Three bills designed to tighten up state regulation of pipelines cleared the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates on February 5. The measures now head to the House floor and they must be acted upon before February 11 to be considered in the Senate. The three bills, all sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst (D-Blacksburg), are:
- HB 643 – Reduces from 36” to 24” the minimum diameter of natural gas transmission pipeline that is subject to certain regulatory actions, including a stop work order. For details, click here.
- HB 644 – Directs the State Water Control Board to adopt regulations to penalize the accrual of water quality violations by large natural gas transmission pipeline projects. For details, click here.
- HB 646 – Authorizes the State Water Control Board to include civil penalties of up to $50,000 per violation, not to exceed $500,000 per order. Current law sets these limits at $32,500 and $100,000, respectively. For details, click here.
Virginia ABRA members and activists are urged to contact their state delegate to urge their support for these three important bills by clicking here and following the instructions. Do it today, as floor action will take place next week.