DOT Pipeline Compliance News

February 2014 Issue

In This Issue

PHMSA Advisory Bulletin ADB-2014-01: Improvements in Preparing Oil Spill Facility Response Plans

[Docket No. PHMSA-2013-0226]

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Advisory Bulletin concerning oil spill response planning for onshore oil pipelines. While the ADB covers several basic and well-known requirements, and mentions specific issues related to the Marshall, Michigan pipeline accident, the following items are of note (in your humble newsletter editor’s opinion):

NTSB’s report on the Marshall Michigan incident noted:

  1. a lack of regulatory guidance for pipeline facility response planning,
  2. the operator’s failure to identify and ensure the availability of well-trained emergency responders with sufficient response resources, and
  3. limited oversight of pipeline emergency preparedness.

The ADB addresses all 3 issues.

  1. Regulatory Guidance: Operators should utilize Appendix A Part 194-Guidelines for the Preparation of Response Plans. Section 194.115(a) requires operators to identify in their FRP the resources that are available to respond to a release. PHMSA has clarified that Appendix C to 33 CFR part 154 Section 7, “Calculating the Worst Case Discharge Planning Volumes” is the best reference for planning for and ensuring proper response capability. The 33 CFR regulation applies to Coast Guard regulated FRPs, but contains much more specific guidance concerning response equipment requirements than the 49 CFR pipeline regulations.
    EDITOR’S NOTE: The USCG guidance was developed assuming that the spill response would occur on water, not land. Pipeline operators should consider whether their WCD would be land or water based, and plan accordingly.
  2. Response Resources: PHMSA encourages operators to use USCG-classified oil spill response organizations (OSRO). An operator contracting with USCG-classified OSROs for response to a worst case discharge will not have to describe the response resources or the response equipment maintenance program of the USCG-classified OSROs. The operator must consider the time required for the USCG-classified OSRO to respond to the spill from wherever the contractor is based to the high volume area and all other areas.
    EDITOR’S NOTE: USCG OSRO ratings use a combination of response capacity and response timing. Some OSROs are rated to respond quickly but with minimal equipment. Others are rated to respond more slowly but with much more equipment. Operators are likely to need a combination of these to address all response scenarios.
  3. Oversight: The ADB recommends that operators submit FRPs electronically to PHMSA. It also notes that FRPs found to meet the requirements of PHMSA’s regulations at Part 194 will be posted on PHMSA’s Web site for public viewing. Prior to posting, PHMSA will redact certain information, such as personally identifiable information and certain security related information, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and any other applicable Federal law.
    EDITOR’S NOTE: Posting FRPs on PHMSA’s website will provide the public the opportunity to compare and contrast spill response plans from various operators and areas. Plans which do not seem as robust as some other plans are likely to receive public scrutiny and criticism.

The ADB also addresses other issues, and alerts operators and their plan submitters to common errors in plans that require amendment prior to PHMSA’s issuance of approval. These errors include:

  1. Missing, incorrect or incomplete methodology and calculations used to determine a Worst Case Discharge (WCD);
  2. failure to identify response resources that are available to respond to an incident scene;
  3. failure to identify specific environmentally and economically sensitive areas applicable to the pipeline area of operation;
  4. missing provisions to ensure responders are safe at a response site; and
  5. omission of the name or title and 24-hour telephone number of an operator’s “Qualified Individual” and at least one alternate.

Finally, onshore oil pipeline operators are encouraged to consider replacing incorporations by reference in their FRPs with a summary of referenced material or a copy of the full document.

For further information contact Justin Pryor by phone at 202-366-4595 or by email at For a copy of ADB-2014-01, contact Jessica Roger.

Need to Update your Response Plan (FRP, ICP or OSRP)?

We have the expertise to update your Facility Response Plan, Integrated Contingency Plan, or Oil Spill Response Plan to include new guidance and lessons learned from recent incidents and natural disasters.

