16 Dec '11, 3pm

Congress Approves Pipeline Safety Bill

Reuters Oil in the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich., after a pipeline rupture last year. A bill doubling the maximum fines that pipeline operators face for safety violations easily cleared the House and Senate this week along with other provisions intended to strengthen rules on oil and gas pipeline safety that critics have faulted as weak. The pipeline safety measures were drafted in response to a series of high-profile spills and accidents in recent years, including a rupture in July that spilled oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana and another last year in a tributary in Michigan that sent crude flowing into the Kalamazoo River. In addition to the increase in potential fines for violations, from $1 million to $2 million, the legislation allows the Secretary of Transportation to mandate automated shut-off valves on new or replaced pipelines to prevent spills. Ea...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/congress-approv...

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