Monday, March 6, 2023

Committee Hearings – Week of 3-5-23

This week, with both the House and Senate in session, we are starting to see a fuller hearing scheduled, including some budget hearings (none of specific interest here this week). There are three hearings of interest here, a markup hearing, a pipeline safety hearing, and a look at the East Palestine train derailment.

Markup Hearing

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a business meeting that will include consideration of S 559, the Fire Grants and Safety Act. This reauthorization bill for the US Fire Administration has not yet been printed by the GPO, so I do not know what is specifically included in the bill. This bill, along with three nomination votes, is the short agenda for this meeting.

Pipeline Safety

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on “Pipeline Safety: Reviewing Implementation of the PIPES Act of 2020 and Examining Future Safety Needs”. The witness list includes:

• Tristan Brown – PHMSA,

• Andrew Black, Liquid Energy Pipeline Association (LEPA),

• Kenneth W. Grubb, Gas Pipelines, Kinder Morgan, Inc., and

• Bill Caram, Pipeline Safety Trust

There may be questions on cybersecurity issues, but it will probably not be a major focus of the hearing.

Ohio Derailment

On Thursday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on “Protecting Public Health and the Environment in the Wake of the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment and Chemical Release in East Palestine, Ohio”. The witness list includes:

Sen Sherrod Brown (D,OH),

Sen JD Vance (R,OH),

Sen Bob Casey (D,PA),

Alan Shaw, Norfolk Southern Corporation,

Debra Shore, EPA,

Anne Vogel, Ohio EPA,

Richard Harrison, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, and

Eric Brewer, Beaver County Department of Emergency Services

The Senators will be on a separate panel, giving them a chance to formally air their concerns about the incident. The real fireworks will be seen with the second panel. All of these witnesses are in for some heavy grilling on the cause of the accident and the following response. It is interesting that the NTSB was not included.

On the Floor

There is one bill that will be considered in the House this week under their suspension of the rules process;  HR 1123, the Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networking. The GPO has not yet published an official copy of this bill, but Majority Leaders web site does provide a link to a committee print of the bill. The bill would require DOC to prepare a report to congress on “examining the cybersecurity of mobile service networks and the vulnerability of such networks and mobile devices to cyberattacks and surveillance conducted by adversaries.” I will try to have a review available before the bill is considered.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */