On Wednesday, June 22, President Barack Obama signed S. 2276, the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016. This legislation includes a provision that requires an independent study of the regulations placed on jurisdictional propane systems. This bill has moved quickly through the legislative process in the last few weeks, and its enactment marks a great win for the propane industry.
NPGA worked with its allies in Congress to include the jurisdictional propane system study. Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) crafted the bipartisan language that was ultimately included. This law now requires the Department of Transportation to contract the study with the Transportation Research Board at the National Academy of Sciences, an independent third-party. The TRB will assemble a panel of experts and stakeholders to examine the current regulatory requirements on these systems and make recommendations on how to improve them, after which this study will be subjected to peer review. The TRB estimates that the study and its recommendations will be finalized in approximately 18 months.
Having an independent review of the DOT regulations is an important first step in easing the regulatory burden that is currently placed on jurisdictional propane systems. NPGA is thankful that Congress has recognized that the current regulatory system needs to be reviewed. NPGA will continue to engage the TRB, DOT and Congress as this study commences.