News Releases

Today the Department of Transportation announced plans to lower the reporting threshold for hazardous liquid pipeline accidents from 50 barrels (2,100 gallons) to 5 gallons, heightening the quantity, quality, and usefulness of reported accident information.

Senator Murray released the following statement:

"Lowering the spill threshold for pipelines is a critical provision of the pipeline safety legislation which I have introduced in the 106th and 107th congresses.

For more than two years I have pushed for a 5-gallon spill threshold, and I am pleased that the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) has taken this important step to reduce the threshold from 2,100 gallons to 5 gallons.

Clearly, Congressional pressure is having a positive effect on the regulators.

Lowering the threshold will give us a better understanding of where problems exist so that OPS can investigate these problems before they become catastrophes.

This is a positive step, but it is not a replacement for a comprehensive overhaul for our pipeline safety regulations. Two years in a row the Senate has passed comprehensive pipeline safety legislation, only to see the House fail to act. For the sake of families and communities in Washington state and across the country, I will continue to work to turn these comprehensive proposals into comprehensive laws."