dot pipeline compliance news | july 2018

Meeting of the Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group

[Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0128]

The Voluntary Information-sharing System (VIS) Working Group will convene on August 23, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590 to discuss and identify recommendations to establish a voluntary information-sharing system. The VIS Working Group agenda will include briefings on topics such as mandate requirements, integrity management, data types and tools, in-line inspection and other direct assessment methods, geographic information system implementation, subcommittee considerations, lessons learned, examples of existing information-sharing systems, safety management systems, and more. As part of its work, the committee will ultimately provide recommendations to the Secretary, as required and specifically outlined in Section 10 of Public Law 114-183, addressing:

  1. The need for, and the identification of, a system to ensure that dig verification data are shared with in-line inspection operators to the extent consistent with the need to maintain proprietary and security-sensitive data in a confidential manner to improve pipeline safety and inspection technology;
  2. Ways to encourage the exchange of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies and enhanced risk analysis;
  3. Opportunities to share data, including dig verification data between operators of pipeline facilities and in-line inspector vendors to expand knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of in-line inspection technology and methodologies;
  4. Options to create a secure system that protects proprietary data while encouraging the exchange of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies and enhanced risk analysis;
  5. Means and best practices for the protection of safety and security-sensitive information and proprietary information; and
  6. Regulatory, funding, and legal barriers to sharing the information described in paragraphs (a) through (d).

The Secretary will publish the VIS Working Group's recommendations on a publicly available DOT website and in the docket. The VIS Working Group will fulfill its purpose once its recommendations are published online. The meeting agenda and additional information will be published on the following VIS Working Group registration page.

This meeting will be open to the public. Members of the public who attend in person will also be provided an opportunity to make a statement during the meetings. Members of the public who wish to attend in person should register no later than August 16, 2018. The meetings will not be webcast; however, presentations will be available on the meeting website and posted on the E-Gov website under docket number PHMSA-2016-0128 within 30 days following the meeting.

For information about the meeting, contact Dr. Christie Murray by phone at (202) 366-4996 or by email at christie.murray@dot.gov.

PHMSA Pipeline Safety Research and Development Forum

The 2018 Pipeline R&D Forum will be held on September 11-12 in Baltimore, MD. The forum is a 2-day event held periodically to generate a National research agenda that fosters solutions for the various challenges associated with pipeline safety and with protecting the environment. The forum allows public, government and industry pipeline stakeholders to develop a consensus on the technical gaps and challenges for future research. It also reduces duplication of programs, factors ongoing research efforts, leverages resources and broadens synergies. The national research agenda coming out of these events is aligned with the needs of the pipeline safety mission, makes use of the best available knowledge and expertise, and considers stakeholder perspectives. Specifically the forum:

  • Identifies key pipeline technical challenges facing industry and government;
  • Disseminates information on current research efforts; and
  • Identifies new research that can help to meet known challenges.

More Information and registration can be found on the PHMSA meeting webpage.

Delaware Proposed Regulation for Underground Injection Control

[Number 7-7102 - Regulations Governing Underground Injection Control]

The Final Regulation for 7102 Regulations Governing Underground Injection Control that was published in the June 1, 2018 issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations (21 DE Reg. 978) contained two errors. The submitted final regulation failed, for consistency purposes, to correct a unit of measurement of ppm in subsection 65.5.1 to the equal unit of measurement of mg/L. In addition, the submitted final regulation failed to amend the effective date of August 15, 1983 to June 11, 2018. The full text of the final regulation is not being republished. Please see 21 DE Reg. 978 for the final amendments to 7102 Regulations Governing the Underground Injection Control.

New York Proposed Gas Safety Regulations

[Number 16 NYCRR 255 - Gas Safety Regulations]

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) is required to adopt federal pipeline safety standards [pursuant to 49 USC § 60105(b)(2)]. The PSC has two years from the date of adoption by PHMSA to adopt any new rules. This gas safety rulemaking is being proposed to bring sections of Title 16 NYCRR related to pipeline safety into conformance with the minimum Federal regulations related to pipeline safety adopted in 2016.

The proposed changes to Title 16 NYCRR Part 255, Transmission and Distribution of Gas (Part 255), are intended to bring this part into conformance with recent amendments to 49 CFR 192. In addition, clarification was needed to correct one internal inconsistency created when the definition of gas service line was changed in 2015. A second clarification was needed to avoid gas company confusion in complying with the rules.

The federally-mandated sections being adopted require gas companies to offer more customers Excess Flow Valves, or to install manual shut-off valves. The rules will require companies to notify the Department of Public Service of company intent to convert from a non-jurisdictional fuel to gas or petroleum service 60 days before the conversion occurs. Operator welders would be required to complete a weld to gain welding certification. The new rules clarify who in a gas company Control Room must be trained in abnormal or emergency conditions and adds the requirement that pressure-regulating devices be inspected every three years and set operating standards for such devices.

