Debra Thornblad, Union Leader, Sept. 14, 2014:
“RANDOLPH – Gov. Maggie Hassan signed three bills Friday afternoon designed to help the state better regulate pipelines and to better prepare for any pipeline emergencies that might happen.
Amid the mountain splendor that is the New Hampshire Presidential Range, Hassan also signed a fourth bill establishing a Rural Affairs Commission, something she said she knows Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, ‘has wanted for a long time.’
To help with pipeline safety, Senate Bill 325 gives the state Department of Environmental Services the authority to impose requirements relating to oil spill preparedness and response.
Although pipelines are generally regulated by the federal government, those regulations are ‘weak,’ said Sheridan Brown, legislative coordinator for the New Hampshire Audubon Society. Federal regulations give the states the right to impose stricter requirements, but few have done so, he said. ‘This is groundbreaking because only a handful of states have taken advantage of the federal authority to do this,’ Brown said. ‘This will ensure we have the right plan in place and the ability to implement it.’
HB 1224 directs the Public Utilities Commission to petition the federal government to seek certification and take over pipeline inspections. Brown said this will ensure more frequent and better inspections.
HB 1376 forms a study committee to look at the transportation of the oil through the state.”
Full article available at: http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140914/NEWS06/140919549&template=printart