DOT Pipeline Compliance News

January 2003 Issue

In This Issue

Qualification of Pipeline Personnel: Notice of Public Meeting

The Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) will conduct a public meeting at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio (Riverwalk), 123 Losoya Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 (Tel: 210-222-1234; Fax: 210-227-4928; Web: on January 22, 2003 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to discuss progress in implementing the operator personnel qualification (OQ) rule for gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. The meeting will provide an opportunity to review compliance with the operator qualification rule, to clarify operator qualification requirements, and to hear compliance issues from Federal and State pipeline safety personnel, industry, and the public. All persons attending the meeting will have an opportunity to comment on operator qualification compliance issues and to question the expert panel on the new operator qualification compliance protocols. OPS will present a detailed review of the development of the operator qualification inspection protocols. Pre-registered organizations and individuals will be afforded the first opportunity to make their presentations.

This meeting is free and open to the public. You may register electronically for this meeting at:;=5. Persons wishing to make a presentation or statement at the meeting should notify Janice Morgan, (202) 366-2392, no later than January 15, 2003. Although OPS encourages persons wishing to comment on operator qualification compliance and inspection protocols to participate in the public meeting, written comments will be accepted. You may submit written comments on operator qualification implementation and compliance issues to Richard Huriaux, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room 7128, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Operator Qualification Pipeline Industry Forum January 21 and January 23, 2003

Several industry associations and interest groups are partnering to co-sponsor a Forum on Operator Qualification at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk – San Antonio, Texas, on January 21 and 23, 2003, in conjunction with the OPS OQ meeting on January 22, 2003 (see below for OPS meeting registration). The sponsors have organized this Forum to provide pipeline operating professionals the opportunity to gain further understanding as to the OQ protocol development process, and express concerns and get valuable feedback from their peers. The Forum is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning (the afternoon before the OPS meeting; and the morning after the OPS meeting).

The forum is sponsored by:

  • American Gas Association
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Public Gas Association
  • Midwest Energy Association
  • New England Gas Association
  • Southern Gas Association
  • Western Energy Institute

and is intended for pipeline operator personnel only. A brochure for this forum can be downloaded at RCP’s website here.

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

New Pipeline Safety Act – Now Law

Editor’s note: you should be wide awake when reading this, because it is very important!

On Tuesday, December 17, 2002, President Bush signed the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. This law contains several self-implementing requirements, that place certain obligations on pipeline operators whether the Office of Pipeline Safety issues additional regulations or not. This includes:

– Public Education Programs:

Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, each owner or operator of a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facility shall review its existing public education program for effectiveness and modify the program as necessary. The completed program shall include activities to advise affected municipalities, school districts, businesses, and residents of pipeline facility locations. The completed program shall be submitted to the Secretary or, in the case of an intrastate pipeline facility operator, the appropriate State agency, and shall be periodically reviewed by the Secretary or, in the case of an intrastate pipeline facility operator, the appropriate State agency.

– Operator Qualification Programs:

Notwithstanding any failure of the Secretary to prescribe standards and criteria as described in subsection (b), an operator of a pipeline facility shall develop and adopt a qualification program that complies with the requirement of subsection (b)(2)(B) and includes the elements described in subsection (d) not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section.

– Gas Pipeline Risk Assessment and Integrity Management Programs:

The regulations shall require an operator to conduct a risk analysis and adopt an integrity management program within a time period prescribed by the Secretary, ending not later than 24 months after such date of enactment. Not later than 18 months after such date of enactment, each operator of a gas pipeline facility shall begin a baseline integrity assessment described in paragraph (3).

In the absence of regulations addressing the elements of an integrity management program described in this subsection, the operator of a pipeline facility shall conduct a risk analysis and adopt and implement an integrity management program described in this subsection not later than 24 months after the date of enactment of this subsection and shall complete the baseline integrity assessment described in this subsection not later than 10 years after such date of enactment. At least 50 percent of such facilities shall be assessed not later than 5 years after such date of enactment. The operator shall prioritize such facilities for assessment based on all risk factors, including any previously discovered defects or anomalies and any history of leaks, repairs, or failures. The operator shall ensure that assessments of facilities with the highest risks are given priority for completion and that such assessments will be completed not later than 5 years after such date of enactment.

