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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 11, 2019 09:33 AM
From: Representative Carolyn T. Comitta and Rep. Christopher B. Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Pipeline Safety and Communication Board
Since 2006, the construction and expansion of pipelines used for the transportation of oil, natural gas, and non-gas liquids to distribution facilities has grown at an exponential rate. However, when the construction of a pipeline commences, many residents and municipal officials who live in close proximity of the construction are unaware of the impact it will have on their lives.

In an effort to address the concerns of those who live near pipelines, we will be introducing legislation that will establish a state board that would be responsible for considering the overarching issue of public safety and for implementing and coordinating the timely communication of information regarding pipeline activities in the Commonwealth. Specifically, the board would provide for the collection and dissemination of information and appropriate public safety measures relative to the planning, siting, construction, operation, maintenance, management, inspection, and safety of emergency response procedures for pipelines. In addition, the board would be responsible for coordinating communications relating to pipeline activities with federal, state, and local government agencies; regulatory authorities; pipeline companies; and the public.

The board created under this legislation would be comprised of appointed representatives of the Public Utility Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Emergency Management Agency, legislative leaders, governor’s office, local government and natural gas industry.

We believe it is vitally important that public safety be given the highest priority and that local government and the Commonwealth’s residents be provided with timely and accurate communications regarding pipeline-related activities. By providing for the establishment of public safety criteria and effective communications between state agencies, local governments, and residents regarding these activities, we can help to ensure that our communities remain safe.

We hope you will consider joining us in support of this important measure.

Introduced as HB1568