Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Review - HR 6496 Introduced – Valve Standards Expansion

Last week, Rep Carbajal (D,CA) introduced HR 6496, the Valve Safety Fairness Act of 2023. The bill would require PHMSA to take such actions as are necessary to apply the final rule of the Administration, titled “Pipeline Safety: Requirement of Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards”, to Type A gas gathering lines. While the rulemaking did apply to Type A gas gathering lines, that specific coverage was vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for The District of Columbia Circuit. No new funding is authorized by the bill.

Moving Forward

Carbajal and his sole cosponsor {Rep Brownley (D,CA)} are both members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to which the bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there could be sufficient influence to see the bill considered in Committee. I expect that there will be significant Republican opposition to this bill as it would shortcut industry efforts to stop application of this final rule to Type A gathering lines. I do not expect the Committee to take up this bill.


While this bill is limited to ensuring that new Type A gathering lines are covered by the requirements for rupture mitigation valves on new or replacement pipelines, Carbajal has requested that the Committee include an expanded requirement for installing RMVs on existing pipelines.


For more information about the background for this legislation, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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