WASHINGTON -- The head of the U.S. pipeline safety agency says officials intend to finalize long-delayed rules aimed at preventing oil spills and deadly natural gas explosions by the end of the year.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator Howard "Skip" Elliott made the commitment during a Wednesday hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
It came after Democratic and Republican lawmakers expressed frustration that safety measures mandated by Congress in 2011 have not been adopted. Those include installing valves to automatically shut off the flow of oil or gas in an accident and equipment to detect leaks.
Federal investigators say such equipment could lessen the consequences of accidents such as a 2010 natural gas transmission line explosion in San Bruno, California, that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.