PHMSA Announces Interim Final Rule that Expands Agency Authority to Issue Pipeline Emergency Orders

PHMSA issued on Monday an Interim Final Rule (IFR)* that expands the agency’s authority to address unsafe pipeline conditions or practices that could bring harm to lives or the environment.

According to PHMSA’s statement, The IFR allows the agency to impose emergency restrictions, prohibitions, and safety measures on owners or operators of pipeline systems in order to address safety concerns affecting multiple owners or operators.

“The new regulations carry out DOT’s enhanced authority to compel industry to take immediate action to address problems that could put people, property, or the environment at risk,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The IFR is effective immediately after it is published on the Federal Register. It has been transmitted to the site and will be published in 7 to 10 days. The public will have 60 days after publication to comment.

*An Interim Final Rule is a rule adopted without prior public input that is made effective immediately.