DOT Pipeline Compliance News

February 2015 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – Gas & Liquid

March 10-12, 2015

Join us March 10-12, 2015 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 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 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.

Hazardous Liquid Spill Reporting – Proposed Instruction Changes Concerning Volumes Spilled / Recovered

[Docket No. 2015-0004]

PHMSA is proposing to change the instructions for the Hazardous Liquids Accident Report Form, PHMSA F 7000-1, concerning Questions 9 and 11 in “Part A: General Report Information”, beginning in 2015. These changes are part of an effort by PHMSA to clarify the reporting of product consumed by fire or intentionally removed from the pipeline remote from the failure site. Previous instructions required the operator to estimate the volume spilled from the start of the accident until the operator gained control of the release, not including any product consumed by fire during the release.

PHMSA recognizes that during an emergency response, operators often remove product at locations other than the failure site and that this volume is irrelevant to the unintentional release or product recovered categories. The new instructions clarify that liquid volume intentionally removed from the pipeline system by the operator in a controlled manner at a location remote from the failure site should not be counted as a spilled volume under Question 9, nor as recovered volumes under Question 11. The estimate for volume unintentionally released (Question 9) should be based on the amount of commodity released at the failure site. Likewise, the amount of commodity recovered (Question 11) should be based on the amount of commodity recovered that was released at the failure site.

Volumes released at the failure site should exclude product consumed by fire inside a tank. Product consumed by fire outside of a tank is to be included in the volume unintentionally released, but is not to be included as part of the product recovered amount, even if burned intentionally as part of an emergency response or remediation effort.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 6, 2015. Comments may be submitted via the E-Gov Website and identify the docket number at the beginning of your comments.

For a copy of the proposed revisions to PHMSA Form F7000-1, contact Jessica Foley.

RCP Acquisition Support / Due Diligence

RCP’s experience in acquisition due diligence has proven that this investment is money well spent. Problems identified in the due diligence phase can provide the buyer with leverage at closing time. After the sale is closed, it is difficult to obtain any compensation for prior liabilities that went unidentified. RCP has conducted dozens of due diligence efforts ranging from large crude gathering and transmission pipeline systems to small gas gathering systems. RCP can identify issues important to the acquisition decision making process (i.e. significant compliance gaps, significant future regulatory liabilities/costs, other “deal-killers”). Highlights of a typical due diligence project could include:

  • Jurisdictional determination review of existing pipeline facilities
  • Review of permitting and associated agency notifications
  • Phase I environmental assessments
  • Fit-for-purpose analysis
  • MAOP / MOP analysis
  • Regulatory compliance program reviews
  • Data room reviews, including critical design, construction, testing, repair, and inspection records acquisition
  • API 653 inspection and repair reviews
  • Physical inspections of pipeline facilities, as appropriate.

For more information, contact Jessica Foley.

Ohio Gas Pipeline Regulation Updates

[Docket No. BOEM-2012-0076]

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission updated their gas pipeline safety rules located in Chapter 16 of Title 4901 on January 21, 2015. In addition to minor editorial changes, the following more significant items were updated:

  • Added a requirement to rule 4901:1-16-04 to utilize leak detection equipment when classifying leaks. The regulation defines leak detection equipment as any device capable of detecting and measuring the concentration of natural gas in the atmosphere. All grade one leaks that are repaired or reclassified, other than by the replacement of the affected section of pipe, must be reevaluated after allowing the soil to vent and stabilize within 30 days of the physical action.
  • Revised the reporting thresholds for construction projects in rule 4901:1-16-06 from $200,000 to $500,000; or from $30,000 to $100,000 when the amount is more than ten percent of the value of the operator’s intrastate gas pipeline.
  • Added another requirement under rule 4901:1-16-06 for distribution operators to incorporate new construction, including riser installation, as part of their operator qualification requirements in accordance with 49 CFR 192 Subpart N, as effective on the date referenced in paragraph (D) of rule 4901:1-16-02.

For a copy of the full regulation, contact Jessica Foley.

Oklahoma Proposed Rule for Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety

[RM 201500003]

The Transportation Division of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has recommended the Commission amend its Gas & Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules set forth in the Oklahoma Administrative Code (“OAC”) 165:20 to add a new Subchapter 17 to require operators of pipelines and pipeline systems to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act 63 O.S. 142.1 et seq. Also included in the prosed rules is the ability of the Commission to enforce violations of the Act. Lastly, the proposed regulations require excavators to immediately call the local 911 emergency telephone number to report any incident that results in a release of a flammable, toxic or corrosive gas or liquid from a pipeline or pipeline system.

