Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – May 2018

In lieu of its May Report on Significant Rulemakings, the DOT has referred to the Office of Management and Budget Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.  Information below is from that list and from the PHMSA list of regulatory actions from the 2016 PIPES Act and the Pipeline Safety Act of 2011 (updated April 9, 2018):

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

The Office of Management and Budget lists these additional rules in its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions:

Publication ID: Spring 2018

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 (Delayed – Additional coordination necessary)

Previous Stage: ANPRM 10/18/2010 (75 FR 63774); C/P Extended 01/04/2011 (76 FR 303) and 01/18/2011; Extended C/P End 02/18/2011; NPRM 10/13/2015 (80 FR 61610); NPRM C/P End 01/08/2016.

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 04/25/2018
Resubmitted to OMB 06/08/2018
OMB Clearance / 2 09/07/2018
Publication Date 10/03/2016 09/19/2018

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72  / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011 (76 FR 53086); C/P Extended 11/16/2011 (76 FR 70953) and 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012. NPRM: 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20721); End of C/P/ 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual Date
To OST 09/28/2018
To OMB 12/14/2018
OMB Clearance 03/04/2019
Publication Date 03/14/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

(Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72 above.) This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); 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 02/28/2019
To OMB 05/02/2019
OMB Clearance 08/02/2019
Publication Date 08/14/2019
End of Comment Period 10/14/2019

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

(Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72 above.) This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); 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 12/28/2018
To OMB 03/04/2019
OMB Clearance 06/04/2019
Publication Date 06/12/2019
End of Comment Period 08/12/2019

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, 195

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 (80 FR 29263); C/P closed 7/31/2015.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual Date
To OST 12/22/2017
To OMB 05/16/2018
OMB Clearance 08/16/2018
Publication Date 06/30/2016 08/28/2018

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  01/30/2018
To OMB 12/26/2017 N/A
Publication Date 04/09/2018 06/00/2018
End of Comment Period 06/11/2018 N/A

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

PHMSA is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to improve rupture mitigation and shorten pipeline segment isolation times in high consequence and select non-high consequence areas. The proposed rule defines certain pipeline events as “ruptures” and outlines certain performance standards related to rupture identification and pipeline segment isolation. PHMSA also proposes specific valve maintenance and inspection requirements, and 9-1-1 notification requirements to help operators achieve better rupture response and mitigation. These proposals address congressional mandates, incorporate recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, and are necessary to reduce the serious consequences of large-volume, uncontrolled releases of natural gas and hazardous liquids.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual Date
To OST 08/22/2014 12/31/2015 12/24/2015
Returned to Mode 02/04/2016 02/04/2016
Resubmitted to OST/2 06/29/2018
To OMB 07/23/2018
OMB Approval 10/23/2018
Publication Date 01/06/2015 11/02/2018
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 01/02/2018

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.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR piblished 10/14/2016 (81 FR 70980); C/P End 12/13/2016

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual Date
To OST 12/29/2017
To OMB 04/20/2018
OMB Clearance 07/20/2018
Publication Date 08/01/2018

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas

RIN: 2137-AF31  / Docket no: not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

As mandated by section 19 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-183), PHMSA will amend the definition of an unusually sensitive area (USA) to explicitly include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches, and marine coastal waters as USA ecological resources for the purposes of determining whether a pipeline is in a high consequence area (HCA), as defined by 49 CFR 195.450. To address this mandate, PHMSA must change the definition of USA and further define what is included in “coastal beaches” and “marine coastal waters.” In this rulemaking, PHMSA will solicit broad input from the pipeline industry and other stakeholders, propose definitions and geographic extents for the new terms to be included in the revised USA definition, and understand industry implications and concerns with the proposed revisions.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 11/00/2018

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF36 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF37 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 194 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipeline system. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 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  09/00/2018

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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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – March 2018

This update includes information from the March Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list of Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions:

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

In addition to rules included in the report, the Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions:

