DOT Pipeline Compliance News

December 2004 Issue

In This Issue

Pipeline Safety Regulation Workshops – Federal, Texas, and Louisiana

RCP will host a 3 day workshop on the Federal, Texas, and Louisiana pipeline safety regulations on February 22 – 24, 2005. Attendees can register for one, two, or all three days. Topics to be covered include:

Day 1: Introduction to Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations

This is our highly acclaimed 1-day workshop on the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations for both liquid and gas pipelines. It is an introduction to the pipeline safety regulations, and addresses issues such as:

  • What is the Office of Pipeline Safety, and what regulations have they issued?
  • What is the scope of the pipeline safety regulations?
  • How are these regulations interpreted? What guidance is available?
  • What is the role of state agencies?
  • What must I do to comply with the regulations?
  • What should I expect during an inspection?

Day 2: Texas Pipeline Safety Regulations

The Texas pipeline safety regulations were recently re-promulgated (as of November 4, 2004), with numerous revisions throughout the text. In addition, Texas has several unique requirements for pipeline operators – beyond those in the pipeline safety regulations. We will review the Texas regulatory requirements for pipeline operators (including permit applications, discharge requirements, etc.) . We will also highlight changes from the previous regulations. Seminar materials will include a printed version of the new Texas regulations, showing revisions from the previous regulations, and other regulatory requirements. This includes:

  • Changes to Integrity Management Requirements
  • Re-codification of all Texas Gas and Liquid Rules
    • New SubChapter A – General Requirements and Definitions
    • Modifications to Gas Pipeline Requirements
    • Modifications to Liquid Pipeline Requirements
    • Each of these changes will be discussed and reviewed during the workshop.

Day 3: Louisiana Pipeline Safety Regulations

The Louisiana pipeline safety regulations are a re-publication of the federal pipeline safety regulations, with various changes throughout the text for both gas and liquid pipelines. This makes it very difficult to identify differences between the Louisiana and Federal regulations. In addition, Louisiana has several unique requirements for pipeline operators – beyond those in the pipeline safety regulations. We will review the Louisiana regulatory requirements for pipeline operators (including permit applications, discharge requirements, etc.). We will also highlight the recently proposed changes to the Louisiana pipeline safety regulations (see related article, above) . The seminar materials will include a printed version of the Louisiana regulations, showing all revisions from the Federal regulations , and other regulatory requirements. Each variation (and proposed variation) in the Louisiana regulations will be presented and discussed. This includes:

  • Louisiana reporting requirements
  • Pipeline integrity management requirements
  • Welding requirements
  • Notices of construction

A golf outing will be available on days 2 and 3 for personnel who are not interested in that day’s topic. For additional information, including a seminar brochure, go to our website here.

RCP Partners with Paradigm and Celeritas for Complete Turnkey Public Awareness Support

For a turnkey, cost effective pipeline public awareness solution, RCP has joined forces with Paradigm and Celeritas to provide operators with a complete range of services.

  • RCP will develop and manage written Public Awareness Program with its experienced industry experts for gas and liquid pipeline operators.
  • Paradigm will implement direct mail programs and stakeholder identification with its GIS and Fulfillment professionals for operators.
  • Celeritas will manage documentation of public education efforts through its web based analysis tool that integrates public awareness data and GIS mapping of your pipeline assets into one view.

For more information, contact Susan Waller at or go to

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.

Pipeline & Gas Journal features RCP Integrity Management Success Guide

RCP’s article titled “A Success Guide for Pipeline Integrity Management” is featured in the November 2004 edition of the Pipeline & Gas Journal. The article explains the importance of operators’ understanding of the challenges associated in the development and implementation of a pipeline integrity management program.

Some of the costs many operators will encounter during implementation such as the costs of modifying pipelines for inline inspection devices, inline inspections, hydrostatic test water disposal, pipeline repair, direct assessment inspection and finally the increased cost of manpower are outlined in the article.

The article also goes on to explain that the success of the program lies in organization. Integrity management is an ongoing process, so how well an organization manages the development and change of the program will make or break the effort.