PHMSA Pipeline Safety Notice & Request for Comments

[Docket No. PHMSA–2014–0005]

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, PHMSA invites comments on certain information collections that will be expiring in summer of 2014. This Notice identifies several information collection requests that PHMSA will submit to OMB for renewal, including:

  1. Reporting Safety-Related Conditions on Gas, Hazardous Liquid, and Carbon Dioxide Pipelines and Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities: Each operator of a pipeline facility (except master meter operators) must submit to DOT a written report on any safety-related condition that causes or has caused a significant change or restriction in the operation of a pipeline facility or a condition that is a hazard to life, property or the environment.
  2. Gas Pipeline Safety Program Certification and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Program Certification: A state must submit an annual certification to assume responsibility for regulating intrastate pipelines and certain records must be maintained to demonstrate that the state is ensuring satisfactory compliance with the pipeline safety regulations. PHMSA uses that information to evaluate a state’s eligibility for Federal grants.
  3. Pipeline Safety: Report of Abandoned Underwater Pipelines: Upon abandonment of a facility, pipeline operators are required to report certain information about the abandoned underwater pipelines to PHMSA (49 CFR 195.59 and 192.727). The information aids Federal and state pipeline safety inspectors in conducting compliance inspections and investigating incidents.
  4. Pipeline Safety: Periodic Underwater Inspections: The Federal pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR Parts 190–199) require operators to conduct underwater inspections in the Gulf of Mexico. If an operator finds that its pipeline is exposed on the seabed floor or constitutes a hazard to navigation, the operator must contact the National Response Center by telephone within 24 hours of discovery to report the location of the exposed pipeline. This package is being revised to include the collection of information currently under 2137– 0601 which requires operators to report certain information about abandoned underwater pipelines to PHMSA (49 CFR 192.727 and 195.59). This information aids Federal and state pipeline safety inspectors in conducting compliance inspections and investigating incidents. Once this revised information collection is approved, PHMSA will discontinue the collection identified under OMB control number 2137–0601.

Submit comments on or before March 31, 2014 via the E-Gov Website.

For a copy of this PHMSA Notice, contact Jessica Roger.

Pipeline Advisory Committee Meetings in DC Area (February 25 & 26)

[Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0203]

The Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC), also known as the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, and the Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC), also known as the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, will meet in joint sessions on Tuesday, February, 25, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST. The committees will meet to discuss whether or not to support the exclusion of section 4.2 of ASTM D2513-09a, “Standard Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Gas Pressure Pipe, Tubing, and Fittings,” for PE materials. Section 4.2 addresses the use of rework materials. Other topics to be discussed will include performance metrics for pipeline operations, safety management systems in other industries, and agency, State, and stakeholder priorities.

The meeting location, agenda, and any additional information will be published on the PHMSA Website under “Latest News” on the homepage. In the interim, please register on the Pipeline Advisory Committee page.

An email announcing the meeting location will be forwarded to all who have preregistered with PHMSA as soon as the meeting location is determined. Any additional information will be published on the PHMSA Website under “Latest News” on the homepage. The meetings will not be web cast; however, presentations will be available on the meeting Website and posted on the E-Gov Website under docket number PHMSA-2009-0203 within 30 days following the meeting.

For information about the meeting, contact Cheryl Whetsel by phone at 202-366-4431 or by email.

Louisiana State Police Enforcement of One Call Violations

On January 20, 2014 the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections Office of State Police issued a notice of its intent to amend the rules pertaining to Underground Utilities and Facilities Damage Prevention (LAC 55:I.Chapter 21) to permit department investigators to investigate a complaint of potential one call violation or third party damage, issue a citation and adjudicate the complaint. This data will be collected and recorded on a standard investigation form. This regulation will lay out the information that may be collected from the excavator and operator along with what the violation will include.

Pipeline Regulations for iPhone

There’s an app for that! In 2009, at our request, Tekk Innovations developed an iPhone application containing the federal pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR 40, and 190-199). It has keyword search and the capability to email excerpts of the regulations to others. There have been several updates since the original app was released and was updated on October 15, 2013. The app can be found in the iTunes store. The cost is $19.99.

Tekk Innovations has also developed apps for all the other CFRs, including all of 49 CFR for those who want all the transportation regulations, not just the pipeline ones; Louisiana Law, California Law and FAA FAR for Pilots.

Editor’s Note: I like the app with just the pipeline parts of 49 CFR, since I can search the pipeline regulations easier that way without getting hits from the other transportation regulations.

Mobile Friendly

Have you checked out our new website? We have a new look that is also mobile friendly. Be sure to visit and enter to win an iPad Air. Deadline for entries is February 15.

Spring Conference Schedule March – May 2014

Have you registered and confirmed your reservations for these upcoming conferences? RCP and RCP Integrity Services will be attending. We hope to see you there!