Publication ID: Fall 2017

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 (Delayed – Additional coordination necessary)   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 Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72  / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

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. 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 09/28/2018
To OMB 12/04/2018
OMB Clearance 03/04/2019
Publication Date 03/14/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not yet assigned
Affects: —

This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016; End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P. 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 02/28/2019
To OMB 05/02/2019
OMB Clearance 08/02/2019
Publication Date 08/14/2019
End of Comment Period 10/14/2019

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not yet assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 192, 195

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016; End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P. 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 12/28/2018
To OMB 03/04/2019
OMB Clearance 06/04/2019
Publication Date 06/12/2019
End of Comment Period 08/12/2019

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, 195

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  01/30/2018
To OMB 12/26/2017 03/30/2018
Publication Date 04/09/2018 05/01/2018
End of Comment Period 06/11/2018 06/30/2018

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.

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 and enforcement. Check us out!

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!

Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – August 2017

 

The following pipeline safety-related rulemakings have been updated in the DOT significant rulemaking report for August. For full details, see the  WinDOT Rapid Update Service.

Final Rule Stage

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines (OPS: Liquid Hazardous Pipelines) RIN 2137-AE66 / Docket no: PHMSA-2010-0229

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas (OPS: Underground Storage Facilities Natural Gas) RIN 2137-AF22

ANPRM Stage

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements (Class Location Requirements) RIN 2137-AF29

Undetermined Stage

Pipeline Safety: Gas Transmission (RRR) (OPS: Gas Transmission (RRR)) RIN 2137-AE72 / Docket no: PHMSA-2011-0023


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PHMSA Answers Questions on EFV’s

PHMSA published the final rule Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences on October 14, 2016, with an effective date of April 14, 2017.  The EFV final rule changed 49 CFR part 192 regulations regarding the use of Excess Flow Valves  and manual service line shut-off valves on gas service lines.  Industry and other stakeholders widely agreed on the content of the final rule.

The following questions were generated during two webinars that were held regarding the Final Rule, and each is followed by the response developed by PHMSA.

Glossary: 

Acronym Term
AGA American Gas Association
EFV Excess Flow Valve
MFR Multi-family Residence
O&M Operations & Maintenance
SCFH Standard Cubic Feet per Hour
SFR Single-family Residence

Section 1 – Answers to questions posed verbally during the AGA webinars.

  1. How do we go about recovering costs for existing services?

 For customer-requested EFVs on existing service lines, note that section 192.383(d) states, in relevant part: “If an eligible service line customer requests an EFV installation, an operator must install the EFV at a mutually agreeable date.  The operator’s rate-setter determines how and to whom the costs of the requested EFVs are distributed.”

  1. Valves installed on branch services need to be commercially available, correct? Even in cases beyond 1,000 SCFH?

 Yes, for a new or replaced branched service line, an EFV must be installed pursuant to section 192.383(b)(2) or (3) unless an appropriate EFV is not commercially available, as noted in 192.383(c)(4).

  1. If the rate-setter determines the customer has to pay for the EFV, and the customer cannot pay or refuses to pay, is the operator still required to install the EFV?

 This question is left to the specific rate-setter.  Section 192.383(d) provides, in relevant part: “The operator’s rate-setter determines how and to whom the costs of the requested EFVs are distributed.”

  1. On annual reporting – is the rule only capturing the recording of the valves installed under 192.385? Same issue – estimated number of services installed – is the rule only capturing the curb valves/services installed in lieu of an EFV?

 Yes, the rule only requires reporting of the total number of manual service line shut-off valves (curb valves) and total services with those valves installed pursuant to section 192.385.  Reporting requirements for EFV installations have not changed.

  1. Would PHMSA allow exception to EFV installation close to the main if there would be a cost savings to installing close to the riser?

No, cost savings alone is not considered.  Section 192.381(d) requires EFV installation “as near as practical to the fitting connecting the service line to its source of gas supply.”  EFVs only provide protection downstream of their installation, so in most cases installation at the service riser would limit the utility and safety effectiveness of installing an EFV.

