The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued its “Strategic Plan for 2012-2016,” which purportedly aims to reduce the number of hazardous materials incidents and pipeline spills that result in death or significant injury or that cause environmental damage. To this end, PHMSA has outlined its plans to meet specific challenges, such as hazardous materials that present a fire risk on aircraft and the bulk transportation of hazardous materials that are toxic by inhalation.

The document also sets out the agency’s strategy for addressing the nation’s aging pipeline infrastructure, including approximately 450,000 miles of pipelines over 50 years old or of unknown age. In addition, PHMSA intends to finalize new safety regulations for the transportation of flammable and combustible liquids on aircraft, update regulations applicable to the air transportation of lithium batteries, and develop a more cost-effective fireworks approval program.