NACE Corrosion 2014 Conference & Expo
March 9-13, 2014
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center; San Antonio, Texas

NACE International’s Annual Conference and Exposition, Corrosion 2014, brings together leaders from the industry, government, and academia for the most comprehensive exhibition and technical programming dedicated to corrosion control. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn the latest in regulations and standards impacting the corrosion industry. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Forum will present updates on rulemaking and give government and operator perspectives on regulations.

RCP Integrity Services Exhibiting at NACE – Booth #1603
RCP Integrity Services is a proud sponsor of Corrosion 2014. Click on the interactive map to find us and come meet John T. Schmidt, Vice President and other RCP staff.

NACE Presentation: RCP is pleased to announce that NACE accepted the paper on “A Fundamental Approach to Selecting Internal Corrosion Mitigation Measures for Offshore Wet Gas Gathering and Liquid Transmission Pipeline Systems” by Wayne Perich (RCP) and co-authored by Rick Eckert (DNV). They will be presenting at Corrosion 2014 and copies of the paper will be available through NACE. Stop by Booth #1603 to meet Wayne and congratulate him!

API Pipeline Conference and Cybernetics Symposium
April 8 – 10, 2014
Hyatt Regency Hill Country, San Antonio, Texas

This conference includes presentations on Safety Management, Aboveground Facility/Integrity, Effective Internal and External Communication, Alternative Forms of Transportation, Emergency Response, Control Room Management, Corporate Security and a host of other timely subjects.

AGA Operations Conference 2014
May 20 -23, 2014
Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh, PA

The annual AGA Operations Conference is the natural gas industry’s premier gathering of natural gas utility and transmission company operations management from across North America and the world for the sharing of technical knowledge, ideas and practices to promote the safe, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of natural gas to the end-user.

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – March 25 – 27, 2014

Join us March 25 – 27, 2014 in Houston at our new 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 (unlike our previous workshops), 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 recently enacted Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (pipeline reauthorization bill), recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA, and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.

Each attendee will receive speaker’s PowerPoint presentation handouts in hard copy, 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.

Class Location Methodology Public Workshop April 16, 2014

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is holding a public workshop to present and seek comment on whether applying the integrity management (IM) requirements beyond high consequence area (HCAs) would mitigate the need for class location requirements. The workshop will be held on April 16, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. The location of the workshop has not been determined yet. To check for updates on the meeting location, click here. Online registration can be found on the PHMSA meetings website.

Locations along gas pipelines are divided into classes from 1 (rural) to 4 (densely populated) and are based upon the number of buildings or dwellings for human occupancy. Allowable pipe operating stresses, as a percentage of specified minimum yield strength (SMYS), decrease as class location increases from Class 1 to Class 4 locations. Gas IMP requirements use a different approach to identify areas of higher risk along pipelines.

The workshop will have presentations from PHMSA, State representatives and other stakeholders on the review of both methodologies, discussion panels, and an overview of comments received from August 1, 2013 Notice of Inquiry and from August 25, 2011 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0023 on

Class Location Studies

The RCP Class Location Model is an advanced geospatial model with easy-to-use results, making it ideal for all sizes and lengths of natural gas pipelines. RCP is capable of providing an efficient, repeatable, and thoroughly documented class location study. The RCP Class Location Model works equally well with five or five thousand miles of pipe, and provides easy-to-interpret results in a variety of formats. For more information, contact Jessica Roger.

In the January edition of the “DOT Pipeline Compliance Newsletter” there was an incorrect link posted in the Summary of Pending PHMSA Regulations. Click on to access the ANSI Incorporated by Reference (IBR) Portal:

Final Rule – in PHMSA

Standards Update (NPRM 8/16/2013, Adv. Committee OK 12/2013): This rule would update 22 of the 60+ standards Incorporated by Reference (IBR) throughout Parts 192, 193 and 195. Note: All IBR standards pertaining to the pipeline safety regulations must be available for free to the public. ANSI has developed an IBR portal at to assist people in finding those standards.

ASME Training Week – Denver April 14 – 18

Check out the pipeline training programs offered by ASME in Denver the week of April 14-18, 2014. Subject Matter Experts from RCP will provide training on the first day regarding pipeline pressure testing. Other courses are offered on ASME B31.4 (liquid transmission) and ASME B31.8 (gas transmission), as well as Composite Repairs, Defect Assessment, Inline Inspection, Integrity Management, and Onshore Design and Construction. Additional information can be found on the ASME website.

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