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S. 2299 (116th): PIPES Act of 2020

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 21, 2021.

Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2020 or the PIPES Act of 2020


This title addresses pipeline safety and infrastructure with respect to natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. It authorizes appropriations through FY2023 for specified pipelines safety programs under the Pipelines Safety Improvement Act of 2002 and related enactments.

Among other provisions, the title

requires fees for compliance reviews of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities; authorizes the establishment of limited safety-enhancing testing programs to evaluate innovative technologies and operation practices testing the safe operation of natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities; sets forth requirements for idled natural or other gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines; updates the standards for LNG facilities; establishes the National Center of Excellence for Liquefied Natural Gas Safety and Training to include a repository of information on best practices relating to LNG operations; requires advanced leak-detection technologies and practices that include a schedule for repairing or replacing each leaking pipe, except a pipe with a leak so small that it poses no potential hazard, with appropriate deadlines; directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to finalize a rule on gas gathering lines; and allows the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to use the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, for research and development relating to transportation safety improvements that will advance the safe and efficient transportation of hazardous materials and energy products. TITLE II--LEONEL RONDON PIPELINE SAFETY ACT

Leonel Rondon Pipeline Safety Act

This title addresses pipeline safety with respect to gas distribution systems.

Among other provisions, the title directs DOT to require

each distribution integrity plan developed by an operator of a gas distribution pipeline to include the risks from the presence of cast iron pipes and mains and risks that may result from the operation of a low-pressure distribution system; operators to establish protocols for communicating with fire, police, and other relevant public officials after a disaster that includes fires, explosions, or one or more fatalities; procedural manuals for operations, maintenance, and emergencies to include certain written procedures; operators to identify and manage traceable, reliable, and complete, records that are critical to ensuring proper pressure control for a gas distribution system; and the development of standards that promote sufficient staffing for monitoring and regulating gas pressure levels by each operator.