The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved an amendment to H.R. 5050, the Pipeline Safety Act of 2016, to include a study on regulations affecting propane jurisdictional systems.
According to the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), the manager’s amendment was approved by a voice vote and included the committee’s passage of H.R. 5050.
Under the current regulatory framework, propane systems that serve more than 10 customers from a single tank or more than two if the system crosses a public way are subject to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s jurisdiction and regulations. Propane jurisdictional systems are subject to the same federal regulations as much larger gas and distribution systems and utilities. NPGA says these regulations are in addition to state and local codes, which are typically based on NFPA 58.
“Simplifying the regulations gives all energy customers, not just propane customers, access to more options,” says Rick Roldan, NPGA president and CEO, in a press release. “Propane jurisdictional systems are safe, ease consumer adoption of propane and allow our marketers to serve more customers with fewer trips.”
U.S. Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Peter Welch, D-Vt., worked on bipartisan language to have the Transportation Research Board examine the current network of federal, state and local regulations that affect these propane systems. This study will identify duplications and inefficiencies in these regulations and make recommendations on how to improve safety, reduce unnecessary costs and streamline federal requirements associated with propane jurisdictional systems that serve fewer than 100 customers.
NPGA says H.R. 5050 will need to be combined with H.R. 4937, the PIPES Act of 2016, which was recently approved by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, for consideration by the House of Representatives.