Daines, Fischer Call for Field Hearing on PHMSA Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) have formally requested that the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hold a field hearing in Billings, Montana to discuss the reauthorization of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the agency’s efficacy in overseeing the transportation of hazardous materials. Before the hearing will be scheduled, the request must receive approval from the Commerce Committee Chairman and Ranking member.

In a letter to Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), Daines and Fischer urged the Committee to convene a field hearing on PHMSA’s responsibility in ensuring safe and environmentally sound transportation of natural resources before PHMSA’s authorization expires on September 30, 2015.

“Pipelines represent one of the safest modes of transporting oil and other hazardous materials across our nation. PHMSA is primarily responsible for training both federal and state pipeline inspectors, maintaining pipeline safety standards, as well as establishing and enforcing design, construction, and operation regulations for pipelines,” Daines and Fischer wrote. “With PHMSA’s authorization expiring on September 30, 2015, and in light of recent accidents in eastern Montana and the density of PHMSA’s jurisdiction in the region, we request a field hearing to examine PHMSA’s reauthorization and its efficacy in overseeing and enforcing federal regulations on September 18, 2015 in Billings, Montana.”

Daines’ and Fischer’s letter is available here.

Fischer serves as Chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, of which Daines is also a member.