Finally, the article explains the importance of selecting consultants, vendors and contractors.

For more information regarding pipeline integrity management, contact Jessica Roger at or 713-655-8080.

OCS Inspections for Damage Caused by Hurricane Ivan (Part 3)

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) Gulf of Mexico OCS Region (GOMR) has issued NTL No. 2004-G20 to provide further guidance on the inspections you need to conduct on OCS pipelines and related facilities because of the potential damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. The MMS GOMR issued NTL No. 2004-G18 on October 4, 2004. In part, that NTL described the inspections you need to perform on OCS pipelines and related facilities as required by 30 CFR 250.1005(a). This NTL supplements NTL No. 2004-G18 and provides clarification on the inspections you need to perform on OCS pipelines and related facilities at various water depth ranges that were along the path of Hurricane Ivan.

The chart below summarizes and clarifies those portions of a pipeline that need to be inspected under NTL No. 2004-G18 according to the water depth range.

If the water depth range is then inspect all
0 to 199 feet risers, subsea tie-ins, and foreign pipeline crossings.
200 to 499 feet risers, subsea tie-ins, foreign pipeline crossings, and the entire pipeline route.
500 feet or greater risers, including steel catenary risers.

Texas Coastal Coordination Council proposes amendments to 31 TAC 501.26

The Texas Coastal Coordination Council is proposing to amend paragraph 501.26 (b)(5) of 31 TAC to allow shore protection projects in sea turtle nesting areas, as long as they avoid adverse impacts to those areas. The rule currently prohibits the location of a shore protection project in a sea turtle nesting area or in any other location where the project will adversely affect an endangered species. The revision will allow construction to occur as long as that construction does not adversely affect sea turtle nesting areas or an endangered species. Sea turtle nesting areas have expanded to cover most of the Texas coast, including areas where shore protection projects currently exist. The General Land Office has the authority to issue rules affecting construction in the beach/dune system, which must be consistent with this policy and may provide specific requirements for design and timing of installation.

The Council proposes to amend §501.26(b)(6) to allow for the construction of shore protection projects in areas with stable or accreting beaches. The reason for the change is to allow storm surge protection for the shoreline in areas of the state where the beaches are stable or accreting in addition to those areas that are eroding.

Comments may be submitted to Ms. Deborah Cantu, Texas Register Liaison, Texas General Land Office, Legal Services Division, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, TX 78711-2873; facsimile number (512) 463-6311; email address Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., 30 (thirty) days after the proposed amendments are published.

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.

49 CFR 40 – Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs Modified – Interim Final Rule

On November 9, 2004 the Department of Transportation amended certain provisions of its drug and alcohol testing procedures to change instructions to laboratories and medical review officers (MRO) with respect to adulterated, substituted, and diluted specimen results. This change is intended to avoid inconsistency with new requirements established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that went into effect on November 1, 2004.

The interim rule specifically requires MROs to provide medical review and verification for all laboratory-reported substituted specimen results. This change is necessary because, under the HHS Mandatory Guidelines, there will be no specimens with creatinine levels greater than or equal to 2 mg/dL that will be considered substituted. Prior to this rule change MROs were allowed to do a medical review for some and direct observation recollection for others.

Also, DOT now considers a urine specimen to be dilute when the creatinine concentration is greater than or equal to 2 mg/dL but less than 20 mg/dL and the specific gravity is greater than 1.0010 but less than 1.0030. Previously, urine specimens had been considered dilute when the creatinine concentration was above 5 mg/dL but less than 20 mg/dL and the specific gravity was greater than 1.001 but less than 1.003. If the sample is found to be within the new range, DOT will require MROs to treat laboratory reported negative-dilute results with creatinine levels greater than or equal to 2 mg/dL but equal to or less than 5 mg/dL as negative-dilutes that require immediate recollections under direct observation.

The rule also direct laboratories to perform validity tests for oxidizing adulterants and additional validity tests when certain conditions (e.g., abnormal physical characteristics) are observed.

