DOT Pipeline Compliance News

April 2004 Issue

In This Issue

ASME B31.8 Q (operator qualification standard) Update

A committee of transmission, utilities, liquids, contractors and regulatory personnel has been working diligently to develop a technical standard for the qualification of pipeline personnel since August of 2003. An initial draft of the standard was reviewed in January. Currently the committee is held up by a lack of consensus on a covered task list. A special session of the committee has been convened for mid-April in Nashville. Consensus should be reached following this session, which will allow the other teams working on sections of the standard to complete their work. The committee’s goal is to complete the ASME balloting process by September and then present the standard to the regulators so it can be published for comment by the end of the year.

RCP’s Fantastic 1-Page Version of New SPCC Regulation

The deadline for SPCC Plan revisions is fast approaching, February 17, 2006! RCP has developed a 1-page version (in tiny type) of the new SPCC regulations, to be revised as per the April 17, 2003 rule modification. To receive a complimentary copy along with a CD of valuable SPCC Reference Materials Click Here to request additional information.

TNRCC Issues New Instructions for Form PI-1S Registration for Air Standard Permit

Recently, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) released new filing instructions for Air Quality Permits. The new instructions are interactive and can be found at In addition to new instructions, the form has also been modified and can be found at

All NSR application and registration forms and instructions are undergoing major updates due to policy and legislative changes. Applicants should use the most recent instructions and submit the most recent forms available for any new action whenever possible.

OPS clarifies compliance dates for new Annual Reporting Requirements for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

The OPS has provided clarification on the reporting deadline for the new final rule 195.49 (Annual Reporting Requirements for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines). The published final rule shows June 15th as the reporting deadline for the previous year. However, the final notice of rulemaking that RSPA published indicated both March 15th and June 15th as deadline requirements. OPS has affirmed that June 15th is the correct date to allow operators sufficient time to report volume info on FERC-6. OPS is accepting early submissions, however, hazardous liquid operators are not required to report until 2005 for 2004 data. The new reporting form can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

Pending Audits?

Has the DOT notified you of a pending audit? RCP can provide confidential internal auditing to help ensure that your facilities are up to the agency’s latest standards.
Click Here.

The Office of Pipeline Safety is looking for a Deputy Associate Administrator

The Research and Special Programs Administration is actively seeking top quality candidates for the position of Deputy Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. The Office of Pipeline Safety administers the national regulatory program to assure the safe transportation of natural gas, petroleum, and other hazardous materials by pipeline.

The vacancy announcement can be found at

Need A Security Plan or Audit?

We have the expertise to develop a security plan and perform risk assessments for pipeline and terminal facilities to meet recent DOT Hazmat Transportation & Pipeline regulations. We can also assist you in USCG security plans for dock facilities and vessels. Please contact Jessica Roger for more information.

Gas Integrity Management Update

We received the following information from OPS recently, and have included it verbatim for the benefit of our readers. We will provide further information as it becomes available.

This message is to update you regarding the OPS Gas Integrity Management Program. Below you will find information and resources regarding the program’s key elements and their current status. I hope you find the information useful in accomplishing your integrity management goals.

Gas Integrity Management Public Meeting – May 11-12, 2004, at the Westin Galleria, 5060 West Alabama, Houston, Texas. The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) will cosponsor a workshop to discuss the Gas Pipeline Integrity Management final rule issued on December 15, 2003. The workshop will provide a detailed review and discussion of gas pipeline integrity management program requirements. Comments and issues developed at the workshop will help OPS and NAPSR implement oversight of operators’ compliance with the gas pipeline integrity management rule. A Federal Register Notice regarding the meeting details should be published by next week. You can register for the meeting under the “Meetings” link at the OPS Gas Integrity Management Web Page:

Corrections to the Gas Integrity Management Final Rule – The OPS has identified errors in the published final rule (68 FR 69778; December 15, 2003), such as incorrect reference numbers, editorial errors, incorrect terms and misspellings. Additionally, OPS has identified language in several provisions of the rule that is confusing and needs clarification. The OPS is preparing a Federal Register Notice that delineates the necessary corrections and clarifications. None of the corrections substantively changes any requirement in the rule. The corrections, when published, will also be posted on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site.

Frequently Asked Questions – The OPS has posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. These questions are currently under review for identification of technical issues to be considered when providing answers to the FAQs. If you have questions or comments regarding the Gas Integrity Management Rule please post them under the “Question or Comment” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. If you would like to comment on a specific FAQ please reference it by the identifying number provided e.g. [FAQ-6]. OPS expects to begin posting answers to the FAQs in the next few weeks.

Inspection Protocols – The OPS Draft Inspection Protocols have been posted on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site under “Protocols”. To comment on the protocols please enter your comments under the “Question and Comment” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. When commenting on a protocol please identify the specific protocol by the protocol designation [e.g. “A.1 Program Requirements”]. Your comments are encouraged and welcome. Please note the inspection protocols are in draft and are subject to change.

Protocol Pilot Testing – The OPS is soliciting operators to serve as volunteers for pilot testing of the draft inspection protocols with a group of OPS inspectors in July and August of 2004. You can learn more about this effort under the “Protocol Pilot Testing” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site.

Inspection Protocol Workshop – The OPS is tentatively planning an Inspection Protocol workshop for the 4th quarter of 2004. The workshop will provide a forum for a discussion of the OPS Gas Integrity Management Inspection Protocols. Information regarding this meeting will be posted in the Federal Register and on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site at least one month in advance of the meeting.

As always the Gas Integrity Management Web Site is where to ask questions and find the latest information regarding Gas Pipeline Integrity Management. As mentioned above the Web Site is located at:

Integrity Management Plan Up-to-Date?

RCP has the tools and expertise to develop comprehensive Integrity Management Plans for both liquid and gas pipelines. Click Here if you would like information on RCP’s Integrity Management Services and receive a copy of our FREE Integrity Management CD.

Final Rule to Reduce Hazardous Air Emissions From Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines

On February 26, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final requirements to reduce toxic air emissions from stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE). These requirements apply to RICE used at facilities such as pipeline compressor stations, chemical and manufacturing plants, and power plants.

The final rule limits the amount of air pollution that may be released from exhaust stacks of all new (built after December 19, 2002), and certain existing, stationary RICE above 500 horsepower that are located at major industrial sources of air toxics. According to the Clean Air Act, a major source emits 10 tons a year or more of a single toxic air pollutant, or 25 tons a year or more of a combination of toxic air pollutants.

Existing stationary RICE must comply with the final rule no later than 3 years after the final rule is published. New stationary RICE must comply with the final rule when they are brought on line. These units have up to 6 months after the rule is final, or 6 months after startup, whichever is later, to demonstrate compliance with the new standards. The final rule requires that:

  • Existing and new 4-stroke rich burn (4SRB) engines either reduce formaldehyde by 76 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 350 parts per billion.
  • New 2-stroke lean burn (2SLB) engines either reduce carbon monoxide (CO) by 58 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 12 parts per million.
  • New 4-stroke lean burn (4SLB) engines either reduce CO by 93 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 14 parts per million.
  • New compression ignition (CI) engines either reduce CO by 70 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 580 parts per billion.

To download the final standards from EPA’s web site, go to the following address: For further information about the final rule, contact Mr. Sims Roy at EPAs Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at 919-541-5263.

Need to update your Public Awareness Program?

RCP can help develop your updated plan to meet API RP 1162 standards, and provide turnkey implementation, mail-outs, evaluations, and tracking of your program. For more information call or Click Here.

API and NFPA Sign Joint Alliance with OSHA Highlights Safety and Health at Petroleum and Petrochemical Liquid Storage Facilities

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed a joint Alliance with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote safe and healthful working conditions for workers in the petroleum and petrochemical industry.

The Alliance will unite efforts to ensure workers in the industry are armed with the training, knowledge and guidance to ensure their safety and health.

“Our goal is to ensure that workers in this industry have every tool they need to ensure they can do their job productively and safely,” said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. “The petroleum industry does have the potential for catastrophic workplace incidents. Through this cooperative effort with API and NFPA, we’re establishing a solid foundation on which managers, supervisors and workers can build to ensure the safety of all those involved in this important industry.”

Key elements of the Alliance are built around promoting safe tank entry, cleaning, maintenance, and rescue operations and work within and around petroleum and petrochemical liquid storage tanks. The Alliance participants will encourage industry workers, including tank owners and operations supervisors, tank maintenance and repair workers, tank contractors and confined space rescue personnel to take OSHA’s train-the-trainer course on safety and health standards and then carry that knowledge back into the field to train operators.

For more information, visit

Acquiring a pipeline?

RCP can provide due diligence audits to help you ensure that potential compliance issues have been addressed before the sale is final. Click Here.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Stakeholder Meeting Summary

In anticipation of the approaching August 17, 2004 compliance deadline, the EPA held a public meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 31, 2004 with the regulatory community and interested stakeholders to explain Agency efforts to clarify the regulations and facilitate compliance. Approximately 250 were in attendance, representing various oil and other affected industries. The meeting was used to discuss soon-to-be published settlement papers resulting from negotiations with (mainly) API and PMAA. The two settlement papers are already posted at the Oil Program website at

EPA promised to announce in a few weeks just how they will approach the implementation of the new and strengthened requirements included in the revised SPCC Rule of July 2002. Meanwhile, the previous/existing requirements are maintained. EPA was unable to provide definitive answers to many of the attendees’ questions and frequently deferred to the Professional Engineer as having the responsibility for determining how a specific facility is to meet the requirements of the Rule.

They are currently considering three implementation options for the new and strengthened requirements:

  1. Further extensions of the deadlines.
  2. Selective extensions of contested requirements of the revised rule.
  3. Implement revised rule according to National Priorities.

NO SETTLEMENT WAS REACHED ON THE DEFINITION OF NAVIGABLE WATERS. This issue will be ruled on by the D.C. District Court, and will likely be appealed. EPA will continue to enforce the definition in the SPCC Rule, but will not rely on the migratory bird rule as the basis for jurisdiction over non-navigable, isolated, intrastate waters.

The particular issues that were settled are as follows:

  1. Loading RACKS versus AREAS:
    EPA claims it never intended to add “other transfer areas” to the interpretation of the term “loading/unloading racks”. However, it does not define the term either. It is up to the facility to determine whether or not it has a loading/unloading “rack” subject to 40 CFR 112.7(h).
  2. COST as a Factor in Determining IMPRACTICABILITY of Secondary Containment:
    EPA claims that it never intended for cost to be rejected as a factor in determining whether or not secondary containment is practicable, in spite of that wording in the preamble. They indicated that “good engineering practice” may include cost as a factor, but that cost cannot be the SOLE reason for determining impracticability.
  3. Dry Gas Production Facility Wastewater Exemption:
    In the absence of produced crude oil or condensate, produced water at dry gas production facilities could be excluded under the wastewater treatment exemption.
  4. Facility vs. Production Facility Definitions:
    EPA will consider the definition of “facility”, per 112.2, to be used when determining whether a facility “could …reasonably be expected to cause substantial harm…”, per 112.20(f)(1).
  5. Integrity Testing of Shop-built Containers:
    EPA will accept appropriate (as determined by the P.E.) visual inspections of a shop-built container with a capacity < 30,000 gal. that has been elevated (e.g., on supports) or that has been placed on a synthetic liner that allows for early detection of a leak. Non-destructive shell testing would not be necessarily required.
  6. Security:
    EPA stated that a facility would need to have all of its oil-containing components fenced in, as opposed to just fencing in the main power cut-off switch.


