USDOT Announces Bipartisan PIPES Act Proposal to Modernize Decades-Old Pipeline Leak Detection Rules, Invests in Critical American Infrastructure, Create Good-Paying Jobs, and Improve Safety

Original article published by PHMSA

WASHINGTON – Following the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic announcement to invest $196 million in grants for 37 pipeline modernization projects spread across 19 states, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced it is proposing a new rule to significantly improve the detection and repair of leaks from gas pipelines. As directed by the bipartisan PIPES Act of 2020, the proposed rule would create good-paying jobs, deploy pipeline workers across the country to keep more product in the pipe, and prevent dangerous accidents. These actions, if finalized, would boost efficiency, cut harmful pollution and waste, and create an estimated up to $2.3 billion annually in benefits.

 The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—transmitted to the Federal Register today—would enhance public safety and lower methane emissions and other air pollution from more than 2.7 million miles of gas transmission, distribution, and gathering pipelines; 400+ underground natural gas storage facilities; and 165 liquefied natural gas facilities. The proposed rule will update decades-old federal leak detection and repair standards that rely solely on human senses in favor of new requirements that add an additional layer of safety by deploying commercially available, advanced technologies to find and fix leaks of methane and other flammable, toxic, and corrosive gases. These health and safety improvements will advance environmental justice in communities where gas pipeline infrastructure is disproportionately sited.

 “Quick detection of methane leaks is an important way to keep communities safe and help curb climate change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proposing a long-overdue modernization of the way we identify and fix methane leaks, thereby reducing emissions and strengthening protections for the American people.”

 Fixing wasteful and dangerous pipeline leaks is a core part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan to cut energy waste and pollution, boost efficiency, and create good-paying jobs. In 2030 alone, this rule has the potential to eliminate up to 1 million metric tons of methane emissions—equivalent to 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the emissions from 5.6 million gas-powered cars. Overall, the rule would reduce emissions from covered pipelines by up to 55%. The proposal requires pipeline operators to establish advanced leak detection programs aimed at detecting and repairing all gas leaks by:

  • Strengthening leakage survey and patrolling requirements by increasing the frequency of surveys and requiring the use of commercially available, advanced leak detection technology—such as aerial or vehicle surveys, handheld detection devices, and continuous monitoring systems—with flexibility for operators to use a range of approaches to meet a minimum performance standard.
  • Reducing the volume of gas released due to unintentional emissions like leaks and equipment failures and revising the reporting minimum threshold to detect smaller leaks sooner.
  • Minimizing intentional releases, such as those caused by equipment venting or blowdowns, associated with pipeline maintenance, repair, and construction and encouraging operators to consider cost-effective equipment that can capture the methane for later use.
  • Establishing explicit criteria and timeframes for the timely repair of all leaks that pose a risk to public safety or the environment.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Historic Funding for 37 Projects to Improve Safety, Fix Old, Leaky Gas Pipes and Create Jobs

Original article published by PHMSA

First-of-its-Kind program is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will protect communities across the country from dangerous gas leaks and create jobs

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will announce a historic $196 million in grants for 37 projects spread across 19 states. This new grant program helps improve public safety, protect public health, and reduce methane emissions from natural gas distribution pipes. The Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization (NGDISM) grant program, established by President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides nearly $1 billion in funding over the course of five years to modernize municipally and community-owned natural gas distribution pipes, helping to keep communities across the country safe from pipeline leaks.

“This funding to modernize our gas pipelines will help protect residents from dangerous leaks, create good-paying jobs, and reduce methane emissions in communities across the nation, particularly in rural and underserved areas,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

These grants are projected to create hundreds of jobs in rural and urban communities around the U.S. Grant funding recipients will repair, replace, or rehabilitate nearly 270 miles of pipe, thereby reducing methane emissions by approximately 212 metric tons, annually. Ultimately, these projects will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, which  enables the United States to leverage all available tools to reduce methane emissions while protecting public health, promoting U.S. innovation in new technologies, lowering energy costs for families by reducing inefficiency and waste, and supporting good-paying jobs for thousands of skilled workers across the country.

“Investments in pipeline safety are investments in community safety and our shared environment,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “For far too long, underserved communities have had to bear the brunt of aging and dangerous pipelines. This funding will finally give communities the resources they need to replace legacy pipelines— improving safety, protecting the environment, and creating jobs.”

Beginning today, Department of Transportation officials will spread out across the country, delivering the grant funding to more than 20 communities, as part of President Biden’s Invest in America Tour. Secretary Pete Buttigieg will kick off the week of events in Las Cruces, New Mexico, awarding $10 million to the City of Las Cruces. Follow along for this week of funding on PHMSA’s social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn).

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out, not top-down – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities safer and more resilient.

The next funding opportunity of $392 million is expected to be released in May of this year. For more information about this grant, including additional resources and information for applicants and stakeholders, click here

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 3.4-million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1.2 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit for more information.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

USDOT Announces State and Local Funding to Improve Hazardous Materials and Pipeline Safety Nationwide

Original article published by USDOT

Funding available to train firefighters and other first responders as well as support States and localities for hazardous material safety

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced more than $25 million available in grant funding through its pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs. These grants are for projects that will train first responders, strengthen safety programs, improve safety, reduce environmental impacts, and educate the public on local safety initiatives. This includes projects that provide support to state inspectors for hazardous materials shipments and pipelines inspections, important safety training and educational programs for emergency response, and advance¬ innovative safety technologies.

