On Aug. 2, 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced the grant of $64.4 million to states to improve the safety of pipelines and underground natural gas operations.

The goal of the grant is to provide states with the funding necessary to inspect pipelines and underground natural gas facilities to ensure safety and compliance with federal and state regulations.

Currently, the United States has 3.4 million miles of pipeline. More than 80% of that pipeline is inspected by state inspectors. Importantly, this announcement signals to pipeline companies PHMSA’s continued focus on pipeline integrity at both federal and state levels. The $64.4 million in grants will equip federal and state regulators with funds to support this effort.

Pipeline companies should remain vigilant of the various issues likely to become PHMSA’s central focus regarding pipeline safety, including known nonconformities in vintage pipe that could lead to failures.