Review the pipeline safety regulations

A review of safety regulations for natural gas pipelines in West Virginia should be the top priority for Mary S. Friend, recently named as the state’s top official in charge of the matter.

Friend was appointed by the state Public Service Commission to head its Gas Pipeline Safety Division. She has experience in pipeline safety from her work at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

No doubt Friend is aware that pipeline safety is a complex concern. For example, some pipelines – those transporting gas between states rather than within them – are regulated by the federal government.

Mountain State residents are well aware that construction of pipelines regulated by the state has brought with it several explosions and fires. Friend and her staff should review state pipeline safety regulations to ensure they are adequate to safeguard West Virginians, and that they take new technology into account. If changes are needed, she should recommend them to the Legislature.