CORPORATE LIABILITY AND EMERGENCY ACCIDENT NOTIFICATION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 156, No. 132
(House of Representatives - September 28, 2010)

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[Pages H7094-H7096]
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      CORPORATE LIABILITY AND EMERGENCY ACCIDENT NOTIFICATION ACT

  Mr. SCHAUER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 6008) to amend title 49, United States Code, to ensure 
telephonic notice of certain incidents, and for other purposes, as 
amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6008

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Corporate Liability and 
     Emergency Accident Notification Act'' or ``CLEAN Act''.

     SEC. 2. NOTIFICATION OF INCIDENTS.

       (a) Telephonic Notice of Certain Incidents.--
       (1) In general.--Chapter 601 of title 49, United States 
     Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

     ``Sec. 60138. Telephonic notice of certain incidents

       ``(a) In General.--An owner or operator of a pipeline 
     facility shall provide immediate telephonic notice of--
       ``(1) a release of hazardous liquid or another substance 
     regulated under part 195 of title 49, Code of Federal 
     Regulations, resulting in an event for which notice is 
     required under section 195.50 of such title; and
       ``(2) a release of gas resulting in an incident, as defined 
     in section 191.3 of such title.
       ``(b) Immediate Telephonic Notice Defined.--In subsection 
     (a), the term `immediate telephonic notice' means telephonic 
     notice, as described in section 191.5 of such title, to the 
     Secretary and the National Response Center at the earliest 
     practicable moment following discovery of a release of gas or 
     hazardous liquid and not later than one hour following the 
     time of such discovery.
       ``(c) References.--Any reference to a regulation in this 
     section means the regulation as in effect on the date of 
     enactment of this section.''.
       (2) Clerical amendment.--The analysis for such chapter is 
     amended by adding at the end the following:

``60138. Telephonic notice of certain incidents.''.

       (b) Guidance.--Not later than 60 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue guidance to 
     clarify the meaning of the term ``discovery'' as used in 
     section 60138(b) of title 49, United States Code, as added by 
     subsection (a) of this section.

     SEC. 3. TRANSPARENCY OF ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS.

       Not later than December 31, 2010, the Secretary of 
     Transportation shall maintain on the Department of 
     Transportation's Internet Web site a database of all 
     reportable incidents involving gas or hazardous liquid 
     pipelines and allow the public to search the database for 
     incidents by owner or operator of a pipeline facility.

     SEC. 4. CIVIL PENALTIES.

       Section 60122(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in the first sentence--
       (A) by inserting ``, or has obstructed or prevented the 
     Secretary from carrying out an inspection or investigation 
     under this chapter,'' after ``under this chapter''; and
       (B) by striking ``$100,000'' and inserting ``$250,000''; 
     and
       (2) in the last sentence by striking ``$1,000,000'' and 
     inserting ``$2,500,000''.

     SEC. 5. COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTORY PAY-AS-YOU-GO ACT OF 2010.

       The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of 
     complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall 
     be determined by reference to the latest statement titled 
     ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, 
     submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the 
     Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
     statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Schauer) and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. LoBiondo) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.


                             General Leave

  Mr. SCHAUER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their 
remarks and to include extraneous materials on H.R. 6008.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SCHAUER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I never could 
have imagined that my community too could have been impacted by such an 
oil spill, but it happened.
  On July 26, 2010, Enbridge Energy Partners reported a ruptured 
pipeline that spilled an estimated 1 million gallons of heavy Canadian 
crude oil into Talmadge Creek south of Marshall, Michigan, in my 
district. Oil-covered wildlife, a river and creek flowing black with 
oil for miles, and citizens were evacuated from their homes--these were 
all images from this oil spill that my constituents will not soon 
forget.
  According to the National Transportation Safety Board, on Sunday, 
July 25, 2010, at 5:58 p.m., alarms began sounding in Enbridge Energy 
Partner's control room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Line 6B of 
Enbridge's Lakehead Pipeline. For more than 13 hours, alarms continued 
in Enbridge's control room. Enbridge did not know what was wrong with 
their 6B pipeline until 11:18 a.m. the following day when another 
company's technician reported to Enbridge that there was oil in 
Talmadge Creek. The leak was confirmed by Enbridge personnel at 11:45 
a.m. on July 26, and they began laying boom immediately but did not 
report the spill until 1:29 p.m., nearly 2 hours later, to the National 
Response Center.
  Another recent incident in San Bruno, California, the tragic PG&E 
rupture, took the lives of four people--three more are still missing--
injured numerous others, destroyed 37 homes and damaged 11 others. This 
occurred at 6:11 p.m. on September 9, 2010. It wasn't reported to the 
National Response Center until 11:35 p.m., over 5 hours later.
  When public's safety and health are at risk, every second counts. In 
the time Enbridge and PG&E waited to report these spills, Federal 
agencies and government emergency responders could have been en route 
or at the sites to help.
  Congress directed that ``a pipeline facility shall provide immediate 
telephonic notice of a release of hazardous liquid.'' In 2002, the 
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's predecessor 
determined ``immediately'' to be defined as between 1 and 2 hours after 
discovery. Congress said a reportable spill incident needs to be 
reported immediately. Five hours is not immediately. Two hours is not 
even immediately.
  My bipartisan bill, H.R. 6008, the Corporate Liability and Emergency 
Accident Notification Act, the CLEAN Act, clarifies the congressional 
intent of the term ``immediately'' in reporting a spill incident to the 
National Response Center and defines ``immediately'' to be no more than 
1 hour after the discovery of an incident. My bill also increases 
penalties for any violation of a Federal pipeline safety regulation, 
including failure to report a spill incident in a timely manner. 
Additionally, the CLEAN Act seeks to increase transparency by directing 
the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a

