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PUC Highlights Recommendations from Pipeline Task Force

2016-02-25 18:14:23

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) highlighted numerous key safety recommendations included in the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF or Task Force) report which was presented to Governor Tom Wolf.

“Ensuring the reliability and soundness of our statewide energy infrastructure is a major concern for the PUC, and we are pleased that the Task Force took the time to closely examine these unique issues,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown, who led the Pipeline Safety and Integrity Workgroup.

Key safety recommendations advanced by the PITF include:

  • Designating the PUC to enforce the Pennsylvania One Call system and Pennsylvania’s Underground Utility Line Protection Law, with a goal of reducing the number of “hits” on underground pipelines;
  • Annual leak surveys on all existing or new pipelines, including the expansion of the leak-detection surveys to include Class 1 gathering lines and production lines outside the well pad;
  • Accelerated leak repairs, including the scheduling of repairs on all classes of leaks;
  • Establishment of a centralized mapping system for use by emergency responders, along with a public portal for accessing mapping information; and
  • Creation of a website providing access to all publicly available pipeline inspection information. 

“We are encouraged by increased public discussion of these important safety issues,” said Chairman Brown. “We look forward to working with the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly and other stakeholders to begin putting these measures into action to further safeguard our vital infrastructure.”

Chairman Brown noted that the full PITF report includes more than 180 recommendations, touching on a range of issues including agriculture, conservation & natural resources, county government, emergency preparedness, environmental protection, historical/cultural/tribal, local government, natural gas end use, public participation, siting and routing and workforce/economic development.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit www.puc.pa.gov.