U.S. pipeline regulator announces safety measures after 2020 CO2 pipeline failure

May 26 (Reuters) - The top U.S. pipeline regulator on Thursday announced it would take steps to implement safety measures to protect against carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline failures and strengthen pipeline safety after its investigation into a CO2 pipeline leak in Mississippi in 2020.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will require all pipeline operators "to plan for and mitigate risks related to land-movements and geohazards that pose risks to pipeline integrity," the regulator said in a release.

PHMSA aimed to update its safety standards for CO2 pipelines which would include requirements related to emergency preparedness and response, it added.

The safety measures were aimed at preventing incidents such as in 2020, when a failure of Denbury Gulf Coast Pipelines' 24-inch (61-cm) CO2 pipeline in Satartia, Mississippi resulted in local evacuations and caused almost 50 people to seek medical attention.

PHMSA issued a proposed civil penalty of $3.87 million on Denbury for "multiple probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations."

According to PHMSA, the violations by the pipeline operator included the lack of timely notification to the National Response Center to ensure nearby communities were informed of the threat, lack of written emergency procedures and a failure to conduct routine inspections.

Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy

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