The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) would require the valves or “alternative equivalent technologies” to be installed on new and replaced onshore natural gas, carbon dioxide, and other hazardous liquid pipelines, the regulator said in a release.
The requirements were aimed at preventing the fallout from incidents such as in 2010, when Enbridge’s Line 6B pipeline leaked 20,000 barrels of crude into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, one of the largest inland spills in U.S. history.
Another accident in the same year in San Bruno, California, led authorities to fine PG&E for a deadly gas pipeline explosion, which killed eight people, injured 51 other and damaged several homes.
The PHMSA’s new rule would apply to pipelines six inches in diameter or greater and operators would be required to ensure the closure of the valves to quickly isolate a ruptured pipeline segment, not exceeding 30 minutes after discovery of the rupture.
“Faster shut down times will help improve safety by allowing faster access to emergency first responders who respond to fires and injuries,” the PHMSA said.