– National Pipeline Mapping System:

  1. INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this section, the operator of a pipeline facility (except distribution lines and gathering lines) shall provide to the Secretary of Transportation the following information with respect to the facility:
    1. Geospatial data appropriate for use in the National Pipeline Mapping System or data in a format that can be readily converted to geospatial data.
    2. The name and address of the person with primary operational control to be identified as its operator for purposes of this chapter.
    3. A means for a member of the public to contact the operator for additional information about the pipeline facilities it operates.
  2. UPDATES- A person providing information under subsection (a) shall provide to the Secretary updates of the information to reflect changes in the pipeline facility owned or operated by the person and as otherwise required by the Secretary.

As mentioned in our December, 2002 newsletter, the complete pipeline safety act can be downloaded from RCP’s website here.

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – March 19-20, 2003 – Houston Includes update on the new Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 signed into law on Dec 17, 2002

RCP will conduct a 2 day workshop on DOT Pipeline Regulations on March 19th and 20th in Houston. Day 1 of this workshop will present an overview of all the current DOT regulations for pipeline operators. Day 2 will review recent regulatory initiatives such as pipeline integrity management, hazardous liquid corrosion control requirements, high consequence area (HCA) analysis and operator qualification. Day 2 will also include a review of the new Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, which includes several important self-implementing requirements that will affect pipeline operators. This workshop is suitable for personnel who need a general introduction to DOT pipeline regulatory requirements, or who need an update on recent and proposed DOT Pipeline regulatory initiatives. We have conducted this type of seminar several times, and have received excellent feedback each time. We expect this workshop to fill up rapidly. Early registration and group discounts are available. Additional information is available on our website here.

Environmental Report Preparation and Post-Certificate Environmental Compliance Training Seminars

The FERC Office of Energy Projects (OEP) staff will conduct five sessions of its Environmental Report Preparation Seminar, as well as five sessions of the Post-Certificate Environmental Compliance Seminar, throughout 2003. The training seminars will be delivered by FERC staff and consultants with significant industry experience. Details on the content of both seminars and the scheduled training locations are provided below. For more information for the courses visit the FERC Web site at and to register for the courses, visit the Web site for these training sessions at or call (650) 712-6610. Registration for each course will be limited; so, although there is no charge for the course, all participants must register in advance.

Schedule of Training Seminars (FY 2003)

Dates (Day 1), (Days 2 & 3), Location
January 28, 29-30, Houston
February 25, 26-27, Las Vegas
March 18, 19-20, Atlanta
April 22, 23-24, Pittsburgh
May 20, 21-22, Houston

Environmental Report Preparation (1-Day Seminar)

This one-day seminar will discuss the environmental documentation required for certificate applications prepared under Subpart A of 18 CFR 157 and Sections 7(a), 7(b), and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Subpart F blanket projects and Section 2.55 replacements are covered in the manual but will not be discussed during the seminar. The seminar will assist each trainee in preparing the environmental report required for filing applications with FERC for project construction or abandonment. The seminar will also include a general background discussion of the FERC’s environmental process as well as efforts to enhance landowner and other stakeholder involvement during the pre-filing process which potentially includes beginning the National Environmental Policy Act process during the development stage of a project. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the session and an updated copy of the Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation.

Post-Certificate Environmental Compliance (2-Day Seminar)

This two-day seminar will cover the FERC’s post-certificate regulatory process and construction and restoration requirements. The seminar will provide each trainee with knowledge of the basic environmental requirements of most FERC certificates and the Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan (Plan) and the Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (Procedures) and other topics.

In the morning before each day of the seminar begins, FERC will also offer an “early-bird” session on Pipeline Construction (Day 1) and Recent Changes to the FERC Plan and Procedures (Day 2) for those participants who feel they would benefit. Participants must register for these early-bird sessions when registering for the seminar. The Pipeline Construction session will be for those who are inexperienced in basic pipeline construction practices. The Recent Changes to the FERC Plan and Procedures session will be of special interest to those individuals who are familiar with the old versions of these documents which were dated December, 1994.
Registered participants will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the session and an updated copy of the Natural Gas Pipeline Environmental Compliance Workbook.

Air Permit Needs?

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Proposed NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges From Construction Activities

EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 today are proposing EPA’s NPDES general permits for discharges from large and small construction activity. The proposed permit will replace the existing permit covering large construction sites in EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 that expires on February 17, 2003 and the permit covering large construction sites in EPA Region 6 that expires July 6, 2003. The proposed permit would also cover large construction sites in EPA Region 5. In addition, the proposed permit incorporates coverage of small construction activity in EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The proposed permit is similar to the 1998 permits and will authorize the discharge of pollutants in storm water runoff associated with construction activities in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein.

Note: EPA is also announcing its intention to propose, in a subsequent rulemaking, to delay the permit authorization deadline set forth in the NPDES regulations as it may relate to oil and gas construction activity that disturbs between one and five acres of land. The Agency intends to propose to delay this deadline in order to better evaluate the impact of the permit requirements on the oil and gas industry and the best management practices to prevent contamination of storm water runoff, while analyzing the scope and effect of 33 U.S.C. 1342 (l)(2) and other provisions of the Clean Water Act.

Comments on the proposed general permit must be postmarked by February 3, 2003. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. For further information on the proposed NPDES general permit, contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Section I.F, or contact Jack Faulk, Office of Wastewater Management, Office of Water, EPA Headquarters at tel.: 202-564-0768 or e-mail:

The entire Federal Register publication can be downloaded from RCP’s website here.

2003 User Fee Assessment

The DOT assesses and collects user fees to fund pipeline safety program activities. Annual fiscal year appropriations normally form the basis of the user fee assessments that are deposited in the Pipeline Safety Fund (PSF). The PSF provides the funding for DOT’s pipeline safety activities, including the daily operations and program activities of the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS). To date, Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 appropriations for DOT have not yet been enacted. DOT is operating under continuing resolutions, the most recent of which provides an appropriation through January 11, 2003. In order to assure sufficient funds are available in the PSF for OPS operations, DOT will issue Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 user fee assessments incrementally. The first assessment will be issued in December 2002. Additional assessments will be issued based upon appropriation by Congress as needed to replenish the PSF. To lessen the administrative burden associated with this process, RSPA/OPS will strive to limit the number of assessments and collection of user fees. For now, RSPA/OPS will be issuing the FY 2003 assessments as follows:

Natural gas transmission pipelines: $23.94 per mile (based on 299,358 miles of pipeline).

Hazardous liquid pipelines: $44.51 per mile (based on 161,007 miles of pipeline).

LNG facility operators are assessed user fees based on the number of plants and total storage capacity. However, these fees will not be collected at this time. They will be issued and collected later.

SPCC Plan Extension in the works

EPA has announced its intention to extend the deadlines for compliance with the recently published Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan regulation (see our August, 2002 newsletter). The original deadline to have plan revisions completed was February 17, 2003. Facility modifications were required by 8/18/03. EPA has stated to API that they will publish a direct final rule, which will grant a 1 year extension to these dates. The original rule contained provisions for individual operators to request extensions from the applicable EPA Regional Administrator(s). While EPA’s statement that they will grant an extension is welcome news, it does still present some issues for SPCC plan holders to consider:

  1. EPA has not yet published a direct final rule, and may not do so until after the February 17, 2003 deadline…., which would leave operators in doubt as to their compliance status.
  2. The actual text of the direct final rule has not been drafted, so no one knows exactly what type of extension will be granted, and what types of pre-conditions it may contain.
  3. EPA has given written notice concerning their intention to grant an extension, but has not provided written confirmation that the delays will be for 1 year or only 6 months.
  4. A direct final rule is still subject to public comment and potential revision or complete withdrawal after it is published.

What is a prudent operator to do? We would recommend that, if possible, you complete your SPCC revisions by the February 17, 2003 deadline. If that is not possible, request individual extensions from the applicable EPA Regional Administrators, mentioning EPA’s public statements about issuing an extension as well as areas of the rule that are currently being re-examined by API and EPA. Even if the EPA administrators do not formally reply to the extension request, this will document your good-faith efforts to comply with the rule.

Shameless commerce plug: We are working with operators on hundreds of SPCC plan revisions, and have a very efficient process in place to conduct field visits, gather data, and prepare and certify the final plans. We would be glad to provide a quote for your facilities.

For additional RCP information on SPCC Compliance click here.

Notification of the Susceptibility to Premature Brittle-Like Cracking of Older Plastic Pipe – correction.

In the Federal Register of November 26, 2002, ( 67 FR 70806 ) the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) published a notice document issuing an advisory bulletin on the susceptibility to premature brittle-like cracking of older plastic pipe (ADB-02-7). RSPA has submitted a correction notice to reflect minor wording changes and include a website address.

The last sentence in the first paragraph of the Supplementary Information is revised to read as follows:

Copies of this report may be obtained by calling NTSB’s Public Inquiry Office at 202-314-6551, or on the NTSB website at

In the fourth paragraph under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, the first sentence, remove the word “suggests” and replace with the word “states”, to read:

The NTSB report states that …

In the fourth paragraph under Supplementary Information, the third sentence, remove the word “alleges” and replace with the word “concluded”, to read:

NTSB concluded that …

Under II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-02-7) of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION heading, in the second paragraph under Advisory, the fourth sentence, replace “the following” with “, but are not limited to:”, to read:

These older polyethylene pipe materials include, but are not limited to:…

Interested in Web-Based Compliance Management Systems?

RCP has the latest technology to help manage all of your permits, inspections, procedures, and data requirements and neatly organize them into one overall compliance assurance system. This includes regulatory tasking, data management, and exception reporting. Because it is web-based, there are no IT issues to struggle through to get started. An institutional memory is created of the compliance history and ongoing compliance requirements, despite operator or personnel turnover.  Click Here

Self Disclosure Pays Off

How do you turn a $1,914,965 fine into a $31,741 fine? Conduct a due-diligence audit, and turn yourself in.

ADT Security Services, Inc. disclosed, pursuant to the EPA “Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosures, Correction and Prevention of Violations” (“Audit Policy”), 65 FR 19618 (April 11, 2000), that they failed to prepare SPCC plans for eight facilities where they stored diesel oil in above ground storage tanks, in violation of the CWA section 311(b)(3) and 40 CFR part 112. ADT disclosed that for seven facilities they had failed to obtain operating permits or exemptions in violation of CAA section 110, 42 U.S.C. 7410, and various SIP requirements for emergency generators. ADT disclosed that at sixty-eight facilities they had failed to file emergency planning notifications with the SERC and failed to provide the name of an emergency contact to the LEPC, in violation of EPCRA section 302, 42 U.S.C. 11002. ADT further disclosed that at ninety-two facilities they had failed to submit MSDS’ or a list of chemicals to the LEPC, SERC, and the fire departments with jurisdiction over the facilities, in violation of EPCRA section 311, 42 U.S.C. 11021; and that at ninety-two facilities had failed to submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory to the LEPC, SERC, and fire departments with jurisdiction over the facilities, in violation of EPCRA section 312, 42 U.S.C. 11022.

EPA determined that ADT met the criteria set out in the Audit Policy for a 100% waiver of the gravity component of the penalty. As a result, EPA proposes to waive the gravity based penalty ($1,914,965) and proposes a settlement penalty amount of thirty-one thousand, seven hundred and forty-one dollars ($31,741). This is the amount of the economic benefit gained by ADT, attributable to their delayed compliance with the SPCC, CAA and EPCRA regulations.

Editor’s shameless commerce plug: We’ll be glad to perform any due-diligence audits that you might need, including audits associated with asset purchases or sales.

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.

Biological and Chemical Information Charts

Those of you who are involved in site security and contingency planning (or those who are simply curious) should check out the biological and chemical charts produced by the Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The available charts include the Chemical Terrorism Wall Chart, and the Bioterrorism Wall Chart. These charts available for download at or they may be ordered in hard copy.

RRT VI Semi-Annual Meeting

The EPA / USCG Region VI Regional Response Team (RRT) will have its’ next meeting on January 29-30 at the Radisson Market Square hotel in San Antonio, TX. Hotel accommodations can be made at the Radisson Market Square Hotel, 502 West Durango, (210) 224-7155. Government rate (single rate $91.00, Double occupancy rate ($101.00), State rate (double occupancy ($95.00). Please call immediately for reservations, prices subject to change.

