The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that requires pipeline companies to notify government officials within one hour of detecting a leak.
The bill also raises penalties for multiple violations from US$ 1 million to US$ 2.5 million.
The passage of the bill follows several high-profile pipeline disasters, including an explosion in San Bruno, Northern California, which killed at least seven people and destroyed dozens of homes.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Mark Schauer, a Democrat who represents a district in Michigan in which an Enbridge Inc. pipeline ruptured in July, spilling up to 1 million gallons of oil into nearby waters.
In addition to shortening notification times and raising penalties, the bill also requires the US Transportation Department to maintain a public database of all reported incidents involving gas or hazardous liquid pipelines.