety PA One Call Bill To Governor

The Senate Monday gave final approval to Senate Bill 242 (Baker-R-Luzerne) adding unconventional and larger conventional natural gas gathering lines to the PA One Call utility safety program.
The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.
There are now an estimated 100,000 miles of unmapped natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania vulnerable to hits from construction and digging equipment.
Prime sponsor Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) noted in a background memo on the bill there are more than 6,000 incidents of striking utility lines every year, with approximately half involving natural gas lines because facility owners do not join the PA One Call program or for other reasons.  Click Here for more.
Public Utility Commission members issued statements on final passage of the legislation.
“There are about 6,000 reported hits on underground facilities across Pennsylvania every year, which means that a pipeline or other vital utility system is struck once every 20 minutes during the average workday,” noted Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr., who has been a strong advocate for safety improvements. “Our goal from Day One is to cut the number of those incidents by eliminating exemptions and strengthening enforcement, as part of a focused program to reduce risks to our contractors, utility workers and residents.”
“Speaking from my experience in the industry and as a farmer, I am acutely aware of the potential dangers of underground lines and the dependence workers in the field have in knowing where hazards lie,” PUC Vice Chairman Andrew Place told legislative leaders in a personal plea for enhancements to the PA One Call program. “Strengthening this program will impact both public safety and public confidence in energy and utility development across Pennsylvania.”
“We thank Sen. Baker for her prime sponsorship of this important legislation and the General Assembly for addressing this key safety issue,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “This is a step forward for utility, contractor and consumer safety in Pennsylvania and we will now turn our attention to implementing these improvements.”
“Hits on underground utility systems are not only a hazard to workers and bystanders, but also result in service interruptions, possible environmental damage and costly repairs to damaged lines – which drives up the cost of utility service for everyone,” said Commissioner David W. Sweet. “The improvements to the PA One Call law are the result of a collaborative effort by legislators, contractors, utilities, municipalities and other stakeholders, all with a shared goal of making Pennsylvania a safer place to live and work.”
A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner