The following is the text from a November 10, 2003 advisory bulletin from OPS:
Advisory Bulletin (ADB-03-07)
To: Operators of gas transmission pipelines.
Subject: The requirement in 49 U.S.C. 60109 (c) that each operator begin the baseline integrity assessment of segments in high consequence areas no later than June 17, 2004.
Purpose: To provide guidance to operators on what steps RSPA/OPS considers acceptable to begin the baseline integrity assessment process to meet the intent of the statute.
Advisory: RSPA/OPS will accept the following steps as having begun the baseline assessment process required by 49 U.S.C. 60109 (c).
Prior to June 17, 2004, each operator must have begun to-
- Identify segments that are located in high consequence areas;
- Integrate available data on those identified segments;
- Prioritize the highest risk segments from available data on those identified segments; and
- Select the assessment method best suited to assess (pressure-test, internal inspection devices, direct assessment, or alternative method) each high risk segment.
By June 17, 2004, each operator must have begun its preparation to conduct a baseline assessment on at least one high risk segment that the operator has already identified. Preparing to conduct a baseline assessment means that-
- An operator has scheduled for assessment the segments identified prior to June 17, 2004; and
- An operator has started to contract or has entered into a contract with a tool vendor to assess the identified segments; or
- An operator has started to assess the first scheduled segment.
RSPA/OPS also considers that any of the following actions as meeting the intent of the statute that an operator have begun the baseline integrity assessment process by June 17, 2004. The following actions are not the only actions that RSPA/OPS will accept.
- An operator has installed launchers or receivers for internal inspection devices;
- An operator has set up a segment for a pressure test; or
- An operator has completed the pre-assessment step for Direct Assessment.