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                          November 3, 2000 

Today, the Administration is taking steps to ensure the safety of the over two million miles of oil and gas pipeline that criss-cross our country. These pipelines are important to our economy and our daily lives, transporting the products that fuel our cars and heat our homes. While the overall safety record of our nation's pipeline system is strong, accidents still occur. These pipeline failures can damage the environment, contaminate our drinking water, threaten the safety of our communities, and put human lives at risk. Recent tragedies in Bellingham, Washington, and near Carlsbad, New Mexico, have underscored the need to improve pipeline safety nationwide.

Earlier this year, the Administration proposed comprehensive pipeline safety legislation to establish better standards for the inspection and maintenance of our Nation's pipelines, backed by rigorous enforcement, effective state-federal partnerships, the best technology achievable, and a community's right to know about nearby pipelines. Despite significant efforts by many Members of Congress, comprehensive pipeline safety legislation has not been passed this year. While the Administration continues to support Congressional action to strengthen and improve our federal pipeline safety laws, we are taking steps using existing authority to ensure that our pipeline system is sound, our communities are safe, and our environment is protected.

Issuing New Regulation for Pipeline Safety. Today, the Department of Transportation is issuing a strong, new regulation to improve the safety of hazardous liquid pipelines in populated and environmentally sensitive areas. Under these new regulations, companies that operate more than 500 miles of hazardous liquid pipeline will be required to establish and follow new programs to effectively manage the integrity of their pipelines. As a part of the new programs, pipeline operators will be required to:

Taking Comprehensive Actions to Improve Pipeline Safety. In addition, President Clinton is directing the Department of Transportation to take a number of additional actions, using existing authorities, to improve pipeline safety nationwide. These actions include:

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