The final technical change is an exemption for certain gas piping systems from the requirement to have a Distribution Integrity Management Plan. The two grammatical changes clarify what gas companies need to inspect when performing their required "gas service line" inspections and to correct an error in subdivision numbering in 16 NYCRR § 255.726.

Public comment will be received until 60 days after publication of this notice (July 3, 2018). Any relevant data, views or arguments may be submitted to: Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350, (518) 474-6530, email: secretary@dps.ny.gov.

Text of the proposed rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained by filing a Document Request Form (F-96). Contact: John Pitucci, Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350, (518) 486-2655, email: John.Pitucci@dps.ny.gov.

2018 Industry Conference Schedule

2018 APGA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
July 22-25, 2018
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, OR

The American Public Gas Association (APGA) Annual Conference is the largest gathering of municipal natural gas professionals across the nation. From the educational sessions with key industry figures generating new ideas to networking opportunities with hundreds of colleagues from across the nation, the APGA Annual Conference is the event of the year for city- and community-owned natural gas utility professionals and industry experts.

SGA OPERATING CONFERENCE & EXHIBITS
July 30-August 1, 2018
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Tampa, Florida

The SGA Operating Conference format is a focused round table discussion. Attendees learn smart practices and lessons learned from their peers with 22 concurrent facilitated sessions to choose from. Breakout sessions with presentations from subject matter experts open the conference following the keynote address. Make plans to visit the exhibit hall, which will include over 100 services and product service organizations showcasing the latest products and services available to the industry.

LGA PIPELINE SAFETY CONFERENCE
July 30-August 3, 2018
Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans

RCP is once again a proud sponsor and exhibitor at this year's conference, which has been referred to as the "Premier Pipeline Safety Conference." We are excited to showcase our newest developments and all our services for Pressure Test support.

WESTERN REGIONAL GAS CONFERENCE
August 28-29, 2018
(Note: Updated conference dates!)
M Resort in Henderson, Nevada

The Western Regional Gas Conference provides a forum for the free exchange of information between natural gas companies and their state and federal regulators, and with associated industry organizations, consultants, manufacturers and vendors that serve the pipeline industry.

2018 RRC REGULATORY CONFERENCE
August 21-22, 2018
AT&T Conference Center in Austin, TX

This year the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) combines its two largest regulatory conferences, the Pipeline Safety Conference and the Oil & Gas Regulatory Conference, into one event. Registration is now open for the 2018 RRC Regulatory Conference: Environmental Protection, Pipeline Safety and Well Filings. Early bird registration ends July 23rd. For additional conference information and to register, visit the RRC's website.

PIPELINE SMS INDUSTRY TOOLS WORKSHOP
October 10, 2018
San Luis Hotel, Galveston

PIPELINE SAFETY TRUST ANNUAL CONFERENCE
October 18-19, 2018
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

Each year since 2006, the Pipeline Safety Trust has hosted pipeline safety conferences. What makes them unique among pipeline conferences is the mix of attendees, who come with experience as the affected public, the pipeline industry, and government regulators. All these people come together to discuss barriers to safer pipelines.

2018 APGA OPERATIONS CONFERENCE
October 30 - Nov 1, 2018
The Chattanooga Hotel
Chattanooga, TN

Pressure Testing Webinar - Advantages of Using TestOp®

RCP will be hosting webinar presentations to discuss pipeline pressure testing practices and demonstrate the advantages of utilizing new technology for planning, designing, and capturing real-time data to validate and document whether it was a successful test. The same technology that RCP has used for the past six years to validate our customer's pressure tests has been greatly enhanced and is now being made available as a web-hosted solution for operators to use themselves.

TestOp® takes the confusion out of pressure testing by providing real-time determination of whether the test segment is experiencing potential issues, such as yielding or air entrapment volume absorption, all while modeling the mass balance relationship of pressures, volumes and temperatures of the test. TestOp will provide real-time indicators and corresponding data to confirm whether the test is successfully performing to plan or if there might be a small pin-hole leak that would otherwise go undetected before taking the line segment off test. TestOp generates comprehensive and consistent reports, including a certification letter, pressure test plan versus actual test results, pressure/spike test log, test instrument and pump calibrations, pipe volume calculations sheet, stress/strain and pressure/volume plots as well as upload capability for pictures and other document scans associated with the test.