  1. Do SFRs have the options of having curb valves installed, or must an EFV be installed?
    If the line meets an exception 192.383(c), a curb valve does not need to be installed, correct?

 Under section 192.383(b)(1), (2), and (3), SFRs and branched service lines do not have the option for installing a manual service line shut-off valve or curb valve in place of an EFV.  Similarly, under section 192.383(b)(4) and (5), MFRs and single, small commercial customers served by a single service line with a known customer load not exceeding 1,000 SCFH do not have the option for installing a curb valve in place of an EFV.
In response to the second question, if a line that otherwise would require installation of an EFV pursuant to 192.383(b) meets one of the exceptions in 192.383(c), a curb valve does not need to be installed.

  1. In 192.383(b)(2)&(3), can you install an EFV on the branch to multiple commercial services, or must an EFV be installed on each individual commercial service?

Section 192.383(b)(2) and (3) only pertains to branched SFRs, and section 192.383(b)(5) only addresses single, small commercial customers served by a single service line.

  1. For branched small commercial services where the connected load is greater than 1,000 SCFH, can I install a curb valve at the main to cover all the lines rather than putting a valve on each service line?

Similar to the EFV installation requirements in sections 192.381 and 192.383, the intent of section 192.385 is to protect the service line by addition of EFVs or curb valves.  Therefore, to protect as much of the service line as is practicable, the valve should be located near the service main or a common source of supply.
In most cases these valves are expected to be “ON” the service line itself.

  1. If we elect to install an EFV beyond 1,000 SCFH, is a curb valve still required?

If an EFV is installed to comply with the requirements of section 192.385, then a curb valve would not be required in addition to the EFV.

  1. Do we only need to notify new customers after making the initial notification?

A web posting accessible to all applicable customers, which includes sufficient information to assist customers in making an informed decision whether they want to request an EFV installation and meets the Part 192 notification requirements, could be acceptable.  If this web posting would not reach all applicable customers, an operator could use other methods in combination with the web posting method, including bill stuffers, new customer packets, statements on billing materials, et cetera.  But a broad, electronic method of communication could meet the intent of the regulation and be acceptable as long as the operator can be sure of reaching all customers who have a right to request an EFV.

  1. How soon would incremental notifications need to be made moving forward?

 Initial notification is required by April 14, 2017.  The regulations do not provide a timetable for incremental notifications, noting only that customers are required to be notified.
Notification frequency is not explicit in the regulations.  The intent is that all customers who have a right to request an EFV are notified pursuant to section 192.383 requirements.  The frequency of this notification is left to the operator, with the understanding that the “customer” may change over time (i.e., new customers must be notified).

  1. Does PHMSA have a preference to whether EFVs or curb valves are installed for services above 1,000 SCFH?

In situations where either an EFV or a curb valve must be installed pursuant to section 192.385, the operator may decide based on a sound engineering analysis.

  1. How does an operator know if they are reaching all customers through a website notification that meets the requirement of the regulation?

A web posting accessible to all applicable customers, which includes sufficient information to assist customers in making an informed decision whether they want to request an EFV installation and meets the Part 192 notification requirements, could be acceptable.  If this web posting would not reach all applicable customers, an operator could use other methods in combination with the web posting method, including bill stuffers, new customer packets, statements on billing materials, et cetera.  But a broad, electronic method of communication could meet the requirement of the regulation as long as the communication reaches all customers who have a right to request an EFV.

  1. If I have a maintenance-free ball valve as a curb valve, what is my maintenance requirement?

As stated in the final rule’s preamble, operator personnel can meet the requirements of section 192.385(c) by ensuring the valves are free of debris that could prevent operation and by ensuring the valves can turn and operate.
Operators will be expected to develop the details of their maintenance plans.
Also, an operator’s O&M Manuals or manufacturer’s instructions could add additional maintenance requirements.  Note that the requirement includes the words “consistent with the valve manufacturer’s specification” as well.