[[Page H7095]]

searchable public database of all reportable hazardous liquids 
incidents.
  I urge Members to support H.R. 6008, the CLEAN Act, to hold companies 
accountable to reporting spill releases ``immediately,'' as Congress 
intended, and to increase transparency of spill incidents to the 
public. With the proper spill reporting standards, we can work toward 
preventing devastating spills in the future for safety and protection 
of our communities and our environment.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  The gentleman from Michigan has adequately described the critical 
importance of this bill on pipeline safety. We support the bill.
  H.R. 6008--the Corporate Liability and Emergency Accident 
Notification Act--makes three changes to the Federal pipeline safety 
law.
  The bill requires that the Department of Transportation maintain a 
database on its website of all reportable pipeline incidents and make 
the database available to the public.
  The bill also increases the civil liability caps for violations of 
pipeline safety laws.
  H.R. 6008 also requires that pipeline operators notify the National 
Response Center not later than 1 hour after the discovery of a release 
of natural gas or hazardous liquids. Pipeline operators are currently 
required to notify the NRC not later than 2 hours after the discovery 
of a leak.
  The Federal pipeline safety programs are set to expire in one week. 
Recent pipeline accidents in San Bruno, California; Romeoville, 
Illinios; and Marshall, Michigan have brought pipeline safety to the 
forefront. While this bill addresses some of the issues that should be 
addressed in a comprehensive pipeline safety reauthorization bill, it 
does not address all of them.
  I hope that Congress considers a comprehensive pipeline safety 
reauthorization bill that addresses all of the relevant pipeline safety 
issues in the very near future.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6008, as 
amended, the ``Corporate Liability and Emergency Accident Notification 
Act,'' introduced by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Schauer).
  Last week, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a 
hearing on the rupture of Enbridge's Line 6B pipeline, which released 
more than one million gallons of crude oil into Talmadge Creek and the 
Kalamazoo River just one mile south of Marshall, Michigan. The 
Kalamazoo River flows into Lake Michigan. The spill devastated the 
local environment and wildlife, uprooted homeowners that live near the 
creek and river, and exposed local communities to noxious and toxic 
substances before Enbridge even raised alarm.
  I recall vividly in 1986, as Congress prepared for reauthorization of 
the pipeline safety program, a massive rupture that occurred on the 
Williams Pipe Line in Mounds View, Minnesota. Corrosion was the 
culprit. Unleaded gasoline spilled from a 7.5-foot long opening along 
the longitudinal seam of the pipe. Gasoline vapors combined with air 
and liquid gasoline flowed along neighborhood streets for about an hour 
and a half--until the manually operated gate valve was shut off. About 
30 minutes into the release, the gasoline vapor was ignited when a car 
entered the area, its loose tailpipe struck the pavement, sparked and 
ignited the vapor. An inferno engulfed three full blocks of the 
neighborhood: a woman and her daughter were burned severely when the 
fireball rolled over them, later taking their lives. Another person 
suffered serious burns.
  I have talked about that incident during debate on every pipeline 
safety bill that has come before this House because I will never forget 
where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the devastation 
that rupture had caused; it will be with me for the rest of my life. 
Congressman Schauer, I assure you, will never forget where he was when 
he learned of the Enbridge spill in Marshall, Michigan. Nor will 
Congressman Rick Larsen ever blot out the memory of the gasoline spill 
in a creek that flowed through Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, 
Washington, that claimed the lives of two 10-year-old boys and a young 
man of 18 celebrating high school graduation by fishing in that creek.
  While we do not yet know the cause of the Michigan incident, we do 
know that the spill likely occurred sometime the day before Enbridge 
reported it to the National Response Center. We know that, contrary to 
Enbridge's claims at our hearing, the Enbridge control center did not 
even realize that a massive rupture had occurred on the pipeline until 
a utility worker from an unrelated company, Consumers Energy, called 
Enbridge to report that oil was spilling into Talmadge Creek. We know 
that Enbridge personnel at the control center experienced an abrupt 
pressure drop on the line, that they experienced multiple volume 
balance alarms over the course of 13 hours before sending a technician 
to the pump station, located just three-quarters of a mile from the 
rupture. We know that Enbridge reported that the technician did not see 
any problems or smell any odors at the pump station, even though 
numerous residents in the immediate vicinity of the pump station (and 
others living nine miles away) reported to Committee staff that they 
smelled strong odors the day before. We also know that Enbridge knew 
about hundreds of defects in the line, and we know that the Pipeline 
and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration was made aware of them 
and failed to do anything to address Enbridge's inaction.

