49 USC 60115 - Technical safety standards committees

(a) Organization.— 
The Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee and the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee are committees in the Department of Transportation. The committees referred to in the preceding sentence shall serve as peer review committees for carrying out this chapter. Peer reviews conducted by the committees shall be treated for purposes of all Federal laws relating to risk assessment and peer review (including laws that take effect after the date of the enactment of the Accountable Pipeline Safety and Partnership Act of 1996) as meeting any peer review requirements of such laws.
(b) Composition and Appointment.— 

(1) The Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee is composed of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Transportation after consulting with public and private agencies concerned with the technical aspect of transporting gas or operating a gas pipeline facility. Each member must be experienced in the safety regulation of transporting gas and of gas pipeline facilities or technically qualified, by training, experience, or knowledge in at least one field of engineering applicable to transporting gas or operating a gas pipeline facility, to evaluate gas pipeline safety standards or risk management principles.
(2) The Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee is composed of 15 members appointed by the Secretary after consulting with public and private agencies concerned with the technical aspect of transporting hazardous liquid or operating a hazardous liquid pipeline facility. Each member must be experienced in the safety regulation of transporting hazardous liquid and of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities or technically qualified, by training, experience, or knowledge in at least one field of engineering applicable to transporting hazardous liquid or operating a hazardous liquid pipeline facility, to evaluate hazardous liquid pipeline safety standards or risk management principles.

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(3) The members of each committee are appointed as follows:
(A) 5 individuals selected from departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government and of the States.
(B) 5 individuals selected from the natural gas or hazardous liquid industry, as appropriate, after consulting with industry representatives.
(C) 5 individuals selected from the general public.
(4) 
(A) Two of the individuals selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection must be State commissioners. The Secretary shall consult with the national organization of State commissions before selecting those 2 individuals.
(B) At least 3 of the individuals selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(B) of this subsection must be currently in the active operation of natural gas pipelines or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities, as appropriate. At least 1 of the individuals selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(B) shall have education, background, or experience in risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis. The Secretary shall consult with the national organizations representing the owners and operators of pipeline facilities before selecting individuals under paragraph (3)(B).
(C) Two of the individuals selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection must have education, background, or experience in environmental protection or public safety. At least 1 of the individuals selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(C) shall have education, background, or experience in risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis. At least one individual selected for each committee under paragraph (3)(C) may not have a financial interest in the pipeline, petroleum, or natural gas industries.
(D) None of the individuals selected for a committee under paragraph (3)(C) may have a significant financial interest in the pipeline, petroleum, or gas industry.
(c) Committee Reports on Proposed Standards.— 


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(1) The Secretary shall give to
(A) the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee each standard proposed under this chapter for transporting gas and for gas pipeline facilities including the risk assessment information and other analyses supporting each proposed standard; and
(B) the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee each standard proposed under this chapter for transporting hazardous liquid and for hazardous liquid pipeline facilities including the risk assessment information and other analyses supporting each proposed standard.
(2) Not later than 90 days after receiving the proposed standard and supporting analyses, the appropriate committee shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on the technical feasibility, reasonableness, cost-effectiveness, and practicability of the proposed standard and include in the report recommended actions. The Secretary shall publish each report, including any recommended actions and minority views. The report if timely made is part of the proceeding for prescribing the standard. The Secretary is not bound by the conclusions of the committee. However, if the Secretary rejects the conclusions of the committee, the Secretary shall publish the reasons.
(3) The Secretary may prescribe a standard after the end of the 90-day period.
(d) Proposed Committee Standards and Policy Development Recommendations.— 

(1) The Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee may propose to the Secretary a safety standard for transporting gas and for gas pipeline facilities. The Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee may propose to the Secretary a safety standard for transporting hazardous liquid and for hazardous liquid pipeline facilities.
(2) If requested by the Secretary, a committee shall make policy development recommendations to the Secretary.
(e) Meetings.— 
Each committee shall meet with the Secretary at least up to 4 times annually. Each committee proceeding shall be recorded. The record of the proceeding shall be available to the public.
(f) Expenses.— 
A member of a committee under this section is entitled to expenses under section 5703 of title 5. A payment under this subsection does not make a member an officer or employee of the Government. This subsection does not apply to members regularly employed by the Government.