• GAO Releases Report On Oil & Gas Transportation Infrastructure Including Safety Risks
  • September 25, 2014
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on its review of U.S. oil and gas transportation infrastructure issues. Specifically, the report examines the overall challenges that increased domestic oil and gas production may pose for transportation infrastructure, as well as specific pipeline and rail safety risks and the steps the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is taking to address those risks.

    While the GAO report credits DOT for its work to identify and address risks, it cites rural gathering pipelines that are not subject to safety regulations in concluding that “[DOT] regulation has not kept pace with the changing oil and gas transportation environment.” The report recommends that “the Secretary of Transportation, in conjunction with the Administrator of PHMSA, move forward with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address gathering pipeline safety that addresses the risks of larger-diameter, higher-pressure gathering pipelines, including subjecting such pipelines to emergency response planning requirements that currently do not apply.” Because of DOT’s ongoing crude-by-rail rulemakings, the GAO report does not make any recommendations related to rail.