Mandatory Audit of Pipeline Security Framework Set to Begin

The U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general will begin a required audit next week of actions taken by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's to implement its security agreement with the Transportation Security Administration. TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security; TSA and PHMSA made their agreement in August 2006.

The audit will address communication between the two agencies and how well they're carrying out the agreed items. It also will address the adequacy of security standards for oil and gas pipelines in the United States, according to the June 12 audit announcement letter from David A. Dobbs, principal assistant inspector general for auditing and evaluation.

The Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 requires this audit. Dobbs' letter notes there are about 2 million miles of pipelines moving hazardous liquids and natural gas in this country, with about 2,200 natural gas pipeline operators and 250 hazardous liquid pipeline operators in business.

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