  1. Do the exemptions for EFV installation apply to curb valve installation as well? If I have a line with a load above 1,000 SCFH but operating below 10 psig (or meeting another of the 383(c) exceptions), do I have to install a curb valve?

No, the exceptions in section 192.383(c) do not apply to curb valves.
In a scenario where section 192.385 requires the installation of a curb valve, an operator would be required to install a curb valve even if exceptions for using an EFV existed.

  1. Can I locate my curb box at the property line, or must the curb valve be located closer to the main? Is it acceptable to have, for instance, a 10-foot “stub line” from the main to the property line?

Similar to the EFV installation requirements in sections 192.381 and 192.383, the intent of section 192.385 is to protect the service line by the addition of EFVs or valves.  Therefore, to protect as much of the service line as is practicable, the valve should be located near the service main or a common source of supply.
In most cases these valves are expected to be “ON” the service line itself.
We are interested in feedback from AGA and others in the gas community as to what type of situations might require the installation of a curb valve at a location other than on the service line, as near to the main as possible.


Section 2 – Answers to questions posed in writing prior to the AGA webinars.

  1. PHMSA provides exceptions for MFRs (see §192.383(b)(4)) and Single, Small Commercial Customers (see §192.383(b)(5)), but not for SFRs or Branched Service Lines. Is it PHMSA’s intent that SFR or branched service lines with loads exceeding 1,000 SCFH to have an exception as well?

From the information provided to PHMSA through the rulemaking process, including the comments received and responded to within the final rule’s preamble, PHMSA does not expect SFRs or SFR branched services to typically exceed 1,000 SCFH loads.  Therefore, the upper bound triggering the requirements of section 192.385 for curb valve or EFV installation was only noted for MFRs and service lines serving single, small commercial customers.
PHMSA did not intend to create an exception from the EFV installation requirements for SFRs and SFR branched services over 1,000 SCFH, but this scenario was not expected.  Service lines serving SFRs and SFR branched services require an EFV even if over 1,000 SCFH, and operators do not have the option to install curb valves instead.

  1. What is PHMSA’s intent for “known load”? Is it the total connected load at time of service installation?

“Known Customer Load” is based on the installed meter capacity, which indicates the max load expected.  EFVs should be sized so that they are compatible with the meter being used.

  1. PHMSA references two criteria in (192.383(b)(4) & (5)): Customer Load & Meter Capacity. Which criteria does PHMSA intend operators to use?

The response to Question #2 also applies here.  In short, meter capacity is to be used.

  1. What is PHMSA’s intent when it states that an EFV “could interfere with necessary operation or maintenance activities”? For Example: Does PHMSA intend to exempt service lines that are longer than the manufacturer’s recommendation for the length of a service line?

Please note that, although the scope of the services section 192.383(c)(2) have changed, the substantive requirements of section 192.383(c)(2) were not changed through this final rule, other than the last word which was changed from “residence” to “customer.”
For example, if an operator’s O&M activities include blowing liquids from your line, and an EFV could shut and interfere with necessary activities, this exception could be valid.  An EFV is not meant to be an impediment to necessary O&M activities, and there may be relatively rare situations in which installation of an EFV could constitute such an impediment.

  1. Are operators required to make notification to customers by April 14, 2017? Or by the end of 2017?  Or some other date?

Operators are required to make the appropriate notifications by April 14, 2017.

  1. Is a web posting notification by April 14 acceptable?

The operator may decide to follow up with other communications later.
A web posting accessible to all applicable customers, which includes sufficient information to assist customers in making an informed decision whether they want to request an EFV installation and meets the Part 192 notification requirements, could be acceptable.  If this web posting would not reach all applicable customers, an operator could use other methods in combination with the web posting method, including bill stuffers, new customer packets, statements on billing materials, et cetera.  But a broad, electronic method of communication could meet the intent of the regulation and be acceptable as long as the operator can be sure of reaching all customers who have a right to request an EFV.

