DOT Pipeline Compliance News

December 2017 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Amends Drug Testing Regulations

[DOCKET DOT-OST-2016-0189]

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is amending its drug testing program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. The revision of the drug-testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. This final rule clarifies certain existing drug testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments, and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.

This rule is effective on January 1, 2018. For a copy of the notice from the Federal Register, contact Jessica Foley .

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – Gas & Liquid

JANUARY 23-25, 2018

Join us January 23-25, 2018 in Houston at our corporate office and dedicated training facility for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance topics. The workshop provides an overview of the DOT pipeline regulations in 49 CFR 191, 192, 194, 195, and 199. It also describes pipeline operations and engineering concepts. It is appropriate for people who are new to pipeline regulations, who could use a refresher, or anyone who needs to know the latest developments in these areas. This workshop will be a combined format, addressing both gas and liquid pipeline topics in parallel. This will eliminate some redundancy of materials, and will allow more time for in-depth discussions for each topic.

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 2016; recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA; and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook, and electronic copies of the applicable regulations and voluminous reference materials including rulemakings, letters of interpretation, and other guidance documents. The workshop will adjourn at 2 p.m. on the third day, for those who need to fly out Thursday evening.

To register for our workshop, click here.

TRRC Chapter 18 Damage Prevention Rule Amendments

The Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) is accepting comments on proposed amendments to its Damage Prevention Pipeline rules until January 2, 2018. The proposed amendments require excavators to notify pipeline operators as soon as possible about damage, but no later than one hour after the incident. Excavators also would be required to call 911 to report any product released by a damaged pipeline. Operators and excavators would be given more time to turn in damage reports under the amendments from the current 10 days to 30 days.

The 85th Legislature expanded TRRC’s authority over damage prevention to interstate pipelines that cross state boundaries. Previously, TRRC’s damage prevention authority was only over intrastate pipelines that begin and end in the state. TRRC’s damage prevention rules protect public safety by requiring anyone planning to dig deeper than 16 inches to make a free call to 811 before digging. This call prompts pipeline operators to mark their intrastate underground natural gas or hazardous liquids pipelines.

For more information on the proposed amendments and to submit comments online, go to Chapter 18: Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention here.

PHMSA’s Technical Advisory Committee Meetings Dec. 13-15, 2017

[DOCKET NO. PHMSA-2011-0023; RIN: 2137-AE72]

There will be a public meeting of the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, also known as the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC), to discuss topics and provisions of the proposed rule titled “Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines,” and a joint meeting of the GPAC and the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, also known as the Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC). The purpose of the joint meeting of the GPAC and LPAC is to discuss a variety of policy issues and topics relative to pipeline safety.

The GPAC will be considering the proposed rule titled “Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines,” which was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016; (81 FR 20722), and the associated regulatory analysis. Based on discussions at the previous GPAC meetings, the topics that will be discussed at this meeting are material documentation and the integrity verification process. If time permits, strengthened assessment requirements would also be discussed.

The meetings will be held on December 13-15, at the Hilton Arlington on 950 North Stafford St. in Arlington, VA. Additional information including registration and the agenda can be found on the PHMSA meetings page. The meetings will not be webcast; however, presentations will be available on the meeting website and posted on the E-Gov website, under docket number PHMSA-2016-0136 within 30 days following the meeting.

MAOP Validation Services

RCP is the market leader in providing MAOP Validation Services, including over 100,000 miles of gas and liquid pipeline analysis and support. Whether you are just getting started, need help finishing, or not sure what to do next, RCP has a wealth of experienced professional engineers and support staff to assist in your MAOP validation efforts.

