The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a United States Department of Transportation agency responsible for developing and enforcing regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the United States' 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation. The administration is also responsible for the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. The agency also oversees the nation's pipeline infrastructure which accounts for 64 percent of the energy commodities consumed in the United States. Made up of the Office of Pipeline Safety and the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, PHMSA's main mission is to protect the people and the environment from the inherent risks associations with the transportation of hazardous materials, whether it be by pipeline or other modes of transport.
PHMSA was created within the U.S. DOT under the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act of 2004. Former United States President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law on November 30, 2004. The purpose of the act was to provide the U.S. Department of Transportation with a more focused research organization and to establish a separate operating administration for pipeline safety and hazardous materials transportation safety operations. In addition, the act presented the department an opportunity to establish model practices in the area of government budget and information practices in support of the president's Management Agenda initiatives.
Cynthia L. Quarterman, an attorney and former government official, became the third Administrator in November 2009.
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