DOT Pipeline Compliance News

August 2014 Issue

In This Issue

Pipeline Pressure Testing Workshop: August 26 &27

RCP is now offering a 2-day workshop at its facilities in downtown Houston. RCP has established itself as a leading industry expert on pipeline pressure testing with clients securing RCP’s services specifically to validate their pressure tests.

Our Pressure Testing Workshop will begin by outlining the objectives for performing a pressure test and how that relates to DOT requirements. The workshop will then build upon these foundations to answer many specific pressure testing questions including:

  • What are the different types of tests commonly conducted and how do you design each one?
  • What is the theory and physical science behind a pressure test?
  • How do you plan for a pressure test from start to finish:
    • Cleaning the line
    • Environmental hazards and permitting
    • Landowner and operations safety
    • Customer/stakeholder impact
    • Logistical details and scheduling
    • Pipeline modifications and anticipating failures
  • What is the required instrumentation and how does it need to be configured?
  • What data is absolutely necessary to validate a pressure test?
  • How do you determine and prove a successful pressure test?
  • What does a good test report look like (that will also satisfy PHMSA)?

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work through 3 different worksheets specifically covering 1) calculating the SYMS, MAOP and test pressures for various pipeline segments at various elevations 2) calculating the volume of water required for a hydrotest and determining how the volume of test water changes with pressure and 3) designing a complete test plan for a hypothetical pipeline i.e. dividing the line into test sections, determining the test parameters for each section and specifying the pressure ratings of equipment needed.

Instructor: This workshop will be lead by W. R. (Bill) Byrd, PE, and Larry C. Decker, PE. Mr. Byrd is President of RCP, and has 32 years of experience as an engineer, pipeline manager, and engineering consultant. Mr. Decker is an executive consultant with RCP Inc. His work experience spans 38 years serving as an operations manager and design/construction engineer.

To register for our workshop, click here.

PHMSA Notice & Request for Revisions to National Pipeline Mapping System

[Docket No. PHMSA-2014-0092]

PHMSA is seeking comments on proposed changes to the annual collection of information from each operator to the National Pipeline Mapping System Program. The proposed changes to the attributes will require operators to submit additional information to the NPMS for each pipeline segment, including:

  • the MAOP or MOP
  • the predominant pipe grade
  • hoop stress caused by the highest operating pressure during the year as a percentage of SMYS
  • the type of leak detection system used
  • the level of and types of coating on each pipeline segment
  • the pipe joining method
  • the predominant year of original construction (or installation)
  • class location (for gas transmission)
  • integrity management “could affect” status (hazardous liquid and gas transmission)
  • capability to accommodate inline inspection (ILI) tools
  • the year of a pipeline’s last corrosion, dent, crack or “other” ILI inspection, and of the last direct assessment
  • original and most recent hydrostatic test years and pressures
  • location of all gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines abandoned after the effective date of this information collection
  • the installation methods of pipe segments that cross bodies of water greater than 100 feet in width
  • Facility Response Plan control number and sequence number for applicable liquid pipeline segments
  • average daily throughput
  • locations of mainline block valves, the type of valves and the type of valve operators
  • locations of storage fields and the field type
  • locations of refineries (for liquid operators) and gas process/treatment plants (for gas transmission operators)
  • breakout tank locations and attributes
  • liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant type, capacity, impoundments, exclusion zones and year constructed
  • locations of pump (for liquid operators) and compressor (for gas transmission operators) stations.

PHMSA also proposed to include offshore gas gathering pipelines in NPMS data submissions, and to require a positional accuracy of five feet for pipeline segments located within Class 3, Class 4, High Consequence Areas (HCA), or “could-affect” HCAs.

PHMSA invites comment on how this expanded collection of information could affect the annual report. Submit written comments on or before September 29, 2014, identified by Docket No. PHMSA–2014– 0092 via the online Federal eRulemaking Portal. The proposed changes to the NPMS Operator Standards Manual can be found at:

For a copy of this PHMSA Notice, contact Jessica Foley.

Natural Gas Act Pipeline Maps

[Docket No. RM 14-21-000]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires natural gas pipeline to include a system map as part of their tariff on file with the Commission and to update the map by the following April for any year where there is a major change in the pipeline system. This map must also be available on the pipeline’s own website. This map must show the general geographic location of the company’s principal pipeline facilities and the points receiving service under the tariff. The map must also show the boundaries of any rate zones or rate areas with the areas or zones identified. FERC is proposing to amend these filing requirements by eliminating the requirements to file the map as part of the tariff and only requiring the operator to maintain the map on the pipeline’s own website. In addition, the Commission is proposing to change the deadline for updating these maps from April 30 of the subsequent calendar year to a quarterly requirement.

Comments are being accepted on this notice of proposed rulemaking until September 29, 2014, and can be submitted on the FERC website. Include Docket No. RM 14-21-000 on the comments.

For a copy of FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, contact Jessica Foley.

GIS Services

RCP is an Esri Business Partner which enables RCP to provide a better service to our clients with access to all of Esri’s related products and technical support. RCP also has direct access to the latest NOAA Navigational Charts, USGS National Hydrology data, USDA Soil data, Bureau of Energy Management offshore data, Google and Bing map imagery, plus more!

RCP has developed a suite of GIS tools for pipeline operators including: Gas Pipeline HCA Determination; Class Location Analysis, Overland Flow Spill Analysis (HCA/USA impact analysis); Gulf of Mexico and its Inlets Determination.

For more information, contact Jessica Foley.