For more information contact Jim L. Swart, Deputy Director (S-1), Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; telephone number (202) 366-3784 (voice), (202) 366-3897 (fax) , or (e-mail).

The entire Federal Register Article can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway..

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.

Coast Guard Requests Comments for Marine Liquefied Natural Gas Spills; Thermal and Vapor Dispersion Exclusion Zones

The Coast Guard is seeking public comments on a petition for rulemaking from the City of Fall River, Massachusetts. The petition requests regulations be promulgated that would establish thermal and vapor dispersion exclusion zones for marine spills of liquefied natural gas similar to those established by the Secretary of Transportation for spills of LNG on land (49 CFR §193.2057 and §193.2059).

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2004-19615 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. To view comments or other material in the docket, go to and conduct a simple search using the docket number.

Comments and related material must reach the docket management facility on or before February 1, 2005.

For further information call Commander John Cushing at 202-267-1043, or e-mail If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Andrea M. Jenkins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-0271.

EPA Publishes Report on Effectiveness of Dispersants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted a technical report entitled “Characteristics of Spilled Oils, Fuels, and Petroleum Products: 2a. Dispersant Effectiveness Data for a Suite of Environmental Conditions – The Effects of Temperature, Volatilization, and Energy” on the agency web site. For a copy of this document or more information contact Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080. As stated in the Forward of the report, “The data and regressions presented in this report illustrate the interaction between oils and dispersants under a variety of environmental conditions. EPA expects these data to be useful both for modeling and to provide a resource for the oil spill response community as a whole.”

Proposed Arizona Intrastate Pipeline Amendments

The Arizona Corporation Commission’s Pipeline Safety Division has proposed rules aimed at making natural-gas and gasoline pipelines safer and their operators more accountable. These regulations include amendments to transportation rules R14-5-202, R14-5-203, R14-5-204 and R14-5-205. The amendments will update the rules to incorporate the most recent amendments to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49, Parts 40, 191, 192, except I (2) and (3) of Appendix D to Part 192, 193, 195 (except 195.1(b)(2) and (3)) and 199 revised as of January 15, 2004. In addition new regulations are proposed to:

  • Set parameters for laboratory testing for both intrastate pipeline operators and master meter operators;
  • Require the operator retain a removed portion of pipeline that failed for any reason other than observable external corrosion or third-party damage and notify the Commission’s Office of the removal within two hours after completing the removal and provide specific information about the removed portion of pipeline. The Commission’s Office will decide within 48 hours if the removed section must be tested (and will stipulate the details and laboratory) or if it can be discarded. The operator will be required to notify he Commission’s Office at least 20 days prior to a test being conducted to allow a representative from the Commission’s Office to observe the test if they would like. Within 30 days of the completion of the tests, the operator shall ensure that the original laboratory test results are provided to the Commission’s Office. These tests are to be paid for by the operator. (R14-5-202(S) and R14-5-205(P).)
  • Operators of hazardous liquid pipelines must file annual reports. (R14-5-204(A)).
  • All newly installed hazardous liquid or gas intrastate pipelines will be required to have proper bedding and shading as described in R14-5-202(O) and R14-5-205(I).
  • All plastic pipe and fittings must be marked “Gas” and per ASTM D2513 (R14-5-202(P) and R14-5-205(J))

O&M Manual Up-To-Date?

RCP has the tools and expertise to develop comprehensive procedures that you need to protect your people, facilities, and environment. Click Here

Congress Creates New Office – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

On Tuesday, November 30, 2004, the President signed into law H.R. 5163, the “Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act,” which reorganizes the Department of Transportation’s pipeline safety, hazardous materials transportation safety, and research activities.

Titled the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act, the measure reorganizes the existing Research and Special Programs Administration into two new entities: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Research and Innovative Transportation Administration (RITA).
PHMSA’s mission will be to focus on pipeline safety and hazardous materials safety oversight and regulation. The new PHMSA administrator will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The existing Office of Pipeline Safety will be part of the new organization.

RITA will focus on improving the coordination and efficiency of the research activities previously undertaken by the Research and Special Programs Administration, plus any other research projects assigned by the Secretary of Transportation.

The Texas Railroad Commission Modifies Pipeline Integrity Regulations

The Texas Railroad Commission published in the Texas Register in November final modifications to §8.101.Pipeline Integrity Assessment and Management Plans for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines (and other pipeline safety regulations, see article later in this newsletter.) The new regulation states that “Natural gas pipeline operators using the risk-based plan shall complete at least 50% of the initial assessments by December 17, 2007, and the remainder by December 17, 2012; operators using the prescriptive plan shall complete the initial integrity testing by December 17, 2007, or December 17, 2012”. The recent change now coincides with the DOT/OPS 49 CFR Part 192 Subpart O pipeline integrity baseline assessment time requirements. The initial Railroad Commission of Texas rule required operators to complete at least 50% of their pipeline baseline assessments by January 1, 2006 and the remainder by January 1, 2011.

The effective date adoption of the modified regulation was November 24, 2004.

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.

DOT/OPS Issues Advisory Bulletin Regarding Operator Qualification

RSPA’s Office of Pipeline Safety (RSPA/OPS) has issued an advisory bulletin to owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems concerning the minimum requirements for operator qualification (OQ) programs for personnel performing covered tasks on a pipeline facility. The bulletin reminds system owners and operators that the deadline for modifying their OQ programs to comply with the additional statutory requirements in Section 13 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 is December 17, 2004. The bulletin also advises system owners and operators that reviews of OQ programs conducted by RSPA/OPS inspectors after December 17, 2004, will consider whether the programs are in compliance with these additional statutory requirements, even if the relevant provisions of the pipeline safety regulations are not amended by that date.

The following is a brief summary of the bulletin:

  • Operators must have periodic requalification intervals which take in consideration the complexity, criticality, and frequency of performance.
  • A training program must be provided to ensure qualified individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to be qualified
  • If the operator of a pipeline facility significantly modifies a program that has been reviewed for compliance by RSPA/OPS, the operator must notify RSPA/OPS of the modifications.

For a copy of the bulletin or more information contact Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080.

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.

Railroad Commission of Texas Adopts New Rules and Amendments

On November 4, 2004 the Railroad Commission of Texas signed and placed their seal to repeal §§7.70 – 7.74, and 7.80 – 7.87. The Commission adopted the repeals in order to move the pipeline safety rules into Texas Administrative Code, Title 16, Chapter 8 (29 TexReg 10659). This was completed to collect all the pipeline safety and regulations under one section and not mixed in with other statutes. The TRRC also took this action to improve uniformity of application and interpretation of the requirements. In addition to the move, several of the regulations were modified to clarify ambiguities or to align with federal requirements.

The newly migrated regulations have formulated a single source access to requirements for intrastate pipelines operating in Texas. The rule is now subdivided into four major sections:

  • Subchapter A – General Requirements And Definitions (Brand new Subchapter)
  • Subchapter B – Requirements For All Pipelines (Modified)
  • Subchapter C – Requirements For Natural Gas Pipelines Only (Modified)
  • Subchapter D – Requirements For Hazardous Liquids and Carbon Dioxide Pipelines Only (Modified)

For a summary of the regulation changes contact Jessica Roger at or call (713) 655-8080.

Air Permit Needs?

Are you planning to expand or acquire? Air permit applications can be complex and consuming. RCP has the expertise to navigate through the application process, develop compliance assurance systems, and submit reports. Click Here

RSPA Decides Immediate and Written Incident/Accident Notification Requirements for Louisiana

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) decided that the Louisiana state requirement for immediate telephone notification of pipeline incidents/accidents to the Louisiana State Police in La. R.S. 32:1510A is not preempted by the federal hazardous material transportation law. RSPA also decided the federal hazardous material transportation law does preempt the written requirement for notification (La. R.S. 32:1510B & C) in Louisiana.

