North Dakota is taking steps to insure that its energy transportation system remains safe, reliable, and dependable. While pipeline and railroad regulation is traditionally the domain of the federal government and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), North Dakota’s governor has signaled his commitment to ensuring the integrity of the state’s energy transportation system. As The Dickinson Press recently reported:
“Dalrymple and the Public Service Commission have also proposed a state-run railroad safety program and pipeline integrity program “that would complement federal oversight in North Dakota,” according to the release. The proposal would cost North Dakota $1.4 million for three position to inspect railroad tracks. Another three state employees would inspect pipelines that transport oil and other liquids to market.”
The decision to bring on more safety personnel has drawn praise from around the state, which is warranted. We believe that expanding the number of full time pipeline safety inspectors will have the double benefit of making existing pipelines safer, while ensuring that planned projects as the Dakota Access Pipeline are built on schedule, while fulfilling all of the stringent safety requirements. This measure would protect the public, help the industry, and most importantly of all, safeguard our region’s natural resources.