DOT Pipeline Compliance News

December 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance News December 2007 Edition

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – January 29 & 30, 2008

RCP will be hosting our very popular 2-day workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance on January 29 & 30, 2008, in Houston, TX. Join us for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance.

Day 1 (January 29): Gas Pipeline Regulations (49CFR192): Covering all the topics below but special emphasis will be placed on the changes in **GAS GATHERING** regulations.

Day 2 (January 30): Liquid Pipeline Regulations (49CFR195)

Each day of the workshop will address the following issues as they specifically relate to either Gas or Hazardous Liquid pipelines:

  • PHMSA Overview
  • PHMSA Jurisdictional Boundaries
    • Production / Gathering / Transmission
    • Onshore / Inlets to the Gulf of Mexico / Offshore
  • Compliance Requirements:
    • Design
    • Construction
    • Operation
    • Maintenance
    • Corrosion
    • Testing
    • Integrity Management
    • Operator Qualification
    • Emergency Response
    • Reporting
  • New/Proposed Regulations – including liquid rural low stress and new gas production pipeline rules in Texas and other states.

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

PIPA Meeting

On January 15-17, 2008, PHMSA will host the inaugural meeting of the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) to develop more detailed guidance for property development in the vicinity of transmission pipelines. A PIPA Plenary Session and initial Task Team Meetings are planned. The meetings will begin at 8:00 a.m. on January 15 and will end no later than noon on January 17. On January 15, all participants will meet in plenary to learn about land use planning, property development, and transmission pipelines. On January 16, the Task Teams will meet concurrently to refine their scope and develop a plan for completing their deliverables. On the morning of January 17, the Task Teams will report back to the plenary.

The PIPA Steering Committee envisions the Task Teams completing the deliverables by January 2009. In order to meet this aggressive timeline, the Task Teams will schedule web/teleconferences and use chat room style web sites to maintain progress on their deliverables. The Steering Committee envisions another face-to-face plenary in July 2008 to evaluate progress. During the ensuing six months, the Task Teams will continue with web/teleconferences as needed. A PIPA plenary meeting to validate the Task Team deliverables is planned for January 2009.

The 3 PIPA Task Teams are:

  • Protecting Communities
    – What should pipeline safety stakeholders do, or avoid doing, adjacent to the pipeline ROW to reduce the risk to communities?
  • Protecting Transmission Pipelines
    – What should pipeline safety stakeholders do, or avoid doing, on the ROW to reduce the risk to transmission pipelines while preserving environmental resources?
  • Risk Communication
    – How should the risks to transmission pipelines and communities be communicated to pipeline safety stakeholders?

Anyone planning to attend the meeting should register using the following link:

Critical Energy Infrastructure Information – Final Rule

[Docket No. RM06-23-000; Order No. 702]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) has issued a final rule in 18 CFR Part 388 amending its regulations for gaining access to critical energy infrastructure information (CEII). The final rule reflects comments filed in response to the September 21, 2006 notice seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Commission’s CEII rules. The final rule:

  • modifies non-disclosure agreements;
  • modifies the Commission’s process to allow the CEII Coordinator to respond to CEII requests by letter;
  • provides landowners access to alignment sheets for the routes across or in the vicinity of their properties;
  • includes a fee provision;
  • limits the portions of forms and reports the Commission defines as containing CEII;
  • eliminates as a category of documents the Non-Internet Public designation;
  • provides that the Commission will seek a requester’s date and place of birth on a case-by-case basis rather than require that information with every request for CEII; and
  • eliminates the request for social security numbers.

The rule will become effective December 14, 2007. For further information contact: Jeffrey H. Kaplan, Office of the General Counsel, GC-13, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-8788.

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 DOT Hazmat Transportation & Pipeline regulations. We can also assist you in USCG security plans for dock facilities and vessels. Click here for more information.

DHS Publishes Chemicals of Interest List for Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a list of critical materials with threshold limits requiring a security screening survey of users maintaining inventories of these chemicals. This could impact pipeline operators, refineries, offshore platforms, petrochemical facilities, chemical plants, pulp & paper mills, trucking terminals, and others as well.

The Department of Homeland Security recently provided Appendix A of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), outlining a survey for the chemical security regulatory program. Appendix A lists approximately 300 chemicals of interest and includes common industrial chemicals such as chlorine, propane and anhydrous ammonia as well as specialty chemicals such as arsine and phosphorus tri-chloride. Facilities that possess chemicals of interest at or above the listed screening threshold quantities are required to complete the Top-Screen within 60 calendar days of the publication of Appendix A. The Appendix is the first part of larger legislative effort to document a regulatory materials risk management in much in the same way PSM and RMP do for catastrophic event program management in manufacturing/operating facilities.

When a material on the specified list of chemicals exceeds a threshold quantity, action to complete and submit to the DHS no later than 60 days following the November 20, 2007 publication of the screening tool. The screening tool is an easy-to-use, online consequence assessment tool called a Top-Screen. Using the information gathered through the Top-Screen, the department will make a preliminary determination:

  • A facility presents a high level of security risk, and
  • The facility will be required to comply with the requirements of CFATS.

The Department of Homeland Security requires that chemicals at or above threshold quantities to the regulatory screening process are based on the following three security categories:

  • Release – quantities of toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals that have the potential to create significant terror, danger to human life or health, if intentionally released or detonated;
  • Theft and diversion – chemicals that have the potential, if stolen or diverted, to be used or converted into weapons; and
  • Sabotage and contamination – chemicals that, if mixed with other readily available materials, have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.

