Executive Memorandum: Pipeline Safety (11/3/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                        (San Francisco, California)

For Immediate Release                            November 3, 2000

                                   November 3, 2000


SUBJECT:            Pipeline Safety

Over 2 million miles of oil and gas pipeline crisscross our country.  These
pipelines help transport the products that fuel our cars and heat our
homes.  While the safety record of our Nation?s pipeline system is strong,
accidents still occur.  That is why we need to continue our efforts to
improve pipeline safety nationwide.

Preventing pipeline failures is imperative to protecting our communities
and our natural resources.  These failures can damage the environment,
contaminate our drinking water, threaten the safety of our communities, and
put human lives at risk.  The tragic accidents that recently occurred near
Carlsbad, New Mexico, and in Bellingham, Washington, profoundly underscore
the need for stronger pipeline safety measures.  We simply cannot allow
these fatal tragedies to be repeated.

To improve pipeline safety, the Department of Transportation (DOT or
Department) has worked diligently to curb third-party damage, one of the
leading causes of pipeline failures today.  As a result, incidents caused
by third-party damage have been reduced by 30 percent.  In addition, to
help prevent spills, DOT has sponsored research to develop new inspection
technologies that find dents and other excavation damage.  The Department
has also increased pipeline protections by requiring improved corrosion
control, and is working on the first comprehensive National Pipeline
Mapping System.  This important new mapping tool will provide States,
communities, and the public with the information they need to better
protect themselves, their families, and their environment.

Although my Administration has made progress in addressing important
pipeline safety and environmental concerns, we also recognized the need for
a more focused statutory direction in this area.  In an effort to improve
our Federal pipeline safety program, my Administration proposed
comprehensive pipeline
safety legislation in April of this year.  The "Pipeline Safety and
Community Protection Act of 2000" was developed to address five basic
principles:  (1) improve pipeline safety standards, (2) strengthen
enforcement of pipeline safety laws and regula-tions, (3) enhance
Federal-State partnerships, (4) provide the public with better information
and opportunities to participate, and (5) support research and development
of innovative pipeline safety technologies.  Despite significant efforts,
the Congress has not passed comprehensive pipeline safety legislation this
year.  My Administration continues to support efforts by the Congress to
strengthen our Federal pipeline safety law to address the five key
principles outlined above.  In the interim, however, we are prepared to
take action to fulfill these principles to the greatest extent possible
using existing authorities.

As an example, I am pleased that today, the Administrator of the Research
and Special Programs Administration is signing a new regulation that will
greatly enhance pipeline safety measures in areas sensitive to damage from
hazardous liquid pipeline accidents.  This regulation will provide
additional safeguards for populated areas, environmentally sensitive areas,
and commercially navigable waterways.  Under the new integrity management
programs required by this regulation, hazardous liquid pipeline operators
that operate 500 or more miles of pipeline will conduct an initial testing
of their pipelines within 7 years and periodically, in most instances,
every 5 years using internal inspection, pressure testing, or other
equivalent testing tech-nology.  They will also be required to carry out
prompt repairs, and use prevention and mitigation measures as necessary to
reduce potential impacts to safety and the environment.

But even more can be done.  To help ensure that American in the 21st
century has the safest pipeline system possible, I am directing you to take
the following actions to strengthen the Federal pipeline safety program and
improve pipeline safety nationwide.  These actions are based on the five
principles set forth above, and are to be carried out in consultation with
the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of
the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Energy, the
Attorney General, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as appropriate.

     (1)  Improve pipeline safety standards.  To fulfill requirements of
Federal pipeline safety law, and in response to recommendations by the
National Transportation Safety Board and the Department?s Inspector
General, I direct DOT to:

     (a)  issue a final rulemaking within 30 days to define environmentally
          sensitive areas in which hazardous liquid pipeline operators must
          develop and follow integrity management plans.

