PHMSA's Stay of Enforcement: What It Means for Operators
Whitney Vandiver, PhD
Pipeline Compliance Specialist
On March 20, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Stay of Enforcement and Notice of Enforcement Discretion to Operators Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak.
Resulting from government’s declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19, PHMSA’s announcement was made in the midst of a developing crisis for the oil and gas sector as operators were faced with an unfamiliar situation.
As a historic announcement and one that gives operators no comparison when it comes to interpretation, PHMSA’s notice has left many operators struggling to understand what they can and cannot do during this time and where their responsibilities have shifted.