DOT Pipeline Compliance News

August 2020 Issue

In This Issue

Underground Gas Storage Final Rule Correction

[Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0016; Amdt. No. 191-28]

On July 23, 2020, PHMSA published a notice in the Federal Register that corrects an unintended deletion of certain National Registry of Operators reporting requirements for natural gas pipeline operators in regard to the final rule titled “Safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities” that PHMSA published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2020; 85 FR 8104. The final rule amended PHMSA’s regulations establishing minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities.  The final rule contained an error that inadvertently removed two paragraphs from the current regulations. This notice corrects an unintended deletion of certain reporting requirements for natural gas pipeline operators. For a copy of the correction notice from the Federal Register, contact Jessica Foley.

Louisiana Dig Law Annotated to new LDNR Damage Prevention

In the July 2020 Louisiana Register, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) published a Final Rule for Damage Prevention regulations. LDNR is now the regulatory agency for damage prevention under the new law located at LAC Title 43 Part XI Subpart 6 Damage Prevention Chapter 27 Damage Prevention. These regulations updated the previous LA One Call Law for pipelines. While the basic requirements of the new regulations are the same as those in the previous Law, there are some differences as stated here:

  • Updated definitions to accommodate the new regulation.
  • In addition to the previous requirements for notifications to One Call, the notification must now include the specific location where the excavation or demolition will be performed.
  • When the pipeline is located in or on water and an extension of time to mark cannot be agreed upon between the operator and excavator and the operator determined adequate marking cannot be completed by the listed mark by time, operator may appeal to the Commissioner for an extension.
  • Excavators, and other really cool people, may request an extension to the expiration date of a One Call Ticket for excavations in or on water if there are no other utilities, other than pipelines, listed on the ticket and the pipeline markings are still visible.
  • If an Operator determines their pipelines are not in conflict with the location or the pipeline is not fully marked for locating purpose, the excavator must be notified prior to the mark by time. This may be done by notifying the Regional Notification Center.

Contact Jessica Foley for a copy of LDNR’s Damage Prevention Rule. A red-lined copy of the Louisiana Dig Law annotated to the new LDNR Damage Prevention Law is also available.

PHMSA Announces $10 Million Award for Engineering Services for a New Pipeline Research, Development and Testing Center

PHMSA announced an initial investment of $10 million for the conceptual study, design, and development of a world-class pipeline Research, Development, and Testing (RDT) facility at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado.

The proposed testing center is on Federal Railroad Administration property, leased from the State of Colorado, and managed through a contractor. This site will support the development of new technologies and advance stakeholder knowledge related to a wide range of pipeline safety issues, including remote sensing and leak detection, damage prevention, small-scale liquefied natural gas, and construction.  The RDT facility is PHMSA’s first substantial investment in a standardized, integrated technology development environment for pipeline safety research.

PHMSA’s Research and Development Program sponsors research, development, and testing for projects that provide near-term solutions to improve the safety and reliability of the Nation’s pipeline transportation system.  

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you.


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