DOT Pipeline Compliance News

August 2006 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – October 17, 2006

Join us at our Houston office for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance. This workshop has been attended by hundreds of pipeline personnel, with excellent feedback. The workshop provides an overview of the DOT pipeline regulations, and is appropriate for people who are new to piepline regulations, or who could use a refresher.

Introduction to DOT/PHMSA Pipeline Regulations

  • Agency jurisdictions – what does DOT/PHMSA regulate anyway?
    • Important definitions
    • Important letters of clarification from the agency
    • Recent EPA/DOI memorandums of understanding
  • State and Federal program variations, roles and responsibilities
  • Gas and liquid design, construction, operations, maintenance, and emergency response requirements
  • Spill response planning requirements
  • How to monitor rulemaking activity and stay current with your compliance program
  • Discussion of potential rulemaking – liquid gathering rules, controller certificiation, etc.

Your Instructor: As principal of RCP, Mr. Byrd enjoys a solid reputation for working with the public, corporate management, and regulatory agencies to resolve complex regulatory issues. He serves on various industry association committees, works as an expert witness and consulting expert, and is frequently called upon to comment on current or proposed rulemakings at public and private meetings and conferences.

For additional information, including a seminar brochure, go to our website here.

GAO Testimony Supports INGAA on Reassessment Interval

from the AOPL weekly newsletter

Government Accountability Office testimony submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the record of the July 27 hearing states: “Finally, regarding the 7-year reassessment requirement, our preliminary view is that these reassessment intervals should be based on technical data, risk factors, and engineering analyses rather than a prescribed term. We expect to make a recommendation to the Congress that the 2002 act be amended along these lines when we report on this issue. We expect to report to this Subcommittee and to other committees both on PHMSA’s implementation of integrity management and the 7-year reassessment requirement in September.” For the full testimony, go to

This is an excellent development and moves pipeline safety reauthorization forward significantly. It supports the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s highest reauthorization priority, opens the door further to challenge the 5-year reassessment period for liquid pipelines, and removes lingering objections that Congress should not act on reauthorization legislation until the views of GAO on this issue are known. We now need to get a provision added to the Energy and Commerce version of HR 5782 that reflects this recommendation.

Integrity Management Services

RCP can assist pipeline operators with ongoing compliance management and engineering associated with your IMP. This includes direct assessment strategies, tool and vendor selection, ILI/ECDA report analysis, corrosion control programs, repair strategies, and IMP/risk model updates. For more information on how RCP can support your ongoing IMP needs, click here.

PHMSA Appointments

Acting Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino announced the appointment of Stacey Gerard as the assistant administrator and chief safety officer of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA). She will be the first person to hold this position. Prior to this announcement, Gerard had served as the acting assistant administrator and chief safety officer and as the associate administrator for pipeline safety since PHMSA’s reorganization on Feb. 20, 2005.

As part of the 2004 Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act, Congress established the position of chief safety officer within PHMSA in order to ensure the highest degree of safety in pipeline and hazardous materials transportation.

“We have Stacey to thank for the many significant improvements that have been made to pipeline safety over the past few years,” said Acting Secretary Cino. “Her record of accomplishment will serve this nation well in this latest challenge.”

Gerard started her new duties July 24 and is charged with establishing and overseeing agency-wide safety and security policies, objectives and priorities for the transportation of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation, including pipelines.

Ted Willke, PHMSA’s deputy associate administrator for pipeline safety, will serve as the acting associate administrator for pipeline safety and will manage PHMSA’s pipeline safety program for the nation’s 2.3 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.

For additional information, contact James Wiggins at (202) 366-4831.

Need to make sure your Public Awareness Program meets API RP 1162 standards?

RCP can conduct a gap analysis of your current program that includes a self assessment of your Public Awareness Programs. This final product will help you to meet API RP 1162 standards. We can provide turnkey implementation, mail-outs, evaluations, and tracking of your program. For more information, call or click here.

Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee – Teleconference and Vote

[Docket No. PHMSA-98-4470]

PHMSA’s Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (TPSSC) will have a public meeting (via teleconference) on Thursday, August 24, 2006, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) to vote on a proposed rule requiring pipeline operators to consider internal corrosion when designing and constructing new and replaced gas transmission pipelines.

On December 15, 2005, PHMSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (70 FR 74262) on the control of internal corrosion when designing and constructing new and replaced gas transmission pipelines. PHMSA’s pipeline safety regulations now require operators to have operation and maintenance practices to control internal corrosion. The NPRM proposed to require operators to address the risk of internal corrosion at a much earlier stage; namely when designing and constructing new and replaced gas transmission pipelines.

