Comments on S. 411

Gao ID: EMD-79-B1 March 26, 1979

The Senate has proposed S. 411, cited as the "Pipeline Safety Act of 1979." It contains provisions to strengthen and clarify the Department of Transportation's present authority in the safety regulation of natural gas pipeline transportation and to provide major new and comprehensive authority in the safety regulation of hazardous liquid pipeline operations. GAO is in basic agreement with S. 411, as it relates to pipeline transportation, but recommends that a new title 3 be added to deal with storage facility safety. GAO believes that the Federal Government should regulate every facility, whether or not connected to pipelines, that stores large quantities of hazardous commodities at one location, in or affecting interstate commerce. Coverage should be limited to large storage facilities in order to exclude from regulation the use of small quantities by businesses and other consumers. Federal, State, and local storage facilities should be required by law to maintain the same safety standards as private facilities.

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