Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – January 2018

This update includes information from the Department of Transportation’s January Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions.
Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

OMB Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions:

Final rule stage

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN-2137-AE66 / Docket no. PHMSA-2010-0229
Affects: 49 CFR 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/13/2010
Stage: Final Rule   Previous Stage: NPRM 10/13/2015

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
To OST 05/13/2016 08/01/2016 07/29/2016
To OMB 06/21/2016 10/19/2016  10/18/2016
OMB Clearance 09/21/2016 12/20/2016  01/10/2017
Returned to Mode 01/23/2017
Resubmitted to OST 03/16/2018
Resubmitted to OMB 05/04/2018
OMB Clearance / 2 08/03/2018
Publication Date 10/03/2016 08/17/2018

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137–AE72  / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address integrity management principles for gas transmission pipelines. The rulemaking would address repair criteria for high-consequence areas (HCA) and non-HCA areas, assessment methods, validating and integrating pipeline data, risk assessments, knowledge gained through the integrity management program, corrosion control, change management, gathering lines, and safety features on launchers and receivers.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011; End of C/P 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012.
NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016; End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally 
Scheduled
Date
New 
Projected
Date
Actual 
Date
To OST 03/29/2018
To OMB 05/10/2018
OMB Clearance 08/10/2018
Publication Date 08/22/2018

Pipeline Safety: Issues Related to the use of Plastic Pipe in Gas Pipeline Industry

RIN 2137-AE93 / Docket no. PHMSA 2014-0098
Affects: 49 CFR 192

PHMSA is amending the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations that govern the use of plastic piping systems in the transportation of natural and other gas. These amendments are necessary to enhance pipeline safety, adopt innovative technologies and best practices, and respond to petitions from stakeholders. The amendments include an increased design factor for polyethylene (PE) pipe, stronger mechanical fitting requirements, new and updated riser standards, new accepted uses of Polyamide-11 (PA-11) thermoplastic pipe, authorization to use Polyamide-12 (PA-12) thermoplastic pipe and new or updated consensus standards for pipe, fittings, and other components.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 05/11/2012
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM published 5/21/2015; C/P closed 7/31/2015.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
To OST 04/02/2018
To OMB 05/11/2018
OMB Clearance 08/13/2018
Publication Date 06/30/2016 08/24/2018

Pending rules

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements

RIN 2137-AF29 / Docket no. PHMSA-2017-0151
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking regards existing class location requirements, specifically as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment would be used to inform future regulatory or deregulatory efforts related to this topic.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 06/29/2017
Stage: ANPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for ANPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
To OST 11/06/2017 02/20/2018
To OMB 12/26/2017 04/03/2018
Publication Date 04/09/2018 04/27/2018
End of Comment Period 06/11/2018 06/23/2018

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191, 192

In December 2016, PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) titled: “Pipeline Safety: Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities” (81 FR 91860). In the IFR, PHMSA established minimum federal safety standards for intrastate and interstate underground natural gas storage facilities under its regulatory authority at 49 U.S.C. 60101 and 60102 and as directed by section 12 of the “Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016.” On January 18, 2017, the American Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Public Gas Association, and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) jointly submitted a petition seeking reconsideration of certain provisions of the IFR. (INGAA has since withdrawn from the petition.)

Recognizing that the IFR set certain deadlines by which the operators of underground natural gas storage facilities must act but that would occur before PHMSA could adopt a final rule, PHMSA published a notice on June 20, 2017, in the Federal Register (82 FR 28224), announcing that (1) the agency would not issue enforcement citations to operators for non-compliance with certain provisions of the IFR for a period of one year after publication of the final rule, and (2) it intended to address the issues raised by the petitioners in the final rule. For these reasons, PHMSA provided the public with an additional opportunity to comment on the IFR and an opportunity to comment on the issues raised in the petition. PHMSA reopened the comment period for this IFR on October 19, 2017 through November 20, 2017.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  12/19/2016 81 FR 91860
Interim Final Rule Effective  01/18/2017
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  02/17/2017
Final Rule  01/00/2018

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Parts 192 and 195 to require Valve installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

RIN 2137-AF06   / Docket no. PHMSA 2013-0255
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

This rule would propose installation of automatic shutoff valves, remote controlled valves, or equivalent technology and establish performance based meaningful metrics for rupture detection for gas and liquid transmission pipelines. The overall intent is that rupture detection metrics will be integrated with ASV and RCV placement with the objective of improving overall incident response. Rupture response metrics would focus on mitigating large, unsafe, uncontrolled release events that have a greater potential consequence. The areas proposed to be covered include High Consequence Areas (HCA) for hazardous liquids and HCA, Class 3 and 4 for natural gas (including could affect areas).

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2018

Pipeline Safety: Standards Update Rule–2015 and Beyond

RIN: 2137-AF13  / Docket no. PHMSA 2011–0337
Affects: 49 CFR 192, 193, 194, 195

This NPRM proposes to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards. The practice of incorporating voluntary consensus standards requires pipeline operators to use the most current industry technologies, materials, and management practices available on today’s market. The new versions reflect new technology and/or improvements to the existing standards thereby saving the pipeline operators pipeline construction and compliance costs. PHMSA is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. These proposed changes would be relatively minor, and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2018

Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

RIN: 2137-AF26  /  Docket no. PHMSA 2016-0091
Affects: 49 CFR 190

PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) that established regulations implementing the emergency order authority conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act of 2016 or Act). These regulations are mandated by the PIPES Act of 2016 and establish procedures for the issuance of emergency orders (restrictions, prohibitions) to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard. The purpose of these requirements is to improve PHMSA’s existing enforcement authority to allow us to respond immediately and effectively to conditions or practices that pose serious threats to life, property, or the environment. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Legal Deadline:

Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory The PIPES Act of 2016, which amends 49 U.S.C. sec. 60117, requires the Secretary of Transportation to issue a temporary regulation no later than 60 days and a final regulation no later than 270 days. 08/22/2016

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  10/14/2016 81 FR 70980 
Interim Final Rule Effective  10/14/2016
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  12/13/2016
Final Action  01/00/2018

At ViaData, we help you keep abreast of changes in federal and state pipeline safety regulations. But that’s not all – WinDOT our online pipeline encyclopedia provides you with all the background you need, from the initial incidents that provide the catalyst to change the law, through the legislative and rulemaking processes, and finally to the new law and its interpretations. Check us out!

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