DOT Pipeline Compliance News

February 2005 Issue

In This Issue

RCP and ESS sign Alliance Partnership Agreement for Web-Based Compliance Assurance Services

RCP has entered into an Alliance Partnership with ESS, the leading provider of Environmental, Health & Safety and Crisis Management software. The primary focus of this partnership will be to bring web-based regulatory compliance solutions to the oil and gas industry. RCP will provide implementation, start-up, and ongoing regulatory compliance outsource services through Essential Compliance Manager™, software by ESS that helps users assure compliance, reduce risk and enhance business performance.

Having a web-based compliance assurance system will provide tremendous value to an operator that typically operates multiple assets that are spread across several states making it difficult to measure compliance from a central focal point. RCP has always provided operators with cost-effective tools necessary to comply with the regulations; with ESS on board, we will be able to introduce browser technology that will further reduce the costs necessary to maintain compliance. A copy of the press release can be viewed here. For more information on how you can benefit from this new partnership, contact Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080.

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

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.

Need help with the new Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) deadline?

RCP can help determine whether these new rules are applicable to you as well as develop, update & submit permits for your construction projects. Click Here to request additional information.

Extension of NPDES Storm Water Construction Permit Deadline for Oil and Gas Construction Activity

EPA has proposed to amend the rule on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System storm water permits to postpone until June 12, 2006, the requirement to obtain permit coverage for oil and gas construction activity that disturbs one to five acres of land. This would be the second postponement promulgated by EPA for these activities. EPA proposes this postponement in order to afford the Agency additional time to complete consideration of the issues raised by stakeholders about storm water runoff from construction activities at oil and gas sites and of procedures for controlling storm water discharges as appropriate to mitigate impacts on water quality.

Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before February 17, 2005 (docket ID No. OW-2002-0068). EPA intends to take final action with respect to this proposal by March 10, 2005.

Within six months of this final action (September 12, 2005), EPA intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for addressing these discharges and invite public comments. During the next fifteen months, EPA intends to (1) complete the economic impact analysis; (2) complete the evaluation of the legal and procedural implications associated with several options that the Agency is considering with regard to regulation of storm water discharges from oil and gas-related construction sites; (3) continue to evaluate practices and methods operators may employ to control storm water discharges from the sites affected by this proposal. EPA intends to convene at least one public meeting with various stakeholders for the purpose of exchanging information on current industry practices and the effectiveness of those practices in protecting water quality and obtaining input on the appropriate approach for addressing construction storm water discharges from this industry. Finally, EPA expects to propose and take some subsequent final action based on the Agency’s conclusions following these activities.

EPA believes that further postponing the date for NPDES regulation is appropriate for these sources because the Agency needs additional time to complete its evaluation of the economic and legal issues that have been raised. Moreover, EPA is continuing to evaluate procedures and methods for controlling storm water discharges from these sources as appropriate to mitigate impacts on water quality. In the meantime, EPA strongly recommends that operators consider employing the BMPs (Best Management Practices) described on the Agency’s NPDES storm water Web site 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.

Editorial Revision – Gas Transmission Line Definition

On June 14, 2004, RSPA/OPS issued a final rule titled “Periodic Updates to Pipeline Safety Regulations” (69 FR 32886). The final rule amended various sections of the pipeline safety regulations and incorporated the most recent editions of the voluntary consensus standards publications referenced in the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations in 49 CFR parts 192 and 195. On September 9, 2004, RSPA/OPS issued correcting amendments to the final rule (69 FR 54591). These amendments corrected several inadvertent errors in the final rule.

After the correcting amendments were published, RSPA/OPS received three written comments noting that the correcting amendments failed to correct a punctuation error in the definition of transmission line in 49 CFR 192.3. These commenters contended that this punctuation error could be misinterpreted as creating an ambiguity in the definition of transmission line. Specifically, the commenters contended that the absence of a colon after the introductory phrase could lead to an unintended interpretation that the exclusion for gathering lines was not applicable to the second and third sub-clauses of the definition.

RSPA/OPS never intended the issuance of the final rule or the correcting amendments to result in any substantive change to the definition of transmission line. Moreover, gathering lines have never been included in the § 192.3 definition of transmission line. In response to the comments, however, RSPA is correcting this punctuation error to remove even the potential for any ambiguity or misinterpretation in the definition of transmission line. This minor correction will not result in any substantive change to the definition.

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.

