Washington Watch

EPA Proposes Limits on State Regulatory Barriers to Pipeline Construction

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving ahead with an effort to limit the ability of states to stymie pipeline projects by either declining to issue or delaying the issuance of Clean Water Act certifications. The states and Indian tribes are required to issue those permits within one year of submission of a request by a company wanting to build a pipeline.

Pipeline Cybersecurity Protection Legislation Moves Forward

House Democrats and Republicans have had trouble agreeing on a pipeline safety bill so far this year, but a second bill faces no such problem. The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed the Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act by a voice vote in mid-July, a few weeks before the House left for its August/September work period.

Water Infrastructure Bill Introduced

The Senate is looking to pass bi-partisan water infrastructure bills aimed mostly at providing funding for dams, irrigation and water conservation, and rejuvenation projects in the Western U.S. under the auspices of the Bureau of Reclamation, an Interior Department agency. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced the most prominent of three separate bills called the Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act (S. 1932).

PHMSA Likely to Accelerate LNG Rail Shipments

Environmentalists are broadening their opposition to natural gas transportation beyond pipelines by opposing the shipment of liquid natural gas (LNG) on rail cars. Energy Transport Solutions, a Florida company, has applied to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for a special permit to send 100-plus large tank cars of LNG through Florida on their way to ports for delivery overseas.

Judge Blocks Obama-Era Water Initiative Pending Revision

A federal judge in Georgia has blocked enactment of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule in Georgia and nine other states that filed suit against the measure while it's under review by the Trump administration.

Sewer Construction Grants Targeted for Big but Speculative Increase

There seems to be a good chance that Congress will pass a reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), given strong bi-partisan support for the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1497).

Appeals Courts Provide Good/Bad News for Pipelines

Stephen Barlas  |  Washington Editor The top federal appeals court in charge of policing regulatory decisions gave a big victory to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), endorsing in February its approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, one of two controversial projects already underway..

Washington Watch

By Stephen Barlas | Washington Editor GAO Highlights Potential Cyber Security Threats The Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its oversight of cybersecurity protection at interstate pipelines. The report essentially said the DHS’s Transp..