Incorporated by reference documents referencing other documents

The pipeline safety regulations incorporate by reference (IBR) over 50 “external” standards that must be complied with, wholly or in part.  IBR has been used since the regulations were first written and continues today.

A new twist to IBR is found in the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 Section 24 that states:

`(p) Limitation on Incorporation of Documents by Reference- Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary may not issue guidance or a regulation pursuant to this chapter that incorporates by reference any documents or portions thereof unless the documents or portions thereof are made available to the public, free of charge, on an Internet Web site.’.

PHMSA help a public meeting earlier this year to discuss the impact of this requirement.  Efforts are underway to determine how this is to be implemented as the deadline draws near.

Here is an interesting question to be considered now, as IBR documents will continue in the regulations for the foreseeable future – “What if only a section of an IBR document is referenced, and then that section references additional document(s) that are not on the IBR list? Are those other documents mandatory requirements?”

The following interpretation, in Question 4 and its answer provides some guidance.  The question and answer have been emphasized for convenience.

Interpretation 195.3  6
January 12, 1990

Mr Frank Herring, P.E.
Vice President
AnAid, Inc.
Industrial Training & Testing Services
P.O. Box 933
Dickinson, Texas 77539

Dear Mr. Herring:

I am responding to the several questions in your November 22 0 1989,, letter to Carolina Mederos regarding the Department’s pipeline safety regulations.

Question 1:  DOT rules 192, 193, and 195 have incorporated API 1104, 17 edition, 1988 by reference.  Does this incorporation include all parts of API 1104 such as part 8.0 which provides the specification controls on radiography, Also what about parts 1.0, 2.0, 4.0; 5.0?  Are they mandatory or not?

Answer:  Parts 192 and 195 do not reference all of API 1104, only sections 3 and 6 (see §§ 192.227, 192.229, 192.241, 195.222 and l95.228).  Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 are not referenced, so compliance with these sections is not mandatory under Parts 192 and 195, except as may be necessary for compliance with sections 3 and 6.

Part 193 does not reference specific sections of API 1104, but in §191. 2313 (a) (1) requires that certain welding procedures and welders be qualified under API 1104, and in §193.2321(b) requires that weld repair and certain weld defects meet API 1104 criteria.  Compliance with §§ 193.2313(a)(1) and 193.2321(b) requires fulfillment of all relevant provisions of API 1104, except that the API 1104 Appendix may not be used (see item 2 of Section II. D. of Appendix A of Part 193).

Question 2:  If your answer to item 1 above is “no,” what mandatory rules exist that control these areas?

Answer:  Parts 192, 193, and 195 contain welding requirements that relate to many of the provisions of API 1104 that are not incorporated by reference.   (See Subpart E of Part 192, §§ 193.2313 and 193.2321 of Part 193, and §§ 195,214-195,234 of Part 195.)

Question 3:  ASME Sections VIII and IX are also incorporated by DOT rules, are the older editions still in effect?

Answer:  The 1977 edition of the ASME, Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code is the latest edition referenced in Parts 192, 193, and 195, Parts 192 and 195 previously referenced the 1968 edition.  This edition remains in effect for certain components fabricated, manufactured,, designed, or installed in accordance with that edition while it was referenced.

Question 4.  ASME Sections VIII and IX incorporate by reference ASME Section V.  ASME Section V controls the nondestructive testing of welds being made to ASME VIII and IX.  Is ASME section V then mandatory  by law?

Answer.  If a document section that is incorporated by reference in the pipeline safety regulations references another section of the same document or another documents, compliance with that other section or document is mandatory to the extent necessary to fulfill the purposes of the incorporation by reference.

Question 5:  When welding, inspecting, and radiographing welds in a pipeline compressor station, (assuming the pipeline is subject to DOT rule 192 and/or 195), what code, code edition, year and addenda are such activities to be performed to?  Same question applies to a “pig trap” installed in a pipeline?

Answer:  Welding, inspection of welds and inspection of welding, and the radiographing of welds on gas pipelines located in a compressor station or a “pig trap” must meet the requirements of Subpart E of Part 192.  These requirements incorporate by reference sections 3 and 6 of the 1988 edition of API 1104 for welder qualification and the acceptability of welds.  Part 195 has similar requirements regarding hazardous liquid pipelines located in pump stations or “pig traps.”


George W. Tenley Jr.
Office of Pipeline safety

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


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