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Gas lines tied to fracking lack oversight, audit shows
The federal government knows nothing about thousands of miles of pipelines that tap natural gas flows released through the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and needs to step up oversight to ensure they are running safely, government auditors say.
Private companies have put in hundreds of gathering pipelines in recent years to collect gas and oil supplies freed through the high-pressure drilling technique.
Nationwide, about 240,000 miles of gathering pipelines ferry the fuels to processing facilities and larger pipelines in top energy-producing states. Many of these pipelines course through densely populated areas.
The Government Accountability Office said in its report issued Thursday that most of those miles are not regulated by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which means they are not regularly inspected for leaks or corrosion.
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