The U.S. Pipeline Administration has announced new regulations aimed at reducing methane leaks from the 2.7 million-mile network of natural gas pipelines in the United States to potentially eliminate 1 million tons of methane emissions by 2030, which is equivalent to emissions from 5.6M cars.
The propose issued Friday by the Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials and Pipeline Safety Administration will “dramatically improve the detection and repair of leaks from gas pipelines… pipeline operators nationwide to keep more product in the pipeline and prevent dangerous accidents.”
The agency says the new regulation will reduce emissions from covered pipes by up to 55% by requiring pipeline operators to establish advanced leak detection programs to detect and repair “all” gas leaks by strengthening leak survey and patrol requirements using technology such as aerial or vehicle surveying, gas-optical imaging cameras, and continuous monitoring systems.
The latest proposal is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to regulate emissions from domestic oil and gas drilling, including requirements for drillers to fix all methane leaks, not just the biggest one.