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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2022 10:29 AM
From: Representative Kristine C. Howard
To: All House members
Subject: Real-Time Alerts for Pipeline Emergencies
Fiber-optic strands can detect pressure changes or vibrations that could indicate a leak or an impact to a pipeline and, within seconds, transmit knowledge of these threats to a remote monitoring station, overseen by a trained pipeline operations team.
While some pipeline operators currently use Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to enhance safety and efficiency by monitoring and transmitting this critical information, operators are currently not required to immediately notify the Public Utility Commission or emergency management services in the county or counties where the threat was recorded. As such, I am re-introducing legislation that requires the use of fiber optic technology to monitor risks to public safety and alert appropriate state and local agencies in the event of a potential pipeline emergency. This legislation would increase transparency related to reporting criteria and greatly improve public safety protocols in the event of a potential pipeline failure.
Seconds matter in a pipeline emergency. We must ensure that pipeline companies operating within our Commonwealth not only make use of the latest technology to monitor system safety, but also provide “real-time” alerts to state agencies and local residents. Similar regulatory requirements have been required by agencies in states in the aftermath of catastrophic pipeline events that have resulted in substantial property damage, significant injury, or death.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to implement a real-time alert system that increases transparency and improves public safety before it’s too late.

Introduced as HB425