  • Turnkey: document review & imaging, data extraction, gap analysis, MAOP reporting
  • Document Grading: grade documents to determine TVC compliance
  • Traceable, Verifiable, and Complete: connects MAOP data to source document image files and identifies exact 192/195 code sections driving MAOP results
  • Audit: Provides a precise audit trail and calculation for each individual component or piece of pipe in a system
  • Written Procedures: Develop and/or improve company MAOP standards and procedures
  • Quality Assurance: review existing validation efforts, compare calculations using MaxOp
  • Reporting: Import data to MaxOp, export Section Q & R report, gap reports, and calculations
  • Remediation: develop risk and cost based strategies to prioritize, schedule, and mitigate MAOP gaps using field verification, pressure tests, additional data searches, or other engineering tools

For more information about RCP’s MAOP validation services or the MaxOp* calculator tool, please contact Jessica Foley.

* MaxOp is a registered trademark of RCP, Inc., in the United States. RCP holds 3 patents (#8,548,756; #8,548,757; and #8,548,758) for our industry-leading MaxOp* software and MaxOp is a registered trademark of RCP, Inc., in the United States.

API Call for Presentations for the 2018 API Pipeline Conference

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) annual pipeline conference will be held on April 24-26, 2018 at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. Information on topics to be considered can be found on API’s Call for Presentation Requirements. API’s Call for Presentations submission site is available here. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2017.

Pressure Testing Webinar – Advantages of Using TestOp®

RCP will be hosting webinar presentations to discuss pipeline pressure testing practices and demonstrate the advantages of utilizing new technology for planning, designing, and capturing real-time data to validate and document whether it was a successful test. The same technology that RCP has used for the past six years to validate our customer’s pressure tests has been greatly enhanced and is now being made available as a web-hosted solution for operators to use themselves.

TestOp® takes the confusion out of pressure testing by providing real-time determination of whether the test segment is experiencing potential issues, such as yielding or air entrapment volume absorption, all while modeling the mass balance relationship of pressures, volumes and temperatures of the test. TestOp® will provide real-time indicators and corresponding data to confirm whether the test is successfully performing to plan or if there might be a small pin-hole leak that would otherwise go undetected before taking the line segment off test. TestOp® generates comprehensive and consistent reports, including a certification letter, pressure test plan versus actual test results, pressure/spike test log, test instrument and pump calibrations, pipe volume calculations sheet, stress/strain and pressure/volume plots as well as upload capability for pictures and other document scans associated with the test.

We encourage any liquid or gas pipeline operator who has upcoming projects that involve replacement, integrity verification, new construction, uprates, conversions and/or reversals to sign up for the 45 minute webinar. Some of the largest and most respected pipeline operators are now using TestOp® because they see the value it brings to their overall pipeline integrity assurance program and we are confident you will too once you have seen it in person.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend one of these sessions or request an individual demonstration for your company at a date convenient to you.

PRCI Program Manager Job Posting


The Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Program Manager, Integrity & Inspection. The Program Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of PRCI research contracts and plays a number of key roles, including to facilitate the participation of PRCI member company technical representatives in the planning, implementation and management of the PRCI research program. The program is comprised of a large set of individual research projects that span a range of pipeline design, operation and integrity management issues. The Program Manager works closely with research contractors, member company representatives and other PRCI staff, and reports directly to the PRCI Vice-President, Operations. The position is located at the PRCI Technology Development Center in Houston, Texas. Excellent communication skills, the ability to work in a collaborative environment, a working knowledge of current pipeline integrity management issues and being a self-starter are key requirements of the position. Click here for the full job posting. Please send a resume and a brief letter of interest, via email, to Mike Whelan at Additional information about PRCI can be found at .

2018 Pipeline Conference News

Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management (PPIM) Conference
January 29 – February 1, 2018
George R. Brown Convention Center – Houston, TX
RCP Booth #329

PPIM is early this year! Start making your plans to attend the industry’s only forum devoted exclusively to pigging for maintenance and inspection, as well as pipeline integrity evaluation and repair. This event will draw engineering management and field operating personnel from both transmission and distribution companies concerned with improved operations and integrity management.

Season’s Greetings from RCP!

RCP would like to thank our valued clients for a wonderful year. We appreciate the opportunities you have given us to serve as your Professional Engineers, Regulatory Experts, and Trusted Partners. We look forward to working with you on even more projects in the years ahead. Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year, from your friends at RCP.

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