     (b)  develop and begin implementing no later than January 15, 2001, a
          comprehensive plan for further improving hazardous liquid and
          natural gas pipeline safety standards.  This should address the
          need for additional regulations implementing integrity management
          programs for all hazardous liquid pipeline operators and natural
          gas transmission pipeline operators.  The plan should also
          include a schedule for the prompt proposal of regulations for
          adequate corrosion control of hazardous liquid and natural gas
          pipelines, including cathodic protection.  Appropriate new
          standards should be developed through notice and comment
          rulemaking, in accordance with all applicable Executive Orders,
          and in consultation with other Federal departments and agencies,
          States, tribes, industry, labor, pipeline safety advocates,
          environ-mental organizations, and the public; and

     (c)  ensure that integrity management programs and operator
          qualification programs are thoroughly reviewed by the Department.
          These reviews should examine whether operators are using internal
          inspection, leak detec-tion, and emergency flow restricting
          devices, where necessary, as a part of their integrity
          manage-ment programs.  If, after reviewing an integrity
          management program, you determine that a program is inadequate
          for ensuring the safe operation of a pipe-line facility, you
          should use existing authorities to require that the operator
          revise the program accordingly, including requiring the use of
          internal inspection devices where appropriate.  If, after
          reviewing an operator qualifi-ca-tion program, you determine that
          a program is inadequate for ensuring the safe operation of a
          pipeline facility, you should use existing authorities to require
          the operator to revise the program accord-ingly, including
          requiring the use of examination or testing methods beyond the
          observation of on-the-job performance.

     (2)  Strengthen enforcement of pipeline safety laws and regulations.
To improve the enforcement of pipeline safety laws and regulations, and in
accordance with the recommendations of the General Accounting Office, I
direct you promptly to assess the efficacy and current use of all
enforcement tools available
to the Office of Pipeline Safety.  Based on the findings of this
assessment, and in coordination with the Attorney General, you should begin
developing a policy designed to ensure strong, consistent, and effective
enforcement of pipeline safety standards and compliance, including
deterring noncompliance, with pipeline safety regulations.

     (3)  Enhance Federal-State partnerships.  Building on existing
experience and considering input already received from State regulators, I
direct you to issue guidelines, within 60 days, outlining opportunities and
responsibilities for States to participate in the oversight of interstate
pipelines.  Under these guidelines, States should be allowed to participate
in new construction and incident investigation, as well as additional
oversight of interstate pipeline transportation that will add to overall
pipeline safety and address local concerns.  In addition, under these
agreements, States should be allowed to participate in the review of
integrity management, operator qualification, and damage prevention

     (4)  Provide the public with better information and opportunities to
participate.  To improve public right-to-know and opportunities for public
involvement while promoting safety, I direct you to initiate activities,
including development of a comprehensive plan, that expand public
participation in pipeline decisions and provide increased access to gas and
hazardous liquid pipeline data and information.  The comprehensive plan
should include a schedule for developing any necessary rulemakings or
guidance, and should provide for:

     (a)  improved public access to safety-related condition reports,
          pipeline incident reports, integrity management programs, and
          operator qualification programs, including access through the
          internet, annual reports, and other methods as appropriate;

     (b)  collection of more complete and detailed information on the
          causes of accidents, thereby facilitating better trends analysis
          and helping to prevent future accidents.  Specifically, you
          should improve accident reporting forms as soon as possible for
          both hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines by expanding
          causal categories and clarifying instructions so that data
          submissions are more consistent and accurate; and

     (c)  assistance to communities to help them more effectively address
          their pipeline safety concerns, including the potential
          availability of a limited number of technical assistance grants,
          subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (5)  Supporting research and development of innovative pipeline safety
technologies.  In coordination with the Secretary of Energy, I direct you
promptly to initiate a process to seek advice and consultation from other
Federal and State agencies, academia and research institutions, industry,
pipeline safety advocates, environmental organizations, and other
stakeholders on the development and implementation of a cooperative program
of research and development.  Based on this consultation, you should
develop and begin implementing a cooperative program to establish research
priorities, coordinate and leverage research funding, and maximize efforts
for ensuring pipeline integrity.   This program should address the need to:

     (a)  expand internal inspection device capabilities to identify and
          measure defects and anomalies, including automated internal
          pipeline inspection sensor systems;

     (b)  inspect pipelines that cannot accommodate internal inspection
          devices, including structural integrity measurement;

     (c)  develop and improve technologies to identify, monitor, and
          prevent outside force damage, including satellite surveillance;

     (d)  improve corrosion control and prevention methods;

     (e)  expand leak detection; and

     (f)  ensure public safety and environmental protection in other
          related ways.

The Department of Transportation shall implement this memorandum consistent
with its appropriations and to the extent permitted by law.

This memorandum is not intended to create any right, benefit, or trust
responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by
a party against the United States, its agencies, or instrumentalities, or
any other person.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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