Press Releases

Knight's Natural Gas Storage Safety Bill Gains Momentum

Legislation to Prevent Future Gas Leak Gains Support of Key Committee

f t # e
Washington, April 14, 2016 | Daniel Outlaw (202-225-1956) | comments
Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) scored a major legislative victory for residents of Southern California this week when his gas leak prevention measure was included in a pipeline safety bill introduced on Thursday.

In February, Rep. Knight introduced H.R. 4429, the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act, which would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue adequate safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities. The legislation aims to prevent gas leaks similar to the one that occurred at the Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch last October, forcing many residents from their schools, businesses and homes. Rep. Jeff Denham, (CA-10) chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, introduced a bill with strong bipartisan support on Thursday that includes most of the language in H.R. 4429- signaling a clear path to passage.

 “The Porter Ranch gas leak may be sealed, but the community is still suffering from its effects in the form of lingering relocation costs and possible blackouts this summer,” said Rep. Knight. “I am pleased that my colleagues in Congress are joining me to advance comprehensive legislation to prevent another incident from happening again.”

Chairman Denham’s bill, called the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, is a four-year reauthorization that improves pipeline safety by closing gaps in federal standards, enhancing the quality and timeliness of agency rulemakings, promoting better usage of data and technology to improve pipeline safety, and providing regulatory certainty for citizens, the safety community, and the industry. The legislation comes about a month after Knight invited him to tour the Aliso Canyon site to give him first-hand information and perspective about the leak and its causes. Prior to the visit, Rep. Knight testified to the Pipeline Subcommittee on behalf of his constituents in Porter Ranch who were affected by the leak and those in Santa Clarita who live in close proximity to the smaller but similar Honor Rancho storage facility.

“The PIPES Act will help create the safest pipeline system in history by closing gaps in federal standards and improving our ability to make effective safety rules,” said Rep. Denham. "I appreciate Congressman Knight’s efforts to ensure safety for natural gas storage facilities, and I look forward to working with him to move this bill forward."

The PIPES Act has bipartisan support, including that of House Transportation Committee Chairman Shuster (PA-9) as well as Representatives Capuano (MA-7) and DeFazio (OR-4). It will be considered by the Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials later this month. 

“This matter is extremely important to me, and the inclusion of the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act in this year’s Pipeline Safety Reauthorization is a huge step forward,” continued Rep. Knight. “Now it is time we begin the prevention process.”
f t # e

Share