§195.49 Reporting, changing the product transported

Liquid pipelines have the flexibility to switch the type of product transported, possibly to even one that is not regulated.  What would be the reporting requirements when changing the product transported?

This interpretation from 2011 provides an answer.

Interpretation 195.49  1
October 13, 2011
THIS INTERPRETATION IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW BY PHMSA

Ms. Alison S. F. Lambert
Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP
Attorneys At Law
218 North Charles Street
Suite 400
Baltimore, MD  21201

Dear Ms. Lambert:

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dated     May 26, 2011, you asked for guidance regarding the reporting requirements in the Federal pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR Parts 190-199).  You stated that you represent a pipeline operator who currently transports a petroleum-based product by pipeline, but that the company is considering changing the type of petroleum-based product it transports.  You would like guidance on the applicable reporting requirements for product change that are administered by PHMSA.

With certain exceptions, the reporting requirements in Subpart B of Part 195 apply to the transportation of petroleum or petroleum products by pipeline. (note 1)  That includes “crude oil, condensate, natural gasoline, natural gas liquids, and liquefied natural petroleum gas,” as well as any “flammable, toxic, or corrosive products obtained from the distilling and processing of crude oil, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids, blend stocks and other miscellaneous hydrocarbon compounds.” (note 2)

A pipeline operator can change the kind of petroleum or petroleum product transported without affecting its obligations under Subpart B of Part 195.  In other words, the reporting requirements for pipeline facilities used in the transportation of hazardous liquids or carbon dioxide remain the same, as long as the pipeline operator continues to transport any form of hazardous liquids as defined in § 195.2.

I hope that this information is helpful to you.  If I can be of further assistance, please contact me at 202-366-4046.

Sincerely,

John A. Gale
Director, Office of Standards and Rulemaking

Note 1. 49 CFR §§ 195.0-195.1, 195.48.
Note 2. 49 CFR § 195.2.

*****************************************
Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP
Attorneys At Law
218 North Charles Street
Suite 400
Baltimore, MD  21201

May 26, 2011

RE:    Request for Written Interpretation

Dear Mr. Gale:

This firm represents an energy company with operations in multiple states, including the State of Maryland (the “Corporation”).  The Corporation operates certain underground pipelines in the City of Baltimore, Maryland (the “Pipelines”).  Currently, the Corporation transports a Petroleum-based product through the Pipelines, but it is considering changing the type of petroleum-based product it transports.

The Corporation would like your guidance regarding the reporting requirements in the Pipeline Safety Regulations (49 CFR Parts 190-199) that would apply if it were to change the kind of petroleum-based product it transports through the Pipelines.  To the extent that the change process, we understand that the Corporation would be responsible for making the necessary adjustments to that process internally.  We also understand that federal and state agencies other than yours may regulate the reporting requirements for changing products, and that these requirements may go beyond those of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.  However, the Corporation specifically requests your guidance on the applicable reporting requirements that are administered by your office.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Alison S. F. Lambert

All this and more including new interpretations in WinDOT, The Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia.

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