PHMSA presented the NPRM to the TPSSC at a meeting on June 28, 2006. Members expressed concern about the enforceability of the NPRM and the extent of its recordkeeping requirements. The TPSSC requested postponement of consideration of the NPRM and additional information before a vote on it. The TPSSC will be voting on the reasonableness, cost-effectiveness, and practicability of the NPRM at the meeting scheduled in this notice. PHMSA will provide additional information to the members prior to the meeting. PHMSA will issue a final rule based on the proposed rule, the comments received from the public, and the vote and comments of the advisory committee.

Members of the public may participate and make short statements on the topics under discussion. Anyone wishing to make an oral statement should notify Cheryl Whetsel at (202) 366-4431, or by e-mail at no later than August 21 of the topic and the length of the presentation. The presiding officer at the meeting may deny any request to present an oral statement and may limit the time of any presentation. PHMSA will post any additional information or changes on its Web page (

Texas Regulations on Salt Dome Storage – Re-Proposed Amendments

The Railroad Commission of Texas has withdrawn its proposal to amend 16 TAC §3.95, relating to Underground Storage of Liquid or Liquefied Hydrocarbons in Salt Formations, and 16 TAC §3.97, relating to Underground Storage of Gas in Salt Formations, published in the February 24, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 1138) and has proposed revised new amendments to §3.95 and §3.97. The original proposal received numerous comments from operators and industry associations, many of which were received favorably by the Railroad Commission. Consistent with the Commission’s wish to further the goals of safety and the prevention and control of pollution, the Commission has withdrawn the original amendments, and has proposed these new amendments in order to reduce the possibility of explosion and fire at such facilities and enhance the safety of such facilities in light of the gas release and fire at the Moss Bluff Hub Partners, LP natural gas storage facility and incidents at several liquid hydrocarbon storage facilities.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Rules Coordinator, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas, P. O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967; online at; or by electronic mail to The Commission specifically solicits comments regarding the estimated anticipated costs of the proposed amendments. The Commission will accept comments for 30 days after publication in the Texas Register. Comments should refer to Oil & Gas Docket No. 20-0245837. The Commission encourages all interested persons to submit comments no later than the deadline. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments submitted after the deadline will be considered. For further information, call Leslie Savage at (512) 463-7308. The status of Commission rulemakings in progress is available at

Will your SPCC Plan pass an EPA inspection based on the new SPCC Inspectors’ Guidance document?

RCP can conduct a gap analysis of your current SPCC Plan and provide updates and recommendations based on the new SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors that was published Dec. 2, 2005. The new guidance document includes more detail than is in many of the plans in use today.

Revision of the Emergency Response Guidebook

[PHMSA-06-24764; Notice No. 06-03]

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is soliciting comments on the development of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2008), particularly from those who have experience using the 2004 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2004) during a hazardous materials incident. PHMSA is also soliciting comments on the experiences emergency responders have had obtaining emergency response information during an incident. The ERG2008 will supersede the ERG2004. The development of the ERG2008 is a joint effort involving the transportation agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. PHMSA will publicize its interest in receiving comments on the ERG2008 and this notice through its announcements to emergency responder associations, during training and education seminars, and during activities with State and local government agencies. PHMSA has also established an e-mail address for interested persons to submit their comments:

Written comments should be submitted on or before September 18, 2006. For further information contact: Suezett Edwards, Office of Hazardous Materials Initiatives and Training (PHH-50), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001, phone number: (202) 366-4900, e-mail:

Has the new Gas Gathering definition affected your pipelines?

RCP can conduct a detailed analysis of your gas pipelines to determine end points of production and gathering based upon the recently finalized definition of gas gathering pipelines. The analysis will also determine whether your gathering pipelines are regulated and whether they are classified as Type A or B regulated gas gathering. For more information, click here.

Wedding Fireworks Safety Zone

My invitation must have been lost in the mail.

I’ve been to big weddings, but this one sounds like something in a whole new category. I wonder if Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn were there…. I don’t know if I’m more impressed by the size of the fireworks display, or the fact that they were able to get a rule out of the Coast Guard so expeditiously. If anyone went, please send pictures. From the Federal Register:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the Lynch Wedding Fireworks display on August 5, 2006 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, temporarily closing all waters of the Atlantic Ocean between Marblehead Neck and Marblehead Rock in the vicinity of Lasque Ledge within a four hundred (400) yard radius of the fireworks barges located at approximate positions 42°30.142′ N, 070°49.813′ W and 42°30.146′ N, 070°49.733′ W. This zone is necessary to protect the maritime public from the potential hazards posed by a fireworks display. The safety zone temporarily prohibits entry into or movement within this portion of the Atlantic Ocean during its closure period. Entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Boston, Massachusetts or the COTP’s designated representative.

This rule is effective from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on August 5, 2006.

Need to Update Your Current Operator Qualification Program?

We have the expertise to update your current operator qualification program to satisfy the upcoming regulation change and inspection protocols. For more information on how RCP can support your ongoing OQ Program needs.

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