DOT Pipeline Compliance News

August 2021 Issue

In This Issue

PHMSA Updates Inspection Protocols with Gas Mega Rule Questions

PHMSA has published a new inspection protocol set, applicable to gas transmission pipelines.  These protocols are designed to address new regulatory requirements from the Final Rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2019 (Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements, and Other Related Amendments).  These new inspection protocols can be found here.

For information on how RCP can assist with implementation or assessment of the gas mega rule requirements, contact Jessica Foley.

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshops – In Person and Virtual Class Options

The wait is over! We are excited to welcome you back to our dedicated training facility at our corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas for an in-person gas & liquid 3-day workshop on August 31 – September 2, 2021. We will be following all CDC guidelines.

We are also offering a Virtual interactive online workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance topics on September 14 -16, 2021. To register for either workshop, click here.

Topics to be addressed in the workshop include:

  • An overview of DOT/OPS pipeline compliance requirements
  • State and Federal agency roles for pipeline safety
  • PHMSA Jurisdiction
  • PHMSA Inspections and Enforcement Processes
  • Engineering Concepts and Stress/Strain Relationships; %SMYS
  • Design Requirements
  • Construction Requirements
  • Corrosion Control Concepts and Requirements
  • Operations and Maintenance Requirements
  • Emergency Response Requirements (including spill response planning requirements for liquid pipelines)
  • Damage Prevention Programs
  • Operator Qualification Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Public Awareness Programs
  • Integrity Management (gas and liquid) Programs
  • Control Room Management Programs

We will also discuss the PIPES Act of 2021; recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA; and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.

Each attendee will receive an electronic copy of the presentation as well as applicable handouts, and applicable regulations and voluminous reference materials including rulemakings, letters of interpretation, and other guidance documents.

To register for either workshop, click here.

Pennsylvania NPR Construction and Operation of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

[52 Pa. Code Chapter 59 | Docket No. L-2019-3010267]

On July 15, 2021, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipelines. The proposed regulations would apply to intrastate pipelines and are primarily a mix of application of PHMSA Advisory Bulletins, industry best practices and the making of certain optional compliance approaches mandatory. There are new requirements for making construction tasks subject to the Operator Qualification program, Land Agents to have one of several professional licenses, a variety of reporting/notification requirements and applying specific engineering practices. For a more detailed review of the proposed regulations contact Jessica Foley.

The Commission is requesting comments on this Notice. Interested parties may submit written comments, via the Commission’s electronic filing system, referencing Docket No. L-2019-3010267 within sixty (60) days from the date the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Order is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. All filings are to be made by e-filing or by electronic mail. This information can be found on the Commission’s website.

Maine Damage Prevention Regulation Updates

The State of Maine has updated its damage prevention regulations found in state regulations 65-407 – Public Utilities Commission – General; Chapter 895 – Underground Facility Damage Prevention Requirements. In addition to a few minor revisions, the modified rule adds exemptions for quarries and borrow pits, and adds requirements for unpaved road grading. It also increases the maximum penalty levels from $500 to $1,000 for the first violation, and from $5,000 to $10,000 for subsequent violations in a 12-month period.

CGA Best Practices 18.0

CGA has released the newest edition of its Best Practices Guide, the trusted, consensus-based resource providing guidance to the damage prevention industry for the last two decades. The Best Practices 18.0 introduces two new practices:

  • 2-19: Underground Electronic Utility Markers;
  • 6-19: As-Built Mapping of Underground Electronic Utility Markers; as well as,
  • An addition to Appendix B, “Guidelines for Underground Electronic Utility Marker Technology

The new additions reflect ongoing advancements in damage prevention technology and demonstrate how our industry is constantly adopting new practices that improve safety outcomes during excavation. To accompany the new Best Practices 18.0 and bring awareness to the new practices being utilized in the industry, CGA has created an infographic that members can use to promote the guide’s newest edition. Download the infographic and read the newest edition of the preeminent guide to damage prevention on CGA’s website. If you haven’t yet ordered hard copies of the Best Practices 18.0, copies are available for purchase here, with special discounts for CGA members.

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


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