  1. What is the “frequency” to which you must notify customers under §192.383(e)?

Notification frequency is not explicit in the regulations.  The intent is that operators notify all customers who have a right to request an EFV pursuant to section 192.383 requirements.  The frequency at which this occurs is left to the operator, with the understanding that the “customer” may change over time (i.e., new customers must be notified).

  1. What is the expected location of this service line shut-off valve? As close as possible to the main?

For curb valves installed under section 192.385, an operator should locate the valve as close to the main as is practicable to protect as much of the service line as possible (similar to EFV requirements in section 192.383) but to allow for accessibility of the valve, as is required.  The next question is related, and reading PHMSA’s responses in tandem may help to answer both questions. 

  1. What is meant by “located near the service line”?

Similar to the EFV installation requirements in sections 192.381 and 192.383, the intent of section 192.385 is to protect the service line by addition of EFVs or valves.  Therefore, in order to protect as much of the service line as is practicable, the valve should be located near the service main or a common source of supply.
In most cases these valves are expected to be “ON” the service line itself.
We are interested in feedback from AGA and others in the gas community as to what type of situations might require the installation of a curb valve at a location other than on the service line, as near to the main as possible.

  1. What items can be expected to be covered during “regular scheduled maintenance”? For Example: Find, locate, and make accessible valve box; and ensure “wrench/tool” can be placed on valve to enable turning if needed.

As stated in the final rule’s preamble, operator personnel can meet the requirements of section 192.385(c) by ensuring the valves are free of debris that could prevent operation and by ensuring the valves can turn and operate.
Operators will be expected to develop the details of their maintenance plans.
Also, an operator’s O&M Manuals or manufacturer’s instructions could add additional maintenance requirements.  Note that the requirement includes the words “consistent with the valve manufacturer’s specification” as well.


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PHMSA Releases Hazardous Liquid Final Rule

PHMSA 02-17
Friday, January 13, 2017
Contact: Allie Aguilera
Tel.: 202-366-4831

PHMSA Completes Rulemaking that Boosts Safety Requirements to Strengthen the
Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of the Nation’s Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

WASHINGTON – Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez, head of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced today that she signed a long awaited rulemaking package that makes critical safety improvements for hazardous liquid pipelines. Today’s signing of the final rule for the safety of on-shore hazardous liquid pipelines completes one of the agency’s top priority rulemakings for 2016.

“As the use of hazardous liquid pipelines to transport the nation’s energy supply grows, communities around the country have demanded regulatory certainty around the safe operation of these lines and facilities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This rule gives operators clear direction on the design, construction, and operation of hazardous liquid pipelines lines and holds them accountable for the safety of the communities they serve- its full implementation will be a vital step in driving our pipeline safety mission.”

The nation contains close to 200,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines operating near local communities and treasured landscapes, and crossing major bodies of water, including rivers. The rule signed today strengthens the standards that determine how operators repair aging and high-risk infrastructure, increases the quality and frequency of tests that assess the condition of pipelines, and extends leak detection the requirements to onshore, non-HCA transmission hazardous liquid pipelines.

“The changing energy environment in the United States requires that we all become increasingly anticipatory, predictive, and prepared for emerging risks,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. “This is a forward looking rule- it pushes operators to invest in increased data capabilities, to continuously improve their processes to assess and mitigate risk, and strengthens our framework for strong prescriptive regulations.”

The rule includes an increased focus on a data and risk informed approach to pipeline safety by requiring operators to integrate available data, including data on the operating environment, pipeline condition, and known manufacturing and construction defects. The rule requires pipeline operators to have a system for detecting leaks and to establish a timeline for inspecting affected pipelines following an extreme weather event or natural disaster. The inspections will allow operators to quickly identify damage to pipelines and make appropriate remediations.

