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House Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureRailroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous MaterialsHouse Committee on Energy and CommerceIntroducedSeptember 29th, 2010
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Pipeline Safety and Community Empowerment Act of 2010
To amend title 49, United States Code, to enhance pipeline safety, to provide communities with access to improved information concerning the equipment and operations of pipeline facilities, and for other purposes.
Pipeline Safety and Community Empowerment Act of 2010 - Directs the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to prescribe minimum standards to require: (1) a pipeline facility owner or operator to notify all property owners and residents located within 2,000 feet of a pipeline transmission line of the property's proximity to the line, including its specific location if located on private residential property; and (2) the notice to include a method for electronic access to such information through the Internet and a toll free telephone number, as well as information on how to obtain a map of the pipeline system through the National Pipeline Mapping System. Revises requirements for minimum standards for information a pipeline operator must maintain about a pipeline facility. Directs the Secretary to prescribe such standards requiring an operator to provide that information (including updates and changes), not only to the Secretary (as under current law), but also to state regulatory officials, state and local emergency responders, and other appropriate entities. Revises requirements for additional standards for periodic inspection of pipeline facilities in high-density population areas and environmentally sensitive areas. Directs the Secretary to prescribe standards requiring the mandatory periodic inspection of each pipeline facility with an instrumented internal inspection device ("smart pig") occur at least once every five years. Allows the use of an inspection method, subject to certain requirements, that is not a "smart pig" for any pipeline segment incompatible with a "smart pig." Requires the Secretary to prohibit a pipeline segment from operating under high pressure if that segment cannot be inspected: (1) with a "smart pig"; or (2) using an inspection method at least as effective as one. Directs the Secretary to prescribe minimum standards to require a pipeline facility owner or operator to install automatic or remote shut off valves to reduce risks in the event of a rupture. Requires a pipeline facility owner or operator to ensure that the pipeline facility is equipped with a leak detection system capable of promptly detecting a leak. Directs the Secretary to approve or disapprove modified public education programs submitted by pipeline facility owners or operators. Requires the Comptroller General to assess and report to Congress on the effectiveness of such programs.