HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill to authorize Pennsylvania utility inspectors to enforce federal safety rules over many new natural gas gathering pipelines that are accompanying the booming drilling industry is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett.
The state House of Representatives approved the measure unanimously Thursday, two days after senators did the same.
Pennsylvania is one of two natural-gas producing states that do not enforce the safety rules.
The bill covers many, but not all, types of the gathering lines. Lines built in the most rural areas would remain uninspected by the government, although they still require federal, state or local permits to cross wetlands, streams and roads.
Companies are expected to build thousands of miles of gathering lines to ferry gas from producing Marcellus Shale well sites in Pennsylvania to larger, interstate pipelines.