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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 3, 2000


I am very pleased that the Administration is taking important steps today to improve the safety of our Nation's oil and gas pipelines. The Department of Transportation is issuing new, strong requirements for large hazardous liquid pipeline operators to regularly inspect and promptly repair their pipelines in populated and environmentally sensitive areas, as well as to employ measures to detect and prevent leaks. In addition, President Clinton is directing the Department to take actions that will further strengthen pipeline safety standards, improve enforcement, form strong federal-state partnerships, increase public access to information, and enhance technology using existing authorities to their fullest extent.

Americans deserve to have the safest pipeline system possible. Despite significant bipartisan efforts, Congress has not passed a comprehensive pipeline safety law this year. The actions that are being taken today will help to ensure that pipeline safety is being improved to the maximum extent possible without a change in law. Tragedies such as the recent pipeline accidents in Bellingham, Washington, and near Carlsbad, New Mexico, must not be repeated.

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