Daines Urges Commerce Committee to Hold Oversight Hearing on PHMSA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines is calling on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to hold an oversight hearing on the reauthorization of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

In a letter to Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Daines urged the Committee to convene a hearing on the reauthorization PHMSA to examine the federal government’s responsibility in ensuring safe and environmentally sound transportation of natural resources through America’s pipelines, railroads, highways, waterways and airspace. Daines’ calls come in light of the millions of miles of pipeline across Montana and the need to upgrade and better maintain failing pipelines.

“The agency’s jurisdiction covers approximately 2.6 million miles of pipeline across the United States, with approximately 18,800 miles across my home state of Montana,” Daines wrote. “With PHMSA’s authorization expiring on September 30, 2015, I request, at the Committee’s earliest opportunity, a hearing examining PHMSA’s reauthorization and its efficacy in overseeing and enforcing federal regulations.”

In April, Daines met with PHMSA Acting Administrator Timothy Butters in Billings about the ongoing efforts to clean up the Poplar Pipeline spill into the Yellowstone River, as well as the agency’s efforts to find safer ways to transport oil.

The Poplar Pipeline ruptured near Glendive on January 17, 2015, spilling approximately 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River. At the time of the spill, the line was carrying Bakken crude oil.

Daines’ letter is available here.