In This Issue

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Onshore Liquid Pipeline Regulations

[Docket No. PHMSA-2010-0229]; RIN 2137-AE66

PHMSA has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to get public comment on potential changes to their regulations covering hazardous liquid onshore pipelines. PHMSA is seeking public comment on six specific topic areas:

  1. whether it should extend regulation to certain pipelines currently exempt from regulation;
  2. whether other areas along a pipeline should either be identified for extra protection or be included as additional high consequence areas (HCAs) for Integrity management (IM) protection;
  3. whether to establish and/or adopt standards and procedures for minimum leak detection requirements for all pipelines, and whether to require the installation of emergency flow restricting devices (EFRDs) in certain areas;
  4. whether revised valve spacing requirements are needed on new construction or existing pipelines;
  5. whether repair timeframes should be specified for pipeline segments in areas outside the HCAs that are assessed as part of the IM; and
  6. whether to establish and/or adopt standards and procedures for improving the methods of preventing, detecting, assessing and remediating stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in hazardous liquid pipeline systems.

Persons interested in submitting written comments on this ANPRM must do so by January 18, 2011. PHMSA will consider late filed comments so far as practicable. Comments should address the public safety and environmental aspects of new requirements, as well as the cost implications and regulatory burden.

For a copy of the ANPRM, with instructions for submitting comments, please contact Jessica Roger.

Editor’s note: The “AN” in ANPRM stand for “Advance Notice”. An ANPRM such as this one is an early step in the regulatory process and allows the agency to gather input concerning fundamental regulatory matters. It will be followed by one or more Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which will contain more detailed proposals for regulations. Public comments are received both during the ANPRM and NPRM process. Eventually the agency will issue a Final Rule.