Semi-Annual Reporting of Gas Pipeline Integrity Management Performance Measures

Operators are required by 49 CFR 192.945 to submit integrity management performance measures semi-annually. The next semi-annual report is due February 28, 2005. OPS has issued an Advisory Bulletin (ADB-05-01) concerning the requirements for the next submittal. OPS reiterated in their GAS IMP meeting on January 20, 2005, that they expect 100% compliance with this reporting requirement.

For a copy of the advisory bulletin, please contact Jessica Roger at or call (713) 655-8080.

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.

Louisiana to Increase Drug and Alcohol Inspections

Recently, Louisiana OPS indicated plans to increase inspections of written drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs. Operator programs should be compare their program to the DOT Inspection Checklist to ensure compliance. Take note that there are separate protocols for drug inspection and alcohol inspection which are further broken down for headquarters and field. For the inspection protocols go to

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.

RSPA Report on Research Activities; Request for Comments

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) is being replaced by two new Federal agencies: the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). These new organizations will be effective no later than February 28, 2005.

RITA is a new Department of Transportation (DOT) organization dedicated to advancing the DOT’s priorities for transportation innovation, research, and education. RITA will integrate the existing intermodal research and development functions of the RSPA Office of Innovation, Research, and Education and the Secretary’s Office of Intermodalism. In addition, RITA also will incorporate the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City; and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in its entirety.

The incoming RITA Administrator is required to prepare a report to Congress, due March 30, 2005, on the research activities and priorities of the Department of Transportation. The report shall include the following information:

  • A summary of the mission and strategic goals of the new RITA Administration;
  • A prioritized list of the research and development activities that the Department intends to pursue over the next five (5) years;
  • A description of the primary purposes for conducting such R&D; activities such as reducing traffic congestion, improving mobility, and promoting safety;
  • An estimate of the funding levels needed to implement such R&D; activities for the current fiscal year; and
  • Additional information the RITA Administrator considers appropriate.

As a part of the stakeholder review process, the Department of Transportation is soliciting comments from Federal, state, private sector, and not-for-profit institutions. Please submit all comments electronically to or fax to (202) 366-3671. The deadline for comments is February 15, 2005.

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.

API’s 56th Annual Pipeline Conference, April 19-20, 2005

Make plans now to attend the American Petroleum Institute’s 56th Annual Pipeline Conference scheduled for April 19-20, 2005 at the Hilton Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas. The Conference will feature 5 tracks: People, Regulatory Update, Technology, Operations and Public Information and Communication. Reed Berry “The Traffic Guy” will speak to the audience during the opening session on Tuesday. That evening a Welcome Reception featuring the Environmental Safety Awards will allow attendees to network and visit with some of our sponsors.

Please note that the deadline for early registration and housing reservations is March 18. Additional information is available on API’s website at:

ASME Draft Standard B31Q Pipeline Personnel Qualification Draft Posted

ASME and AOPL recently announced that ASME will make a proposed draft available of B31Q Pipeline Personnel Qualification not later than February 3, 2005 for an open review and comment period through February 15, 2005. For more information go to

OPS Gas IMP Oversight Implementation and Inspection Protocol Workshop – January 2005

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) cosponsored a workshop in Atlanta to discuss the oversight implementation of the Gas Integrity Management program and the Inspection Protocols. The workshop provided a detailed review and discussion of Gas Pipeline Integrity Management Inspection Protocols as posted on the Gas Integrity Management Public Web Site at The OPS and NAPSR gathered issues presented at the workshop needing additional clarification or guidance material development for the implementation of the rule oversight program..

Workshop Documents

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.

RCP Services Spotlight – Pipeline Education Meeting Programs

The NLS Group has joined the RCP, Paradigm and Celeritas team to provide operators with effective, nationwide Pipeline Education Meeting Programs. The Public Education Meeting Programs can educate the surrounding stakeholders of incremental expansion projects, planned maintenance, or effectively educate excavators, local emergency responders, and public officials. All curriculums include feedback surveys to assess the audiences’ understanding of the message content and record keeping. The record keeping includes invitees, attendees, survey results, follow-up actions, and expected results.

For almost thirty years, The NLS Group has provided pipeline operators with land consulting services in both rural and metropolitan areas. NLS has a network of satellite offices staffed with full-time field service employees. NLS is experienced in contacting local, state and federal public officials to gain support for new projects and existing operations by taking advantage of many pre-existing relationships and building new relationships with community leaders to gather needed support for new projects and existing operations.

For more information, contact Susan Waller at or go to

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