The US Congress is said to be pushing federal pipeline regulators to wrap up reforms which were approved five years ago in response to a number of accidents on oil and natural gas pipelines.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has said the move would improve oversight at the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.
It would allow the hiring of more inspectors and require the agency to report to Congress in the event of delays to reforms already underway.
Republican Fred Upton, chairman of the committee, said:”While an accident can happen in an instant, the damage takes years to fix, underscoring the need for strong safety laws. We promised action, and today, we passed a bill that authorizes PHMSA for five years and goes a long way in strengthening pipeline safety.”
In 2010, a more than 50-year-old natural gas pipeline exploded in a suburb outside Sn Francisco killing eight people.
The same year a 40-year-old oil pipeline in Michigan ruptured and spilt more than one million gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River.