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North Dakota Examines Pipeline Regulations

BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 29 (UPI) — Federal pipeline safety rules for rural areas don’t seem to get the level of scrutiny they should, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple expressed concern about federal safety regulations during a conference call with Cynthia Quarterman, administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The governor said he was concerned about the PHMSA’s monitoring of pipelines in rural areas.

“Rural areas don’t necessarily get the same level of oversight from PHMSA and that is concerning,” he was quoted by the Grand Forks Herald as saying Monday.

Tesoro Logistics, which has headquarters in Texas, reported Oct. 10 more than 20,000 barrels of oil spilled from one its pipelines in a rural field northeast of Tioga. No water was contaminated and the surrounding environment should be shielded from any major damage, the company said.

The PHMSA said it doesn’t have specific regulations on record for pipelines in remote areas. It requires monitoring for those pipelines in “high-consequence areas,” where a release would pose a threat to a large portion of the population, the Herald reported.

Dalrymple told the newspaper he was reviewing “all our options” with the PHMSA. The agency said in a statement its investigators were on scene investigating the incident in coordination with state regulatory and environmental officials.

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