For a copy of the proposed regulation, contact Jessica Foley.

Guidance on Emergency Response Planning & Communications with Emergency Responders

The Transportation Research Board (TRB), in cooperation with PHMSA, recently released the “Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines” to aid operators and emergency responders in how to share appropriate content in advance of a pipeline emergency. The TRB, after analyzing recent incidents, found that communication is crucial in the early stages of a pipeline emergency. Recognition of a pipeline emergency, identification of the appropriate pipeline operator, and passing information back and forth from pipeline operators to emergency responders in the field is challenging. Because this communication is so critical in pipeline emergencies, it must be planned prior to an incident. The guide:

  1. includes the appropriate emergency response content that should be provided to emergency responders;
  2. recommends effective means of disseminating information from pipeline operators to emergency response organizations and how emergency responders should disseminate it throughout their organization; and
  3. recommends strategies for implementing and exercising the emergency response plan.

The full guide can be found here.

Spring 2015 Conference Schedule

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

AGA 2015 Transmission Pipeline Workshop
March 18 -19, 2015
Omni San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA

This workshop will feature presentations and case studies from pipeline operators, regulators and service providers. Presentations will focus on areas where transmission pipeline operators are going beyond current regulations in light of existing proposed federal rulemakings. Regulators, pipeline operators, and service providers are all invited to participate in this forum.

Western Energy Institute Operations Conference
April 21 -24, 2015
Red Rock Resort / Las Vegas, NV

WEI’s Operations Conference unites almost 400 electric and natural gas energy operations managers, supervisors and front line employees for 3 days of education and networking across ten different tracks. This conference is a must for any upper-level manager and many choose to bring their direct reports for team and skill-building.

API Pipeline Conference
April 28 & 29, 2015
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA

API’s one and one-half day conference program features a keynote address by Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, an Executive Roundtable focusing on which issues Pipeline Company Presidents and CEO’s view as the most challenging issues facing our industry as well more than 50 technical sessions featuring topics such as Business, Natural Forces, Safety Culture, Human Resources and a host of other timely subjects.

AGA Conference & Biennial Exhibition
May 19 – 22, 2015
Gaylord / Grapevine, TX

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. The Operations Conference is AGA’s largest forum with regularly more than 500 operations management in attendance, including 80 speakers, and over 100 technical presentations that run the gamut of topics, such as gas measurement, operations advocacy, safety, environment, storage, engineering, construction and maintenance, gas control, supplemental gas, corrosion control and plastic materials.

RCP’s Web-Based Compliance Management Systems

RCP’s Compliance Management System (CMS) is an invaluable tool for managing all aspects of regulatory workflow. Some examples of how our clients are using the CMS include:

  • O&M Scheduling and Data Acquisition
  • Cathodic Protection Inspection and Data Management
  • Management of Change (MOC) Process
  • Repair / Replacement Programs
  • Operator Qualification Administration and Workflow Integration
  • Leak Life Cycle Management
  • Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance
  • Asset Tracker
  • Corrosion Coupon Analysis
  • Audit Action Item Tracking
  • Customer Data Management
Key Features
  • GIS integrated workflow management.
  • Customizable system to meet each client’s needs.
  • Custom tailored e-mail notifications and reporting.
  • Runs on any web-enabled device, no software to download. Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Touch screen and tablet friendly system.
  • Powerful reporting and custom query functionality.
  • Establishes responsibility for the various tasks that are in the system.
  • Multiple security and user privilege settings.
  • Document storage and control (example: procedures, maps, images, and completion documentation).
  • Automatic recurrence setting for routine tasks (example: leak surveys, CP surveys, etc.).
  • Create work orders for unscheduled / unplanned activities (example: repairs of third party damages).

For more information, please contact Jessica Foley.

Breckenridge, CO

The Midwest Energy Association (MEA) is holding a summit designed specifically for legal and regulatory professionals working with energy delivery companies and will include candid, practical information from those in the know. The summit will be held from September 29 – October 1, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Breckenridge, CO. Visit the MEA website for more information regarding registration, agenda, and hotel.

Save the Dates!

RCP Workshop Schedule for 2017

  • DOT Gas & Liquid Pipeline Workshop: March 21-23 (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday)
  • Fundamentals of Pipeline Operations Workshop: May 24-25 (Wednesday & Thursday)
  • Pressure Test Workshop: June 20-21 (Tuesday & Wednesday)

Visit our training website for updates, registration, and hotel information.

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