We encourage any liquid or gas pipeline operator who has upcoming projects that involve replacement, integrity verification, new construction, uprates, conversions and/or reversals to sign up for the 45 minute webinar. Some of the largest and most respected pipeline operators are now using TestOp because they see the value it brings to their overall pipeline integrity assurance program and we are confident you will too once you have seen it in person.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend one of these sessions or request an individual demonstration for your company at a date convenient to you.

Date Event
July 24, 2018 Webinar: Advantages of TestOP,
RCP's Pressure Testing Tool
Operators Only! Register
August 28, 2018 Webinar: Advantages of TestOP,
RCP's Pressure Testing Tool
Operators Only! Register

RCP's 2018 Workshop Schedule

Date Event Location
Sept 11-13, 2018 DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop (details) Houston, TX Register
Sept 19-20, 2018 Fundamentals of Transmission Pipeline Operations (details) Houston, TX Register
Oct 16-17, 2018 Pressure Test Workshop (details) Houston, TX Register

Visit our events page for more information.

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop

September 11-13, 2018

Join us September 11-13, 2018 in Houston at our corporate office and dedicated training facility for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance topics. The workshop provides an overview of the DOT pipeline regulations in 49 CFR 191, 192, 194, 195, 196, and 199. It also describes pipeline operations and engineering concepts. It is appropriate for people who are new to pipeline regulations, who could use a refresher, or anyone who needs to know the latest developments in these areas. This workshop will be a combined format, addressing both gas and liquid pipeline topics in parallel. This will eliminate some redundancy of materials, and will allow more time for in-depth discussions for each topic.

Topics to be addressed in the workshop include:

  • An overview of DOT/OPS pipeline compliance requirements
  • State and Federal agency roles for pipeline safety
  • PHMSA Jurisdiction
  • PHMSA Inspections and Enforcement Processes
  • Engineering Concepts and Stress/Strain Relationships; %SMYS
  • Design Requirements
  • Construction Requirements
  • Corrosion Control Concepts and Requirements
  • Operations and Maintenance Requirements
  • Emergency Response Requirements (including spill response planning requirements for liquid pipelines)
  • Damage Prevention Programs
  • Operator Qualification Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Public Awareness Programs
  • Integrity Management (gas and liquid) Programs
  • Control Room Management Programs

We will also discuss the PIPES Act of 2016; recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA; and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook, and electronic copies of the applicable regulations and voluminous reference materials including rulemakings, letters of interpretation, and other guidance documents. The workshop will adjourn at 2 p.m. on the third day, for those who need to fly out Thursday evening.

To register for our workshop, click here.

Fundamentals of Pipeline Operations Workshop

Sept 19-20, 2018

Join us September 19-20, 2018 in Houston at our corporate office and dedicated training facility for this new workshop on the fundamentals of pipeline operations. This 2-day course is designed to give a comprehensive overview of gas and liquid energy transmission pipelines and how they are operated and maintained. It is appropriate for both technical and non-technical personnel who are new to the energy transmission pipeline industry, as well as those who need a broader understanding of pipeline operations and management in general. The course walks through the practical things that a typical pipeline company’s operations organization does on a regular basis to operate and maintain the pipeline system as a whole. Course topics include:

  • Components of a pipeline system (types of pipe, coatings, tanks, valves, pumps, compressors, pressure vessels, pig traps, meters, instrumentation, control systems / SCADA)
  • Operations activities (starting / stopping, batching, managing receipts and deliveries, measurement, monitoring, pressure control, leak detection)
  • Inspection and Maintenance (valves, ROWs, tanks, pumps, compressors, instrumentation, pigging, cathodic protection)
  • Repair (in-service repair techniques, welding, OOS repairs / replacements)
  • Integrity Management (ILI, Pressure Tests, Direct Assessment), including assessment processes, analysis, follow-ups
  • Emergency Response (planning, organization / ICS, drills, response)
  • Public Awareness / Damage Prevention / One Calls

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook.

The course involves many hands-on demonstrations and examples using RCP’s in-house Pipeline Flow Loop*. To promote an optimal learning environment, class size will be limited. To register for our workshop, click here .

*RCP's in-house Pipeline Flow Loop is an engineering marvel (!). It is a working 2” diameter pipeline system incorporating many of the components of a transmission pipeline system including state-of-the-art SCADA control system and instrumentation for flow, pressure, temperature, and volume, as well as automated valves, pig traps, variable speed pump, and more. It also incorporates clear pipe segments so that students can see a pig in operation, see phase separation as it occurs, and understand the importance of elevation change. It occupies 2 walls outside our training room. Students can monitor and control the pipeline from the training room (“control room”), and then step into the hall to see the pipeline in action.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you.

Sincerely,


W. R. (Bill) Byrd, PE
President
RCP Inc.

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