Not only is the carrier required to make immediate notification (commonly defined as within 15 minutes) of an incident, “each person involved” is required to make notification of the incident even if the State Police have already been notified by another party. In the case described, the Louisiana State Police were on the scene in response to the carrier’s notification prior to the shipper’s arrival and yet the shipper was sent a Notice of Violation for failing to notify. RSPA decided that Louisiana’s immediate notification requirements are not duplicative of the DOT notification requirements, so the immediate notification requirements still stand.

RSPA decided that written notification requirements (must be done as soon as possible but within 30 days) to both the State and the DOT were redundant and tend to undercut compliance. As a result, the state rules were preempted and written notification for hazardous material transportation incidents must be made to DOT per 49 CFR 171.16.

For more information, contact Frazer C. Hilder, Office of the Chief Counsel, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001 (Tel. No. (202)366-4400).

Are Your Response Plans Current?

RCP can provide audits and updates to help ensure that your spill and emergency response plans are current and meet federal and state requirements. Click Here.

Army Corps of Engineers Proposes Amendments to Nationwide Permit Regulations

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to amend its nationwide permit regulations so that district engineers can issue nationwide permit verification letters that expire on the same date the nationwide permit expires. This amendment will allow district engineers to issue that nationwide permit verifications are valid throughout the period of time the nationwide permit is in effect, to provide regulatory flexibility and efficiency. The Army Corp of Engineers are also proposing to increase the 30-day pre-construction notification review period to 45 days, to conform with nationwide permit general condition 13. Since the nationwide permit regulations were last amended in 1991, there have been changes to related regulations and policies that have generally increased the complexity of reviews of nationwide permit pre-construction notifications. The 45-day pre-construction notification review period will provide district engineers with time to effectively review proposed nationwide permit activities that require notification, as well as compensatory mitigation proposals, to determine whether those activities meet the terms and conditions of the nationwide permits and result in minimal adverse environmental effects.

Submit comments on or before January 31, 2005. Written comments should be sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-MVD (David B. Olson), 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000, or by e-mail to Electronic comments should be submitted in ASCII format or portable document format to ensure that those comments can be read. Consideration will be given to all comments received within 60 days of the date of publication of this notice.

For more information, contact Mr. David Olson at 202-761-4922 or access the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Home Page at

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.

RCP Services Spotlight – Security Regulatory Assistance

RCP partners with companies on providing requirements for the United States Coast Guard Security Plan, DOT Hazardous Materials, and Pipeline security regulatory requirements in a prompt and cost effective manner. RCP has completed training and the requisite security plans for pipeline, barge, petrochemical, refinery, truck transport, and other facility locations. Independent Audits to meet USCG Security Plan regulatory requirements are coming due soon. RCP can provide a cost effective solution with business specific considerations for your regulated plans.

  • Plan Development, Implementation, and Training – Over the years, RCP has identified that plan development, implementation and initial training for employees are the first major milestones. We can mobilize our resources and partner with you to meet the additional security requirements in a cost effective manner. One top priority includes checklists of complete “Security” requirements for plan completion, implementation, and training.
  • Training for All Employees & Contractors – RCP’s Plans and Awareness training are also available for all employees & contractors who have job responsibilities detailed in security plans including the contents and substance of the plan at the facility(ies) under: 33 CFR 104, 33 CFR 105, 33 CFR 106, CFR 172 HazMat, 49 CFR 192, 49 CFR 193, 49 CFR 195, and others
  • Work with LEPC’s and Public Authorities – RCP can partner with your organization to fully and concisely establish plans and actions in cooperation with local LEPC’s and public authorities. It is critical to spend time ensuring that LEPC and emergency responders understand the substantive portions of your security plan as it relates to their roles in your organization. We have valued experience and success with achieving goals in meeting these challenging requirements.
  • Customized Plans to Fit Your Needs – Another example of how RCP can assist you is by providing details to meet your specific needs such as new hires. Under 49 CFR 172, new hires must be trained ninety (90) days of employment and/or assignment in an area requiring a security plan.

RCP is ready and looking forward to partner with you on assuring regulatory compliance for your applicable facilities. Please contact Jessica Roger or Jonathan Barber at (713) 655-8080 to discuss your needs and how RCP can assist you.

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