The rule also requires operators to annually evaluate the protective measures they are already required to implement on pipeline segments that operate in High Consequence Areas (HCA) where pipeline failures have the highest potential for human or environmental damage, and implement additional measures as necessary. In addition, the rule sets a deadline for operators to use internal inspection tools where possible for any new and replaced pipeline that could affect an HCA. The rule also improves the quality and frequency of tests used to assess threats and the condition of pipelines.

Furthermore, the rule updates repair criteria under PHMSA’s risk-based management framework by expanding the list of conditions that require immediate repair.

The final rulemaking has been transmitted to the Federal Register for publication. An actual date of publication will be determined by the Federal Register, and PHMSA will update its website with a link to the rule when it is published.

For more information on the U.S. DOT’s efforts to improve pipeline safety and awareness, including details about the proposed rule, visit the PHMSA website at www.phmsa.dot.gov.

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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – November 2016

This update includes information from the November Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings, updated with currently available information on the following pipeline safety rules:

Final and interim final rules:

Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines
(2011 Retrospective Regulatory Review)

Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

Pending rules:

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

Final and interim final rules:

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

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

In recent years, there have been significant hazardous liquid pipeline accidents, most notably the 2010 crude oil spill near Marshall, Michigan, during which almost one million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Kalamazoo River. In response to accident investigation findings, incident report data and trends, and stakeholder input, PHMSA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register on October 18, 2010. The ANPRM solicited stakeholder and public input and comments on several aspects of hazardous liquid pipeline regulations being considered for revision or updating in order to address the lessons learned from the Marshall, Michigan accident and other pipeline safety issues. Subsequently, Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act that included several provisions that are relevant to the regulation of hazardous liquid pipelines. Shortly after the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act was passed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its accident investigation report on the Marshall, Michigan accident. In it, NTSB made additional recommendations regarding the need to revise and update hazardous liquid pipeline regulations.

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
Publication Date 10/03/2016 12/30/2016

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines (2011 Retrospective Regulatory Review)

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

PHMSA is amending the pipeline safety regulations to address integrity management principles for Gas Transmission pipelines. In particular, PHMSA is addressing repair criteria for both HCA and non-HCA areas, assessment methods, validating and integrating pipeline data, risk assessments, knowledge gained through the IM program, corrosion control, change management, gathering lines, and safety features on launchers and receivers.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule    Prompting Action: 2011 Retrospective Regulatory Review
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 Comment Period 06/08/2016; Extension of Comment Period.
NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016; End of Comment Period 06/08/2016; Extension of Comment Period.

Dates for Final Rule

Milestone Originally 
Scheduled
Date
New 
Projected
Date
Actual 
Date
To OST 07/18/2017
To OMB 08/29/2017
OMB Clearance 11/29/2017
Publication Date 12/11/2017

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0023
Affects: 49 USC 60101, 60141, 60302; 49 CFR 191, 192

PHMSA has safety authority over the underground storage facilities used in natural gas pipeline transportation, but has no safety regulations in the DOT Code (49 CFR Part 192) that apply to the down-hole underground storage reservoir for natural gas. PHMSA is planning to issue an interim final rule will use this regulation to require operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum safety standards, including compliance with API RP 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage. PHMSA is considering adopting the non-mandatory provisions of the RPs in a manner that would make them mandatory, except that operators would be permitted to deviate from the RPs if they provide justification.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/17/2016
Stage: Interim Final Rule    Federal Register Citation: 81 FR 91860

Dates for Interim Final Rule

Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
To OST 06/24/2016 08/31/2016 08/19/2016
To OMB 08/15/2016 11/02/2016  10/18/2016
OMB Clearance 11/15/2016 02/02/2017  N/A
Publication Date 11/25/2016 02/14/2017  12/19/2016

Pending rules

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).

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM

Dates for NPRM

Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
To OST 08/22/2014 12/31/2015 12/24/2015
Returned to Mode 02/04/2016 02/04/2016
Resubmitted to OST/2 12/14/2016
To OMB 09/22/2014 01/24/2017
OMB Clearance 12/22/2014 04/24/2017
Publication Date 01/06/2015 05/03/2017
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 07/03/2017

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