State Senators submit bills to increase pipeline safety

Local News

The safety of natural gas pipelines coming under question from some state lawmakers. Now, they’re pushing a number of bills they say will increase their safety.

At a rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday, lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, announcing the formation of a ‘Pipeline Safety Caucus’. And that caucus getting to work immediately, pushing a package of bills aimed to increase safety.

Senator Andy Dinniman saying it’s to “create the beginnings of a strong regulatory process here in Pennsylvania, where none now exists in terms of pipelines.”

The bills include establishing a commission to study pipeline construction and operations, requiring the companies transporting natural gas to meet with county emergency coordinators and to establish a Landowners Bill of Rights.

Dinniman is also calling on a two-year moratorium when it comes to the Eminent Domain Authority of Pipeline Projects.

“Property rights are among the most fundamental rights of the American people.”

Senator Camera Bartolotta says, “Pipelines are the safest, and most efficient, means of transporting gas and oil products to consumers.”

Down the hall, a group of lawmakers touted the safety of pipelines, as well as their importance to the Pennsylvania economy, saying the oil and natural gas industry has a nearly $45 billion impact on the state, supporting more than 320,000 jobs.

Senator John Blake says, “Public safety is paramount, but we have to keep in mind the value of this industry, and the demand side of this equation in giving access where it’s needed; safe access to a resource that’s abundant and can change our economy.”

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