On July 31, 2018 PHMSA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking public comment on its existing class location requirements for natural gas transmission pipelines as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes due to population growth near the pipeline. (See related article in the August 2018 edition of the DOT Pipeline Compliance News.)
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.
Comments were due October 1, 2018 and roughly 25 submittals were made by the general public, state regulators, inline inspection vendors, pipeline operating companies and industry trade associations. To view the comments submitted, click here. Comments made by the joint industry trade associations (AGA, APGA, API and INGAA) include specific redlined text for which they recommend modifications to §192.611 Change in Class Location: Confirmation or revision of maximum allowable operating pressure.