Marcellus Minutes is a subscription-based newsletter sent to all subscribers registered through the Marcellus Minutes website that contains information on legislation including bill tracking, committee hearings and news from the Capitol in Harrisburg. Access to the website is free and provided to those directly involved and those with an interest in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.

Calls for greater pipeline safety in rural areas

The web of pipelines that traverses Pennsylvania’s least populated stretches of farms and forests to tie shale gas wells to market would be subject to safety standards for the first time under a bill recently introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne, and backed by a bipartisan group of eastern Pennsylvania senators, would apply the kind of safety rules that control pipelines in more populated regions to rural lines that make up the vast majority of pipelines linking the state’s large and growing number of shale gas wells.

Senate Bill 1044 calls for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to regulate the rural lines with new rules for markings; incident reporting; corrosion control and maximum operating pressures; mapping; leak surveys; public notice and registration with the Pennsylvania One Call damage prevention system.

The PUC would also have authority to investigate the rural lines, issue fines and collect annual fees to pay for the regulatory program.

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