Is Public Safety Impacted by the Multiple Regulatory Regimes for Gas Pipelines and Networks?

Hayes, J, Chester, L and Kramnaimuang King, D 2018, 'Is Public Safety Impacted by the Multiple Regulatory Regimes for Gas Pipelines and Networks?', in Proceedings of the 12th International Pipeline Conference (IPC 2018), Calgary, Canada, 24-28 September 2018, pp. 1-9.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Is Public Safety Impacted by the Multiple Regulatory Regimes for Gas Pipelines and Networks?
Author(s) Hayes, J
Chester, L
Kramnaimuang King, D
Year 2018
Conference name IPC 2018: Building the Future Now: Volume 2
Conference location Calgary, Canada
Conference dates 24-28 September 2018
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 12th International Pipeline Conference (IPC 2018)
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Place of publication United States
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Abstract Gas pipelines and networks are subject to multiple regulatory governance arrangements. One regime is economic regulation which is designed to ensure fair access to gas markets and emulate the price pressures of competition in a sector dominated by a few companies. Another regime is technical regulation which is designed to ensure pipeline system integrity is sufficient for the purposes of public safety, environmental protection and physical security of supply. As was highlighted in analysis of the San Bruno pipeline failure, these two regulatory regimes have substantially different orientations towards expenditure on things such as maintenance and inspection which ultimately impact public safety. Drawing on more than 50 interviews, document review and case studies of specific price determinations, we have investigated the extent to which these two regulatory regimes as enacted in Australia may conflict, and particularly whether economic regulation influences long-term public safety outcomes. We also draw on a comparison with how similar regulatory requirements are enacted in the United Kingdom (UK). Analysis shows that the overall orientation towards risk varies between the two regimes. The technical regulatory regime is a typical goal-setting style of risk governance with an overarching requirement that 'reasonably practicable' measures are put in place to minimize risk to the public. In contrast, the incentive-based economic regulatory regime requires that expenditure should be 'efficient' to warrant inclusion in the determination of acceptable charges to customers. How safety is considered within this remains an open question. [truncated due to field restrictions]
Subjects Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Keyword(s) safety
risk
regulation
pipelines
DOI - identifier 10.1115/IPC2018-78160
Copyright notice Copyright © 2018 by ASME
ISBN 9780791851876
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