Docket ID PHMSA-2007-27954; RIN 2137-AE64
Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
(PHMSA) published the Control Room Management/Human Factors final rule in the
Federal Register on December 3, 2009, which became effective on February 1,
2010. (See related story in the DOT Pipeline Compliance News, December 2009
Special Edition.) The final rule established an 18-month program development
deadline of August 1, 2011, and a subsequent 18-month program implementation
deadline of February 1, 2013. This proposed rule proposes to expedite the
program implementation deadline to August 1, 2011, for most of the
requirements, except for certain provisions regarding adequate information and
alarm management, which would have a program implementation deadline of August
After evaluating the substantive provisions in the control room management rule, as set forth in more detail below, including the fact that most of the effort to comply with many of the provisions will have already been completed by the August 1, 2011, deadline, PHMSA believes that the program implementation deadlines should be expedited to realize the safety benefit to the public, property, and the environment sooner. Where PHMSA believes there is a need for additional program implementation time, the agency proposes to moderately shorten the time provided in the current rule by only six months. The proposal would amend the control room management rule in 49 CFR 192.631 and 195.446 to require that operators develop and implement all paragraphs by August 1, 2011, with the exception of paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4), and (e), which are proposed to require development by August 1, 2011, and implementation by August 1, 2012. The explanation for different treatment for (c)(1) through (c)(4), and (e), is given below:
(c) Provide Adequate Information-This paragraph requires operators to provide their controllers with the information, tools, processes and procedures necessary for the controllers to carry out the roles and responsibilities the operators have defined. Paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) may require certain physical changes and testing to an operator’s SCADA system, backup system, and communications. PHMSA believes the program implementation deadline for paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) should be expedited by six months to August 1, 2012, to realize the safety benefit to the public, property, and the environment sooner, with minimal impact on regulated entities. Paragraph (c)(5) requires the establishment of procedures for when a different controller assumes responsibility, including the content of information to be exchanged. Since this section is tied to shift change, and because most, if not all, of the work to comply with this requirement will be performed during the development stage and completed under the current rule by August 1, 2011, PHMSA believes the program implementation deadline for paragraph (c)(5) should be expedited to coincide with the program development deadline consistent with paragraph (d) for fatigue.
(e) Alarm Management-This paragraph requires operators that use a SCADA system to have a written alarm management plan to provide for effective controller response to alarms. Some provisions in this paragraph may require physical changes to SCADA systems. PHMSA believes the program implementation deadline for this paragraph should be expedited by six months to August 1, 2012, to realize the safety benefit to the public, property, and the environment sooner, with minimal impact on regulated entities.
In addition to the above, the following requirements are self-executing and would not be amended:
(i) Compliance Validation-This paragraph requires operators to submit their procedures, upon request, to PHMSA or, in the case of an intrastate pipeline facility regulated by a state, to the appropriate state agency.
(j) Compliance and Deviation-This paragraph requires operators to maintain, for review during inspection, records that demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this section, and documentation to demonstrate that any deviation from the procedures required by this section was necessary for the safe operation of a pipeline facility.
Submit written comments on this proposed rule on or before November 16, 2010 to http://www.regulations.gov and reference Docket No. PHMSA-2007-27954. For further information contact Byron Coy at 609-989-2180 or by e-mail at Byron.Coy@dot.gov.