The department identified these chemicals in the specific amounts for preliminary screening based on their potential to create significant human life or health consequences.

For more information on chemical security or to view the Appendix A final rule of CFATS, please visit

Texas Pipeline Safety Regulations – Comments on Proposed Revisions

Public comments regarding the proposed revisions to 16 TAC Chapter 8 – Pipeline Safety Regulations, have been posted on the Texas Railroad Commission Website. The comment period ended on November 26, 2007. Please reference RCP’s newsletter article on the proposed revisions in the November 2007 edition of DOT Pipeline Compliance News. Some of the main issues commented on:

  • 8.1 General Applicability and Standards: Requesting clarification on the provisions requiring all operators of gas pipeline facilities to file T-4 forms for their pipeline systems. Redefine the statement of applicability to production lines.
  • 8.205 Written Procedure for Handling Natural Gas Leak Complaints: Suggestion that the review be conducted the next business day rather then the next calendar day; and, modification of the “supervisory review” terminology be changed to specially trained or experienced personnel.
  • 8.210 – Reports: Concerns regarding the inclusion of the telephone number of the operator’s on-site personnel. Clarification of the terminology “significant events” and “significant facts; and the use of “release” and “leak.” On the semi-annual reporting of repaired and unrepaired leaks, Form PS-95 could not be found.
  • 8.215 – Odorization of Gas: Clarification of the language concerning the supplier of the malodorant, and concern on the use of only “commercially available odorization equipment.”
  • 8.235 Natural Gas Pipelines Public Education & Liaison: Comments on the time frame of conduction education and liaison activities.
  • 8.5 Upstream Regulation: Define “first point of measurement of natural gas” and provide more information on the implementation effective date.

For a complete copy of TRRC’s proposed revisions, contact Jessica Roger.

Direct Assessment Services

RCP can provide written direct assessment procedures to comply with DOT 195 and 192 Regulatory requirements for stress corrosion cracking, internal corrosion and external corrosion threats. The procedures are custom written to meet the individual client needs, threats and operating philosophy in accordance to NACE RP 502, ASME B31.8S and other NACE recommended practices. The advantage of utilizing direct assessment is the ability to be performed without affecting the operations of the pipeline and does not require any modification to the pipeline. Please click here if you would like information on RCP’s Direct Assessment Services.

Texas Pipeline Safety Regulations – Proposed Rulemaking on Risk-Based Leak Inspection Program

The Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) proposes new §§ 8.206, 8.207, and 8.208, relating to Risk-Based Leak Inspection Program, Leak Grading and Repair, and Mandatory Removal and Replacement Program, to enhance the Commission’s pipeline safety program. The proposed new rules would require Texas gas distribution companies to:

  • Establish a risk-based schedule of increased leak inspections;
    • Operators would create a risk model using five risk factors relating to the physical characteristics and environment of the pipeline segment. The factors include pipe location, nature of the pipe system, the history of corrosion, environmental considerations regarding gas migration, and other factors including weather, construction activity, and operator judgment.
    • Based on a risk ranking from high to low, operators of gas distribution systems would schedule leak inspections for a given pipeline segment at a time interval that is appropriate to address the identified risk
  • Standardize leak grading and repair times frames by adopting a slightly revised version of the Gas Piping Technology Committee (GPTC) standards in ANSI Z380.1.
    • Grade 1 leaks would still be required to be repaired immediately.
    • Grade 2 leaks would be re-evaluated monthly and repaired no later than six months from the date of detection.
    • Grade 3 leaks would be re-evaluated once each calendar year, not to exceed 15 months and repaired no later than three years from detection.
  • Remove and replace leaking compression couplings and compression couplings at presently known service riser installations if the couplings are not manufactured and installed with secondary restraint and if they are not resistant to pull-outs. The removal and replacement of such compression couplings must be completed within two years of the effective date of the rule. No later than May 31, 2008, and every six months thereafter, a progress report is required a detailing the number of service riser installations checked, the condition of the coupling, and the total number of compression couplings replaced.

TRRC proposes to incorporate risk-based leakage surveys to the natural gas distribution operators in Texas for two reasons: By adopting this model as the minimum standard, each operator can apply the risk factors to its pipeline system or segments within its system to determine if more frequent leak surveys are warranted for enhanced safety. The second reason is to reduce the number of leaks that may have been leaking over an extended period of time.

The leak survey model proposed in §8.206 will go hand-in-hand with the distribution integrity management rules being developed by the federal Office of Pipeline Safety. Leak survey, leak monitoring, and leak repair are very important factors in the integrity assessment and management of pipeline systems. The implementation of a risk model and consistent leak grading and repair procedures at the distribution system level will allow Texas operators to assess the overall integrity of their systems and manage them according to the federal requirements. Additionally, the proposed leak grading and repair model in §8.207 will provide a consistent application of what a “graded” leak is in Texas.

Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 5, 2008 and 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

For more information or for a copy of the proposed new rulemaking, contact Jessica Roger.

2008 API Pipeline Conference and Cybernetics Symposium

Mark your calendars for the 2008 Pipeline Conference and Cybernetics Symposium at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida on April 8 – 10, 2008. Conference registration is not yet available, but hotel reservations can be made at: We hope to see you all there!

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