Birmingham attorney explains regulations, guidelines for gas companies

Tanker trucks line up at a Colonial Pipeline Co. facility in Pelham, Ala., near the scene of a 250,000-gallon gasoline spill on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. The company says spilled gasoline is being taken to the storage facility for storage. Some motorists could pay a little more for gasoline in coming days because of delivery delays. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
Tanker trucks line up at a Colonial Pipeline Co. facility in Pelham, Ala., near the scene of a 250,000-gallon gasoline spill on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. The company says spilled gasoline is being taken to the storage facility for storage. Some motorists could pay a little more for gasoline in coming days because of delivery delays. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — CBS42 wanted to know about the regulations and guidlines for companies such as Colonial Pipeline, so we turned to Birmingham attorney Matthew Minner. CBS42 Morning News anchor Art Franklin talked to Minner via Skype because he is currently in Kentucky.

Minner is an attorney with Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton and has dealt with disasters and pipeline explosions like the one in Shelby County. Minner says Colonial must follow very specific guidelines set by agencies, such as U.S. Pipeline and the Hazardous Material Administration, whether it is annual or more frequently than annual.

There are lengthy detection systems that are now required and legislation requires even greater technology that would make the pipes even safer.

“There is an obligation and that information is something we would want to know,” Minner said. “The problem we see is that in many communities it is not a top priority until something like this happens.”

Colonial Pipeline supplies the vast majority of gas along the East Coast. Minner says there is new technology and more stringent regulations being proposed to make sure Colonial Pipeline and other companies improve safeguards for workers and the community where these pipelines flow through.

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