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PHMSA allowing extra month for comments on gas pipeline safety rules

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PHMSA allowing extra month for comments on gas pipeline safety rules

TheU.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on May 5 extendedthe comment period for its proposedgas transmission rulemaking.

Multiplestakeholders — includingthe National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, several pipelineoperators and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives — hadrequested extensions for commenting on the roughly 550-page regulationproposal.

Whilea number of parties had requested a 60-day extension, PHMSA gave commentersonly 30 extra days, moving the deadline from June 7 to July 7. The notice ofproposed rulemaking was made available March 17 and published in the FederalRegister on April 8.

"Wewant to be responsive to stakeholders who have requested additional time toreview the proposed regulations and, with this extension, we have effectivelyprovided a public comment period of 112 days," PHMSA Administrator MarieTherese Dominguez said in a May 5 statement. "Once the comment periodcloses, we will fully consider all comments that were received, as we evaluateoptions for finalizing the rule."

Therulemaking was in the works for quitea while, and the notice was published more than four years after acongressional mandate requiring PHMSA to expand its natural gas transmissionsystem oversight. The regulations would expand data collection requirements,compel companies to better understand pressure limitations, increaseconstruction oversight and broaden certain rules' reach beyond high-consequenceareas, among other requirements.