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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2012

 

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Bonnie Lovelace
Director's Office
406-444-1760

 

Public Comments Being Accepted on Final Pipeline Safety Review Council Report

 

Helena – The Montana Oil Pipeline Safety Review Council is accepting public comments on its final report, which is scheduled to be presented to Governor Brian Schweitzer on July 18, 2012.

The report is the culmination of the work of the Oil Pipeline Safety Review Council, created by the Governor in the wake of the ExxonMobil Silvertip oil spill in July 2011. The purpose of the Council was to review all available information for each pipeline river crossing in Montana to assess the risk of ruptures and leaks. The Governor asked the Council to evaluate the regulatory framework for pipelines and to identify any regulatory gaps that might exist. The Council was also asked to make recommendations to prevent future failures.

The report describes a new, interactive Montana Pipeline Safety Map created through a cooperative agreement with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and with the assistance of pipeline operators. The map contains numerous layers of information including aerial photos, topographic maps, property boundaries and ownership, as well as locations of environmental interest like monitoring stations and wells.

The report also contains six recommendations designed to reduce the chances of future pipeline breaks that could spill products into Montana’s waterways. It is available on the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website at www.deq.mt.gov. Comments on the report will be accepted until Wednesday June 27, 2012. Comments should be submitted to Bonnie Lovelace, DEQ Regulatory Affairs Manager, PO Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620. Comments can also be emailed to blovelace2@mt.gov. For more information contact Ms. Lovelace at 406-444-1760.

The final meeting of the Council will be on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 152 of the State Capitol. The members of the Oil Pipeline Safety Review Council are the Directors of the Montana Department of Transportation, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

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