The January 28th, morning session will include an in depth discussion on the USCG New Role In Homeland Defense. The second day will include presentations by the Department of Justice and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Topics of discussion will be: Emergency Response at Nuclear Facilities, and Preparedness: Supporting Homeland Defense. For further information, contact Mr. Welcome T. Duncan at (504) 589-6255

Pipeline Drug Testing; Random Testing Rate

Each year pipeline operators randomly select employees to test for prohibited drugs. The number of selections may not be less than the minimum annual percentage rate determined by OPS, either 50 percent or 25 percent of covered employees, based on the industry’s positive rate of random tests. Using the MIS reports received this year for drug testing done in calendar year 2001, OPS has calculated the positive rate of random testing to be 0.6 percent. Since the positive rate continues to be less than 1.0 percent, OPS has announced that the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent of covered employees for the period January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: L.M. Furrow by phone at 202-366-4559, by fax at 202-366-4566, by mail at U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, or by e-mail at

MMS Workshop International Offshore Pipeline Workshop February 26-28, 2003 New Orleans, Louisiana

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) will hold the International Offshore Pipeline Workshop on February 26-28, 2003 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130, U.S.A. The workshop will start at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. on the first two days. The third day will be a half day with hours from 8:30 a.m. to noon. MMS will co-host the workshop with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Research and Special Programs Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety. The workshop is also supported by major oil and gas companies, offshore pipeline contractors, offshore service companies, and other related entities. The objective of the workshop is to bring together worldwide experience in operating and regulating offshore oil and gas activities in order to identify/disseminate pipeline issues and knowledge for continued safe and pollution free operations. The workshop website is located at

The workshop, through its keynote addresses, theme presentations, working groups and networking will share worldwide pipeline operating knowledge and identify what critical pipeline issues still need to be addressed. The workshop will be structured to allow maximum interface among industry experts and general attendees to discuss major issues that affect the offshore pipeline industry worldwide. This will be accomplished by breaking out the attendees into various Working Groups to facilitate parallel discussions of all major industry issues. Working groups will be further broken down into sub-groups to maximize the coverage of major issues. This will allow individual attendees ample opportunity to provide their input and insights to actively participate in workgroup discussion. Participation will include international pipeline interest from the following: Government Agencies, Oil and Gas Industry, Consulting Firms, Construction Contractors, Fabrication Contractors, Manufacturers, Academic and Research Institutions, Other Related Entities. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Tracy Olive, 3300 W. Esplanade Ave. S., Suite 500, Metairie, LA 70002, Phone: 504-833-5321, Fax: 504-833-4940, e-mail:

NPDES Permit Deadline Extension for Storm Water Discharges for Oil and Gas Construction Activity That Disturbs One to Five Acres of Land

EPA proposes to postpone until March 10, 2005, the permit authorization deadline for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permits for oil and gas construction activity that disturbs one to five acres of land. On December 8, 1999 (64 FR 68722), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule expanding the then-existing NPDES permitting program to require permit coverage by March 10, 2003 for, among other things, construction sites that disturb one to five acres. As part of that rulemaking, EPA assumed that few, if any, oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities would be affected by the rule. Since rule promulgation, information has become available indicating that close to 30,000 oil and gas sites per year may be affected by the December 8, 1999, storm water regulations.

EPA is proposing a two-year postponement of the deadline from March 10, 2003, to March 10, 2005, in order to allow time for EPA to analyze and better evaluate the impact of the permit requirements on the oil and gas industry, the appropriate best management practices for preventing contamination of storm water runoff resulting from construction associated with oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities, and the scope and effect of 33 U.S.C. 1342 (l)(2) and other storm water provisions of the Clean Water Act. In evaluating the impact, the Agency will work with states, industry, and other entities to gather and evaluate data on the development and use of appropriate best management practices for the oil and gas industry. As part of today’s rulemaking, EPA is seeking additional information on size, location and other site characteristics to better evaluate compliance costs, as well as technical and cost data to evaluate best management practices appropriate to controlling storm water runoff from oil and gas starts. EPA will also evaluate the applicability of the exemption at 33 U.S.C. 1342(l)(2) to construction activity at oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities. EPA will use the additional data and analyses produced during the two-year period to determine the appropriate NPDES requirements, if any, for construction of oil and gas exploration and production facilities of one to five acres.

Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before January 29, 2003 (Docket ID No. OW-2002-0068).

Pipeline Communications Meeting

RSPA/OPS invites the public to a meeting on January 29, 2003, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on pipeline communications, including current RSPA initiatives, the development of American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 1162, integrity management communications, and pipeline performance metrics (docket number RSPA-02-14079). This meeting is a continuation of a meeting held on February 12-14, 2001, to discuss pipeline integrity management and integrity management communications (docket RSPA-00-7408).

The meeting will be held at Bellevue Community College, Carlson Theater, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue WA 98007-6484, (425) 564-2376. Driving directions and a map of the college can be found on Bellevue Community College’s Web site: To ensure sufficient seating, persons wishing to attend are encouraged to register for the meeting through the following Internet Web site: The public will have an opportunity to make short statements on the topics under discussion. Members of the public who are unable to attend in person can view the meeting over the Internet and submit questions through the RSPA/OPS Web site: In addition, a transcript will be available approximately 30 days after the meeting in the docket at as well as at

RSPA/OPS’s communication initiatives are intended to improve safety and environmental protection and to provide better assurance to the public about the safety of pipelines. RSPA/OPS has been exploring communication requirements for all pipeline operators to share information with community and State officials and the public about risks from pipelines, how pipeline risks can be managed and controlled, and how we know the pipelines are being operated safely. RSPA/OPS has also begun several initiatives to provide the public and local officials with pipeline educational material, training material for emergency officials responding to a pipeline accident, public outreach on damage prevention, and community assistance and technical service inspectors to assist communities with current and upcoming integrity management regulations.

The January 29, 2003, public meeting will be divided into three sessions. Each session will include presentations by RSPA/OPS, a panel discussion on that session’s topic, and an open question and answer period. Panelists will include representatives from various communities, environmental organizations, first responders, city/county government, state government, and pipeline companies.

Session 1 will address the need for communications in regard to the integrity management programs. The panelists will provide their viewpoints on what information should be exchanged between pipeline operators and community officials and how this information should be provided. This session will include a discussion of a new RSPA/OPS program to provide community assistance and technical services to State and local officials, to assist with community damage prevention efforts, and to address questions about the safety of pipelines, research and development, and other program activities.

Session 2 will address pipeline performance metrics and will include a discussion on performance tracking and monitoring initiatives, RSPA/OPS data initiatives, and concepts in performance metrics on both a per company and industry aggregate basis. Panelists will discuss indicators that would be useful to judge the safety and reliability of a specific operator’s program and the pipeline industry as a whole.

Session 3 will focus on adequacy of an initiative to develop a national consensus standard for pipeline operators to use in developing public awareness programs. This standard has been developed by the oil and gas industry and observed by OPS and NAPSR. This consensus standard, American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 1162 (“RP 1162”), and additional information on the project can be viewed on the following Internet Web Site: RSPA/OPS is particularly interested in hearing the public’s views on the completeness of RP 1162’s sections on the information provided to local officials and on effectiveness measures. The session will also address additional RSPA/OPS communication initiatives, the development of RSPA/OPS online source of information about pipelines (“Pipeline 101”), the National Pipeline Mapping System, a collaborative project with the National Association of State Fire Marshals to develop a first responder training program, and a project with the National Academy of Science/Transportation Research Board on the study of measures to prevent encroachment on pipelines.

All presentations and a meeting transcript will be available subsequent to the meeting

API Training and Development Conference

The American Petroleum Institute will hold their 2003 Spring Training and Development Conference on March 5-7, 2003, at the Baton Rouge Marriott. The agenda for this conference will be posted at the end of January. For additional information, or to register on-line, go to:

New Edition of API Primary Measurement Property Standard

API has released the second edition of Chapter 9, Section 3 of the Manual of Petroleum Measurement covering the standard test method for determining API gravity by thermo-hydrometer for crude oil and finished products. API gravity (also known as relative density) is one of the basic measures of liquid hydrocarbons and is used worldwide for custody transfer calculations. For additional information, contact Paula Watkins, Standards, 202-682-8197 or

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