  The bill before you today holds pipeline operators accountable to a 
maximum of one hour to telephonically report a release of hazardous 
liquid or gas resulting in an incident. As the Enbridge oil disaster in 
Marshall, Michigan, underscores--every minute that passes following a 
release of hazardous liquid or gas from a pipeline is one less minute 
that responders have to protect the community and the surrounding 
environment.
  The bill also increases the maximum civil penalty for each pipeline 
safety violation from $100,000 to $250,000 and the maximum civil 
penalty per incident from $1 million to $2.5 million, the same amounts 
proposed by the Obama administration in its pipeline safety 
reauthorization bill. The maximum penalties for violations of pipeline 
safety regulations under current law have not been increased in almost 
a decade. Adequate levels of penalties are necessary to deter unsafe 
operating practices by the pipeline industry, particularly in serious 
cases involving injuries, fatalities, and significant environmental 
damage. The bill further clarifies that civil penalties are applicable 
to obstruction of an investigation.
  The bill includes a requirement that the Secretary of Transportation 
maintain a Web site that depicts all reportable incidents involving 
hazardous liquid and gas pipelines and allows the public to search the 
database for incidents by the owner or operator of a pipeline facility.
  Over the coming weeks, I intend to work in a bipartisan manner to 
develop a comprehensive pipeline safety reauthorization bill. In the 
interim, I feel that this bill strengthens the accountability of 
pipeline operators.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 6008.
  Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure I rise today in strong support of 
H.R. 6008, the Corporate Liability and Emergency Accident Notification 
Act. This legislation enhances public safety by requiring an owner or 
operator of a pipeline facility to notify the Secretary of 
Transportation, DOT, and the National Response Center, NRC, within one 
hour upon discovering the leak of hazardous material. Timely 
notification is an essential component of an effective response. This 
legislation will help ensure that DOT and NRC have the information 
needed to act in order to save lives and protect property.
  I thank my colleague, Congressman Schauer, for his leadership in 
introducing this legislation and Chairman Oberstar for his skillful 
leadership in shepherding this bill to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, it was only a short time ago on July 26, 2010 in 
Marshall, Michigan when the Enbridge Pipeline oil spill transpired. 
Roughly 1 million barrels of crude oil were dumped into the Talmadge 
Creek and Kalamazoo River. This incident negatively impacted the 
environmental and public health of the surrounding areas. Similar 
subsequent incidents occurred earlier this month in Romeoville, 
Illinois and San Bruno, California. These episodes vividly illustrate 
the urgent need for action.
  In addition, H.R. 6008 instructs the Secretary of Transportation to 
maintain an online database on the Department of Transportation 
website, which will record all reportable releases involving gas or 
hazardous liquid pipelines. The public will be able to view and search 
the database for incidents by pipeline facility owner or operator. This 
bill also increases the maximum civil penalties per violation and 
incident to further dissuade such incidents from occurring. These 
important measures will strive to decrease the response time, the 
overall damage, and the number of leaks.
  I am particularly concerned by reports of pipeline spills and 
explosions because my district, the 37th Congressional District of 
California, contains over 643 total pipeline miles in the National 
Pipeline Mapping System. More than 558 of these miles are hazardous 
liquid pipelines. The map of pipelines in my district looks like a 
spaghetti bowl with pipelines crossing in every direction. Not a single 
one of my constituents can possibly live more than a mile or so away 
from a pipeline carrying hazardous material. Unfortunately, from 2000 
to 2008 there were 21 incidents in my district significant enough to be 
reported to the DOT's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety 
Administration.

[[Page H7096]]

  The new notification requirements imposed by H.R. 6008 will help 
decrease the time required to respond to pipeline leaks, thereby 
lessening the damage caused by such leaks. Moreover, the increased 
penalties for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws will provide 
incentives for pipeline owners and operators to follow guidelines and 
aid responsibility. All in all, this is a very good bill and I strongly 
support it.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 6008.
  Mr. LoBIONDO. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCHAUER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Schauer) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 6008, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title was amended so as to read: ``A bill to ensure telephonic 
notice of certain incidents involving hazardous liquid and gas pipeline 
facilities, and for other purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________