PHMSA Public Awareness Information Collection Notice

[Docket No. PHMSA-2014-0093]

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department of Transportation/ Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) invites comments on an information collection under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control No. 2137–0622, titled “Pipeline Safety: Public Awareness Program.” PHMSA is preparing to request approval from OMB for a renewal of the current information collection. Comments are invited on:

  • The need for the proposed collection of information for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 25, 2014, via the E-Gov Website. Identify the docket number, PHMSA-2014-0093, at the beginning of the comments.

For a copy of this Notice from the Federal Register, contact Jessica Foley.

Louisiana Modifications to One Call Enforcement

The State of Louisiana has modified their regulations in Title 55 – Public Safety; Part I – State Police; Chapter 21 – Underground Utilities, to add a Section §2106 concerning “Investigation Procedure”. Changes were also made to §2117 concerning distribution of civil penalty funds to local governing authorities.

Missouri Updates Damage Prevention Law

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

Pressure Test Certification

RCP is an industry leader when it comes to ensuring that pipeline pressure tests are professionally executed. We consistently provide convincing, time tested arguments that a line can be safely operated as defined by CFR 49 Parts 192 and 195. RCP owns and utilizes a proprietary pressure test model that evaluates test pressure, temperature and volumetric data to confirm that the pipeline is leak free.

RCP’s certification service is an excellent way to analyze and document a pressure test, all produced by an independent, recognized and trusted third party. For more information on how RCP can assist with a pressure test validation, contact Jessica Foley.

Fall Conference Schedule

Have you registered and confirmed your reservations for these upcoming conferences? RCP will be attending. We hope to see you there!

Western Regional Gas Conference (WRGC)
August 19 – 20, 2014
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
60 E. Fifth Street; Tempe, AZ

Arkansas Gas Association Annual Conference
September 14 -16, 2014
Fayetteville, Arkansas

International Pipeline Conference & Exposition (IPC /IPE)
September 29 – October 3, 2014
Calgary, AB, Canada

RCP will be exhibiting in Booth #531 at the Expo. And, don’t miss this opportunity to meet RCP’s President, Bill Byrd, and attend his presentation on “Site-Specific Quantitative Pipeline Risk Analysis using Monte Carlo Methods” (Track 12). The paper was co-authored by Matthew Wylie, Chief Information Officer and General Counsel at RCP Inc. This paper will compare a site specific quantitative risk analysis using traditional “average” risk ranking methods to a more complex Monte Carlo analysis which uses a range of possibilities and consequences for each threat – each with their own probability. The comparison is based on the California “Guidance Protocol for School Site Pipeline Risk Analysis,” a quantitative risk analysis protocol which uses average probability and consequence values, and will extend it to explain how a more complex Monte Carlo analysis of those same risk factors can give a more comprehensive understanding of anticipated risks and consequences.

TRRC Gathering Workshop – August 27 Tyler, Texas

The Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) Pipeline Safety Division has scheduled a workshop for gathering line operators to provide a forum for discussing the implementation of House Bill 2982, giving the TRRC the regulatory mandate for gathering lines in Class 1 and rural locations, based upon risk. The workshop starts at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at the Tyler Junior College West Campus, Room 104; 1530 S SW Loop 323 in Tyler, Texas. Seating is limited, so register early at and print a ticket to attend the meeting.

PHMSA Public Webinar on Implementation of Gas DIMP – September 4

[Docket ID PHMSA–RSPA–2004–19854]

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice that a public webinar on gas pipeline distribution integrity management programs will be held on September 4, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Gas distribution pipeline operators were required to have prepared and implemented distribution integrity management programs (DIMP) by August 2, 2011. Federal and state regulators have been inspecting those programs and their implementation since that date. This webinar will be an opportunity for the regulators to share their experience with implementation topics with the public and the regulated community. The webinar will also include discussion of analyses of the 2013 submissions of data concerning mechanical fitting failures in gas distribution pipelines.

Members of the public may attend this free webinar. To help assure that adequate space is provided, all attendees are required to register for the webinar at Upon registration, LiveMeeting information will be distributed. Due to the limited capacity, it is encouraged and requested that parties at the same location share a LiveMeeting link for the video portion of the webinar and share a standard phone line for the teleconferenced voice portion of the webinar. Refer to the DIMP Website for additional information on distribution integrity management. Copies of the presentations provided in the webinar will be available on the DIMP Web site within 30 days following the webinar.

Written comments may also be submitted, either before, during, or after the webinar. Comments should reference Docket ID PHMSA–RSPA–2004–19854 and may be submitted on the DIMP Website. Instructions for submitting comments are provided on that Website. Comments can also be submitted on the E-Gov Website and identify the Docket ID at the beginning of your comments. For more information, contact Chris McLaren by email at or by phone at 281–216–4455.

Damage Prevention Online Workshop – FREE September 24, 2014

Please join the API/AOPL Damage Prevention Team for a 2-hour online workshop to be held on September 24, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Eastern). The workshop is appropriate for pipeline operator, damage prevention, and public awareness professionals. Topics of discussion will include:

  • The latest incident data for pipeline strikes and near misses.
  • Legislative update on strengthening state One Call laws.
  • Damage Prevention examples and lessons learned for dealing with ranch and farm issues and coordinating work with other utilities.

Register by Friday, September 19, to ensure your space at the webinar and receive instructions for joining the webinar. Click here for online registration.

Send us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of Pipeline Samples, yearning to breathe free.

Is your pipeline company merging? Divesting? Moving? Are old hands retiring, and clearing out their offices? No matter the reason, if you have interesting pipeline samples that need a new home, please let us know. We do training frequently, and would like to have physical pipe samples of corrosion, cracking, welding defects, seam defects, etc. Miniature models of smart pigs and other tools are also welcome. We promise to give them a good home – but call before shipping those 40’ pipe joints.

For more information, contact Jessica Foley. Or ship direct to: RCP Inc., 801 Louisiana Street, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77002.

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