National study finds pipelines are inadequately regulated

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In a report released Thursday, the federal government found that large sections of pipes in the natural gas industry are not being monitored by regulators. But as the Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports, state regulators say that doesn't apply to New York.

The report from the federal Government Accountability Office looked at the state regulation of gathering pipelines - pipelines that carry natural gas from a drilling site to a processing facility.

According to the report, there are 13 states that are either unsure or don't know where some pipelines are located and have little or no information on pipeline reliability.

The report concluded that expanded natural gas exploration could increase the safety risk posed by unregulated pipelines.

The New York Public Service Commission regulates pipelines that originate in New York. Commission spokesman James Denn says New York aggressively regulates its pipelines.

"This includes construction, operations, maintenance requirements, so there is a significant difference between what some states and the federal government does in terms of these pipelines as opposed to what's done here in New York," says Denn.

According to a 2011 report by the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives, New York ranks fifth among states in number of regulations that are stronger than the federal government's.