New Biden Announcement Directs Pipeline Operators to Detail Plans to Reduce Harmful Methane Pollution

June 7, 2021
Ben Schneider, (202) 572-3279,

The Biden Administration released a new advisory today directing pipeline operators to provide detailed plans for minimizing harmful methane emissions from their systems and operations by the end of the year.

“The administration’s announcement is confirmation that President Biden is serious about delivering on his commitment to cut methane emissions,” said Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President for Political Affairs. “The advisory is crystal clear that pipeline operators must detail before the end of this year how they plan to minimize emissions from their facilities. Methane from oil and gas operations and other activities is responsible for approximately 25% of current global warming, and PHMSA’s announcement today is an important first step to reduce pipeline methane emissions. Acting Administrator Brown clearly is moving the Agency forward to meet its new environmental responsibilities, which will help the administration meet its ambitious climate goals, while also protecting public safety.”

The Advisory, released today from DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), is based on the PIPES Act of 2020 that passed with bi-partisan majorities last December. The Act contains explicit new requirements that elevate environmental responsibilities in PHMSA’s mission. The Act directs PHMSA to develop standards for the use of advanced leak detection to find and fix leaks in gathering, transmission, and local distribution pipelines— a directive that will be the subject of a new rulemaking that is now underway at the Agency.

PHMSA is also expected soon to finalize new standards for the 400,000 miles of natural gas gathering lines that are currently unregulated at the federal level.

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