EPA continues to struggle with the concerns raised when the SPCC Rule was revised in July 2002. Much of the burden is placed on the P.E. for developing a SPCC Plan in accordance with “good engineering practice” where prescriptive requirements are not provided. Several issues remain to be resolved. Meanwhile, EPA is enforcing the existing SPCC requirements, particularly for facilities that need but do not yet have an SPCC Plan in place.

RCP has developed SPCC Plans for dozens of clients, large and small, and is qualified to provide that service to your company efficiently and effectively. Please call Rick Hood at 713/655-8080 to discuss any details

EPA Issues Notice of Proposed Reissuance of General NPDES Permit for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf and Contiguous State Waters (NPDES Permit Number AKG280000)

The Director, Office of Water, EPA Region 10, proposes to reissue a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for offshore oil and gas exploration facilities on the outer continental shelf and contiguous state waters pursuant to the provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) 33 U.S.C. 1251 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. The proposed permit will authorize offshore oil and gas statigraphic test and exploration wells and associated discharges in the Federal and State of Alaska waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The proposed permit establishes effluent limitations, prohibitions, and other conditions on discharges from covered facilities. These conditions are based on existing national effluent guidelines at 40 CFR part 435, the State of Alaska’s water quality standards (18 AAC 70), and the State of Alaska’s wastewater disposal requirements (18 AAC 72). The fact sheet describes the basis for the specific limitations, conditions, and requirements of the proposed permit.

Copies of the proposed general permit and fact sheet are available upon request. Requests may be made to Audrey Washington at (206) 553-0523 or to Kristine Koch at (206) 553-6705. Requests may also be electronically mailed to: The proposed general permit and fact sheet may also be found on the EPA Region 10 Web site at, click on Water Quality, then click on NPDES permits under Programs, and then click on draft permits under EPA Region 10 Information.

OSHA Issues Interim Final Rule with Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002

This interim rule (29 CFR Part 1981) provides the text of regulations governing the employee protection (“whistleblower”) provisions of Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (“Pipeline Safety Act”), enacted into law December 17, 2002. This rule establishes procedures and time frames for the handling of discrimination complaints under the Pipeline Safety Act, including procedures and time frames for employee complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), investigations by OSHA, appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) for a hearing de novo, hearings by ALJs, review of ALJ decisions by the Administrative Review Board (acting on behalf of the Secretary) and judicial review of the Secretary’s final decision. The interim final rule is effective on April 5, 2004. The entire Federal Register document can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

For more information contact Thomas Marple, Director, Office of Investigative Assistance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3610, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2199.

RCP Services Spotlight – Risk Management Program (RMP) Support The RMP resubmission clock is ticking! Is your plan ready to go?

Risk Management Programs (RMP’s) must be updated at least once every five years. The majority of facilities submitted their initial RMP’s by the original June 21, 1999 deadline. Most operating companies have not resubmitted their RMP’s since the original deadline. This means that most RMP’s must be fully updated and resubmitted by June 21, 2004.

Carefully developed Risk Management Program strategies are fundamental in the effective management of control measures and personnel resource allocations. The successful integration of evergreen RMP’s and business plans are key in the protecting employees, strengthening community relationships, and guarding company assets against potential damaging events. Proper management of the RMP can mean the difference between improving company profitability and eroding a company’s intrinsic value. RCP’s technical resources can provide insight and focus by partnering with your in-house subject matter specialist. We can work together to keep you a step ahead of the competition in managing the challenges of resubmission and maintenance of your plan. There are new challenges in both the application and interpretation of this major initiative. RCP is ready to come along side to aid in your successful achievement of the next milestone of resubmission. If you have not submitted in the past we can guide you through the process of first time submission.

Owners and operators responsible for RMP implementation should review the factsheet “A Checklist for Resubmitting your Risk Management Plan (RMP) for Chemical Accident Prevention”. This fact sheet provides a checklist to consider in updating and resubmitting RMP’s.

Please contact us here if you would like further information.

Bill Byrd signature
W. R. (Bill) Byrd, PE
RCP Inc.