DOT Pipeline Compliance News

December 2021 Issue

In This Issue

DOT COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Statement of Enforcement

On November 29, 2021, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance updated its Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents guidance document.  The guidance is now effective until June 30, 2022. To view the updated guidance, click here.

Underwater Inspection Procedures & Inspection Interval Risk Model Updates

As a reminder, now that hurricane season has ended, this is a good time to evaluate how these storms may have impacted your shallow water pipelines and if their risk profiles have changed. The number and proximity of hurricanes are typically the largest inputs for the risk profiles. In addition to the latest storm data tabulated by the National Hurricane Center, RCP’s proprietary Underwater Inspection Interval Risk Model analyzes key operator information as well as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts and state game and fisheries department maps for additional hazards and associated risks. 

For more information on RCP’s Underwater Inspection Procedure or Inspection Interval Risk Model, contact Jessica Foley.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission OCC Domains Have Expired

Update your bookmarks and address books! As the Oklahoma Corporation Commission continues on the path to digital transformation and agency modernization, the prior website domains ( and and older email formats including have expired and will no longer work. Please update your bookmarks to (website launched November 2020). And, check that your address books are updated with employees’ email domain:

PRCI Established Emerging Fuels Institute

Through the recently established Emerging Fuels Institute (EFI), Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) is working to resolve the technical gaps that exist as the industry transitions to low carbon energy solutions using the existing pipeline asset infrastructure. As many governments are planning or have begun mandating transitions to renewable energy sources to achieve their stated goals of stabilizing the climate, low carbon footprint fuels are a foundational component for a sustainable energy society. 

The scope of the EFI addresses ammonia, biofuels, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (RNG). The EFI’s current priorities are following market focus in the storage and transportation of hydrogen and RNG. Project emphasis areas include:  

  • Integrity of pipeline system steel and non-steel components 
  • Compressor stations and facilities 
  • Pressure control and over pressure safety devices 
  • Design requirements for electrical classification and fire safety  
  • Downhole reservoir and cavern storage  

An important output of the EFI will be to develop a guide to safely convert and operate pipeline systems to allow for the transport and storage of the next generation of fuels.  

Collaboration with industry stakeholders is critical to ensure the optimization of the overall transition effort. To ensure a comprehensive and continued awareness of ongoing work within the industry, a key task of the EFI is partnering with global research associations to share respective roadmaps so that work is efficiently and comprehensively incorporated into EFI deliverables. These peer research associations currently include the Australian Pipeline and Gas Association (APGA), the European Pipeline Research Group (EPRG), the European Gas Research Group (GERG), the Future Fuels Collaborative Research Center (FFCRC), and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI).  

As the opportunities around emerging fuels continues to advance, it is important that PRCI works closely with our government, industry, and standards, developing organizations to ensure that the leading research defines how the energy pipeline industry is making progress to transport and store the next generation of fuels. There are a number of efforts progressing globally and to be able to achieve the timelines that policy makers have set, it is imperative that we work closely together. The EFI coordinates its efforts with governmental agencies such as the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Industry associations that the EFI coordinates with include the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). Similarly, the EFI coordinates with technical societies such as Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). 

Cliff Johnson, president of PRCI, stated that “the current pipeline infrastructure will play a key role in the energy transition. PRCI and its members are working to ensure the safety and integrity of the pipeline system for today and tomorrow.” PRCI looks forward to continuing to work closely with their members to ensure the safety and resiliency of the global pipeline infrastructure to transport and store energy.  

For more information about the EFI and membership, please contact Jeff Whitworth at  

ASME 2021 Global Pipeline Award

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Pipeline Systems Division presented the 2021 Global Pipeline Award (GPA) at the Rio Pipeline Conference Digital Event, November 9 – 11, 2021. This award recognizes outstanding innovations and technological advances by various organizations in the field of pipeline transportation. A project, product, device, system, service, approach or other can receive the award.

The 2021 GPA was presented to TC Energy for Plausible Profile (Psqr) Model for Metal-loss Corrosion Assessment. From Shahani Kariyawasam, TC Energy – “Annual budgets are rising as we drive towards Zero and decarbonize the energy industry. But we also have great opportunity – in the data revolution, modern computational power, and new technologies! Understanding these challenges, opportunities, and the high sensitivity of integrity actions to decision models, we pivoted to a revolutionary way of improving pipeline integrity decisions – that was not possible 30 years ago. This led to the Plausible Profiles model, which challenges traditional assumptions and removes unnecessary actions that do not reduce risk – leading to transformational value. Right work not more work brings safety and sustainability!”

The 2021 GPA Finalists:

Eddyfi Technologies        Spyne

Enbridge                          OMEGA (Optimized Management of Engineering and Geographic Assets)

Rosen                               A Unique Rota to Ultra-Deep-Water In-Line Inspection

Trapil                                T3 for Trapil Theft Tracker

Previous winners include pipeline operators Enbridge, PetroChina, and Petrobras, as well as contractors and research organizations such as Technip, DNV, Rosen, TD Williamson, and Penspen / Northumbria University.

For information, visit

MaxOp Training

RCP is now offering a one-day workshop on how to use MaxOp software. This training session can be scheduled onsite or at RCP’s corporate office in Houston, Texas. MaxOp is the most comprehensive MAOP tool on the market. RCP’s MaxOp tool can link documentation to MAOP algorithm variables, dynamically segment data, run MAOP calculations, identify potential discrepancies between the established and calculated MAOP values, and export calculated data sets and customizable reports back to their own native data sets. The tool will accept common pipeline database formats, including Excel, PODS, APDM and others. For more information, contact Jessica Foley.

Season’s Greetings from RCP!
RCP would like to thank our valued clients and all of you really cool people for 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.

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


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