Sidley advises clients on compliance with laws and regulations governing pipeline and hazardous materials safety, as administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the agency’s domestic state-level partners. Our clients rely on our experience with this multifaceted regulatory scheme to support energy infrastructure and transportation transactions and to evaluate the risk of, and being responsive to, administrative investigations, and to engage on agency rulemakings.
The team also counsels clients on jurisdictional questions concerning PHMSA’s administrative oversight. We are particularly attuned to the energy transition and the transportation of renewable fuels by pipeline and the growing reliance on lithium ion batteries and other energy sources subject to safety regulation. Our collaborative multidisciplinary approach brings together lawyers with experience in pipeline regulatory, transportation and infrastructure, environmental compliance, and government investigations matters. Together, the team provides clients with actionable and thorough advice.
Recent representative matters include having:
- Negotiated with PHMSA’s Office of Hazmat Safety to reduce penalties for violations of its regulations related to the shipment of solar generator batteries to U.S. consumers.
- Represented railroad industry client before the D.C. Circuit in an appeal of final rules issued by PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration governing the transportation of crude oil by rail.
- Evaluated risks related to PHMSA attaining jurisdiction related to the transfer of intrastate oil pipeline facilities to an interstate pipeline operator in support of a multi-million dollar energy transaction.
- Provided counsel to owners and operators of liquefied production facilities, liquefied natural gas terminals, interstate oil pipelines, and natural gas gathering and transmission pipelines on their compliance obligations with the pipeline safety and hazardous materials safety laws.
- Advised railroad client in PHMSA rulemaking regarding tank car design and the use of electronically controlled pneumatic braking systems for trains transporting large quantities of flammable liquids.