This morning here at DOT headquarters, we will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
But we have another transportation system that is virtually invisible but still absolutely critical to our economy, and that is the 2.3 million mile network of pipelines that--although hidden from sight--criss-cross our nation, humming with activity.
And the PHMSA mission doesn't end there.
By road, rail, sea and air, vessels and vehicles transport fuels and chemicals around the clock, nearly one million shipments on any given day. Whatever surface those shipments are skimming across, PHMSA develops and enforces regulations to ensure they are kept safe and environmentally sound.
Now, don't worry; DOT has been keeping pipelines and hazardous materials safe for many years. But only for the past five years have we had a separate operating agency focused solely on these important components of American transportation.
The American economy relies on oil and natural gas both as fuel and as raw materials. Our economy also uses a wide range of chemicals to clean our water, to create medicine, to fertilize crops, to manufacture the goods we use every day. The reality is that, to protect human health and prevent environmental damage, these materials must be kept secure from spillage. That's where PHMSA comes in.
Between the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety and the Office of Pipeline Safety, the good people at PHMSA are working hard to protect people and the environment from the risks inherent in transporting hazardous materials whether by pipeline or other modes of transportation.
Some of these people work here in our headquarters. And it is my pleasure to celebrate PHMSA's 5th anniversary with them this morning.
Others are out in the field, inspecting pipelines and trucks and rail cars, training emergency responders, researching new safety technologies. I wish they could all be here to celebrate with us today, but I am grateful for the valuable service they provide right where they are.
So congratulations to Administrator Cynthia Quarterman and all of the PHMSA team; whether you're in Washington, DC, or Wyoming, you're doing a great job and we appreciate it!