Gov. Jack Dalrymple today urged officials with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to evaluate their oversight protocols and determine whether federal pipeline regulations offer ample protection for North Dakota citizens.
During a teleconference call with PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Dalrymple expressed concern that PHMSA pipeline regulations can fall short in protecting rural areas from pipeline spills. Jeffrey Wiese, PHMSA associate administrator for pipeline safety, and PHMSA Regional Director Linda Daugherty also participated in the meeting.
"PHMSA requires the use of enhanced pipeline monitoring and control technology in locations considered "high consequence areas' such as cities and near drinking water supplies," Dalrymple said. "Rural areas don't necessarily get the same level of oversight from PHMSA and that is concerning."
Dalrymple also asked the PHMSA officials about their on-going investigation into the recent Tesoro oil pipeline spill near Tioga and asked them to keep him informed of their findings.
The governor requested that state and PHMSA officials schedule another meeting and work together to identify opportunities to enhance monitoring and control systems throughout the state.
Late today, Dalrymple also contacted Tesoro Vice President of Operations Dan Romasko and asked him what measures Tesoro has taken so far to improve the pipeline's safety.
Romasko said that Tesoro has remote-reading monitors along the entire pipeline, from the northern end of the pipeline to Mandan. The flow monitors are connected to a control center that is operated around the clock. Romasko said Tesoro also has motor operated shut-off values on both sides of the Missouri River that can be remotely controlled.