The Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) issued the following statement on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s markup of the Pipeline Efficiency and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2023 (H.R. 6494), which reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) pipeline safety programs for the next four years and provides a framework to advance the safety of energy infrastructure across the United States.
“PCCA applauds the Pipeline Efficiency and Safety Act of 2023 approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on December 6, and we appreciate the bill’s call to encourage the use of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) mapping of critical underground infrastructure, including fiber optic installations, ” PCCA Chairman Ed Campbell said.
Introduced by committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.), ranking member Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and subcommittee Chairman Troy Nehls (R-Tex.) and ranking member Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), this bill would strengthen the safety of existing underground infrastructure, help prevent damage to critical infrastructure and improve excavation safety, and support anticipated new modernized underground construction.
Significantly, H.R. 6494 addresses excavation damage prevention, a recurring and costly issue afflicting the utility construction industry. PCCA endorses the proposal to strengthen damage prevention laws by encouraging and endorsing state implementation of best practices long advocated for by those in the excavation community. The bill's damage prevention and excavation safety language largely aligns with the recommendations made by the Infrastructure Protection Coalition’s 2021 damage prevention study, 811 Emergency, which can be found at ipcweb.org. PCCA is a founding member of the coalition.
PCCA thanks the committee’s leadership for their bipartisan efforts to enact damage prevention safety legislation and reauthorize USDOT’s critical PHMSA programs. We urge swift passage of this legislation.
The Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) represents contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers who build and repair America’s power and communication infrastructure, including broadband and electric transmission, distribution, and substation facilities. PCCA members represent some 85 percent of the construction entities performing broadband deployments and the majority of electric power infrastructure projects across the U.S.