“We need to make sure our first responders are ready to respond to emergencies involving pipelines and hazardous materials,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These grants will train firefighters and other first responders and help ensure that communities have the resources they need to keep their residents safe.”

This funding announcement comes after the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine upended the lives of the community. Responders nationwide previously received training because of the Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant program, including 2,500+ responders in 137 different locations in Ohio. Several of those trained emergency responders were on the ground during the recent derailment. In addition to this existing funding, Secretary Buttigieg called on Congress to increase funding to expand hazardous materials training for first responders. Additional funding for first responders is part of the Bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023.

The funding will go towards the following grants:

Pipeline Safety

•    Pipeline Emergency Response Grants
•    Competitive Academic Agreement Program Grants
•    Technical Assistance Grants
•    State Damage Prevention Grants
•    One-Call Grants

Hazardous Materials Safety

•    Hazardous Materials Instructor Training Grants
•    Hazardous Materials State Inspection Grants
•    Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training Grants
•    Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Tribal Grants
•    Supplemental Public Sector Training Grants
•    Community Safety Grants

“Whether it’s dealing with a pipeline rupture or a train derailment—training is essential to the safety of our first responders and the communities they serve,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “These grant opportunities will help ensure first responders have what they need to address the unique challenges that exist in communities across the country.”

The Notices of Funding Opportunities provide more details on eligibility and how each grant improves and strengthens pipeline and hazardous materials safety. PHMSA will work to maximize grant awards based on the applications received. Each official notice of funding opportunity is available at under Department of Transportation-PHMSA on the agency drop-down menu. Applicants can also contact the appropriate agency representative identified in the respective notice of funding opportunity with further questions.

Since 2021, PHMSA has awarded more than $206 million in grants to eligible recipients for projects, research, and development activities that work to enhance the safety of America’s energy pipeline network and hazardous materials transportation. For Fiscal Year 2024, PHMSA requested a $21.5 million increase for its State Pipeline Safety Grants to reimburse states for up to 80% of their inspection costs, an $18.5 million increase in funding for its emergency preparedness grants that train emergency responders and volunteers, and a $3 million increase in Community Safety Grant funding to better prepare underserved communities for the transportation of hazmat and crude oil through communities. Details about prior grant awards and related projects can be found on PHMSA’s grant webpage.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.  Please visit for more information.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

OSHA PHMSA seek input ahead of UN meeting on GHS, transport of hazardous goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

OSHA UN meeting GHS

Washington — OSHA has scheduled a virtual public meeting for June 15 in advance of the 42nd session of the United Nations UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System GHS of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

In a notice published in the May 31 Federal Register, OSHA requests information and comments as the federal government prepares for the UNSCEGHS meeting – set for July 6-8 in Geneva, Switzerland.

OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Coordinating Group, “plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting.”

OSHA’s meeting will take place in conjunction with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s discussion of proposals ahead of the 60th session of the UN Sub-Committee on Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, set for June 27-July 6.

Comments must be submitted by July 5.

OSHA UN meeting on GHS

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NOTICE: ORM-D Marking Phase-out

First published by PHMSA.

After December 31, 2020, hazmat shippers will no longer be able to use the ORM-D Consumer Commodity marking on packages containing limited quantities of low risk hazardous materials. Packages must be marked with the Limited Quantity marking in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Section 173.156.

PHMSA published a final rule in January 2011 that revised the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to align with various international standards regarding hazard communication, hazard classification including packing group assignment, packaging authorization, air transport quantity limitations, and other harmonization-related topics. This final rule specified the phase-out of the marking for limited quantity materials reclassed as “other regulated material” (ORM-D).

Federal Register Notice

What is ORM-D?

The ORM-D classification stands for Other Regulated Materials—Domestic and is used for materials that meet the DOT definition of a consumer commodity. A consumer commodity, as defined in § 171.8, is a material that is packaged and distributed in a form suitable for retail sale or consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or household use.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

OSHA, PHMSA announce prep meetings for UN sessions on GHS, transport of hazardous goods


Photo: David Bautista/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will host virtual public meetings June 24 in preparation for a pair of United Nations meetings.

Announced in the June 1 Federal Register, OSHA will gather comments and information ahead of the 39th session of the UN’s Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The sub-committee meeting has been rescheduled for Dec. 9-11, after being postponed from its originally slated dates of July 8-11.

OSHA’s preparatory meeting agenda includes a review of working papers and correspondence group updates, as well as an update on the Regulatory Cooperation Council.

Participants at the PHMSA meeting are expected to discuss proposals for the 57th session of the UN’s Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, now scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 8 in Switzerland. The agency is “requesting comments relative to potential new work items that may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda.” PHMSA also will provide updates on “recent actions.”

The PHMSA meeting is slated for 9 a.m. Eastern, followed by the OSHA meeting at 1 p.m.