Monday, May 25, 2020

OMB Approves PHMSA Gas Pipeline Deregulation NPRM

On Friday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had approved a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) from the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) on “Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform”. The NPRM was submitted for review last October.

According to the Fall 2019 Unified Agenda abstract for this rulemaking:

“This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission, gas distribution and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation Regulatory Review and Transportation Infrastructure notices.”

The only change to this abstract since the rulemaking was added to the Unified Agenda in the Spring of 2017 is the addition of the addition of the  “and gas gathering pipeline systems”.

The ‘Regulatory Review’ reference is to a 2017 Federal Register notice published by DOT in June of 2017. Comments to that notice can be found on the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # OST-2017-0057). Just 202 comments were received across the entire DOT regulatory universe; few were specifically targeted at PHMSA pipeline regulations.

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