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Advisory Bulletin ADB-10-01 Liquid Pipeline Leak Detection

[Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0421]

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued Advisory Bulletin ADB-10-01 to the owners or operators of hazardous liquid pipelines concerning leak detection on hazardous liquid pipelines. In order to ensure the safe and environmentally sound operation of their hazardous liquid pipelines, the operating plans and procedures required by the pipeline safety regulations should include the performance of an engineering analysis to determine if a computer-based leak detection system is necessary to improve leak detection performance and line balance processes.

If the analysis determines that a computerized leak detection system is unnecessary, it is PHMSA’s expectation that the operator should perform a line balance calculation and review process at no greater than one-hour intervals whenever product is flowing through the line, and monitor for pressure changes, meter movement and tank level changes even when the line is not flowing. As part of the recordkeeping requirements under current regulations, operators must retain documentation from any related engineering analyses for the computerized leak detection and line balance considerations to demonstrate the thoroughness of review during an inspection.

In addition, operators need to ensure open and regular communication between all active source and delivery points along the pipeline, either through verbal communication or through the use of SCADA or other similar technology.

For more information or a copy of ADB-10-01, contact Jessica Roger.