U.S. grants funds for state pipeline inspections

Oct. 1, 2013 at 7:57 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation said it awarded more than $46 million to state governments for oil and gas pipeline inspections.

New York, with $2.9 million in grants, and California, with $5.2 million, took the lion's share of the grants handed out by the department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

"Safety is our top priority and we're committed to keeping communities safe and preventing pipelines incidents," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The PHMSA said the grants account for nearly 80 percent of the operating costs needed for state regulators to conduct pipeline inspections.

"These grants help make sure that happens by funding personnel and equipment to carry out inspections and enforce important intrastate pipeline safety regulations that keep the entire pipeline network as safe as possible," Foxx said in a statement Monday.

The PHMSA said there are more than 2.6 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in the country.

The regulator issued a corrective action order to ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. this year for a 5,000-barrel spill from the Pegasus oil pipeline in Mayflower, Ark.

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