In This Issue

DOT/OPS Issues Advisory Bulletin Regarding Operator Qualification

RSPA’s Office of Pipeline Safety (RSPA/OPS) has issued an advisory bulletin to owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems concerning the minimum requirements for operator qualification (OQ) programs for personnel performing covered tasks on a pipeline facility. The bulletin reminds system owners and operators that the deadline for modifying their OQ programs to comply with the additional statutory requirements in Section 13 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 is December 17, 2004. The bulletin also advises system owners and operators that reviews of OQ programs conducted by RSPA/OPS inspectors after December 17, 2004, will consider whether the programs are in compliance with these additional statutory requirements, even if the relevant provisions of the pipeline safety regulations are not amended by that date.

The following is a brief summary of the bulletin:

  • Operators must have periodic requalification intervals which take in consideration the complexity, criticality, and frequency of performance.
  • A training program must be provided to ensure qualified individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to be qualified
  • If the operator of a pipeline facility significantly modifies a program that has been reviewed for compliance by RSPA/OPS, the operator must notify RSPA/OPS of the modifications.

For a copy of the bulletin or more information contact Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080.