In This Issue

High Consequence Areas For Gas Transmission Pipelines – Final Rule

On August 6, 2002, RSPA published the final rule defining high consequence for gas pipelines. The definition includes: current class 3 and 4 locations; facilities with persons who are mobility-impaired, confined, or hard to evacuate, and places where people gather for recreational and other purposes. For facilities with mobility-impaired, confined, or hard-to-evacuate persons and places where people gather, the corridor of protection from the pipeline is 300 feet, 660 feet or 1000 feet depending on the pipeline’s diameter and operating pressure. This final rule is the first step in a two-step process to develop integrity management program requirements for gas transmission operators. In the second step, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) will propose requirements to improve the integrity of gas transmission pipelines located in these high consequence areas. This definition satisfies, in part, the Congressional mandate in 49 U.S.C. 60109 for RSPA to prescribe standards that establish criteria for identifying each gas pipeline facility located in a high-density population area.

RSPA developed the definition from the comments received on the notice of proposed rulemaking, and the earlier notice that invited public comment about integrity management concepts as they relate to gas pipelines. This rule is effective September 5, 2002, but it does not yet require any specific action by gas transmission pipeline operators. Action will not be required until RSPA issues integrity management program requirements that use the definition. .

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Israni by telephone at (202) 366-4571, by fax at (202) 366-4566, or by e-mail at, regarding the subject matter of this rule. All materials in the docket may be accessed electronically at (Docket No. RSPA-00-7666). The final rule is available on RCP’s website here.