DOT Pipeline Compliance News

January 2005 Issue

In This Issue

Stacey Gerard Receives Presidential Award

On behalf of Transportation Secretary Mineta, Deputy Administrator Bonasso announced last month Stacey Gerard’s selection for the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. The President of the United States recognizes the achievement of career Senior Executives through the annual Presidential Rank Awards. These awards are the highest honor the federal government can present a career civilian employee. The Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award is limited to only five percent of career senior executives government-wide.

The award is granted for “sustainable accomplishment,” based on such leadership qualities as innovation and achievement. Under Ms. Gerard’s leadership, the Office of Pipeline Safety team works daily to protect the public, environment and pipeline infrastructure that provides two-thirds of the nation’s energy. She led the team to become more efficient and effective in applying new technologies to solve problems, such as developing and implementing the National Pipeline Mapping System. In 2001, Congress, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the General Accounting Office, and the Inspector General directed 65 specific actions to be completed by the Office of Pipeline Safety. By 2003, the agency moved off the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list by completing all but 10 recommendations. Shortly thereafter, Congress passed the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, which led to 59 new mandates that had to be completed within a specific timeframe. Ms. Gerard’s team completed most of these mandates, including the completion of the Natural Gas Pipeline Integrity Management regulations. With the implementation of these regulations, the department has seen double-digit drops in pipeline leaks, incidents, and spills.

Louisiana State Pipeline Rule Revisions

On December 20, 2004, the State of Louisiana proposed extensive revisions to both their gas and liquid pipeline safety regulations. Most of these proposed revisions will reconcile the Louisiana regulations with the federal regulations. We will review the existing and proposed rules in detail in our upcoming workshop in February (see related article below). For a copy of the proposed regulations, contact Jessica Roger at

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 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.

RCP Partners with Paradigm and Celeritas for Complete Turnkey Public Awareness Support

For a turnkey, cost effective pipeline public awareness solution, RCP has joined forces with Paradigm and Celeritas to provide operators with a complete range of services.

  • RCP will develop and manage written Public Awareness Program with its experienced industry experts for gas and liquid pipeline operators.
  • Paradigm will implement direct mail programs and stakeholder identification with its GIS and Fulfillment professionals for operators.
  • Celeritas will manage documentation of public education efforts through its web based analysis tool that integrates public awareness data and GIS mapping of your pipeline assets into one view.

For more information, contact Susan Waller at or go to

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.

Utilities in Texas DOT Right of Ways

The Texas Department of Transportation (department) proposes the repeal of §§21.31 – 21.51 and simultaneously proposes new §§21.31 – 21.41, concerning utility accommodation. Existing §§21.31 – 21.51 provide the current regulations for the accommodation of utilities on highway right of way. The Texas Transportation Commission (commission) is repealing §§21.31 – 21.51 and proposing new §§21.31 – 21.41 in a revised form to: reorganize the rules for clarity; allow the use of updated utility construction methods and materials; and improve the state’s management of its right of way by requiring a better quality of plans and record drawings for utility installations. Improved utility location information will allow the earlier identification and resolution of utility conflicts with transportation projects prior to the highway construction letting.

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.

Texas Pipeline Safety Rule Revisions – loose ends

Pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.027 and 1 TAC §91.38(d), the proposed new section §8.110 that appeared in the May 7, 2004, issue of the Texas Register (29 TexReg 4394), has been automatically withdrawn. The withdrawn section is given below:

§8.110.Operations and Maintenance Procedures.

Each pipeline operator shall prepare a manual or procedural plan, required by 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193, 195 or 199, as applicable, and shall make it available for Commission inspection upon request. If the Commission finds the plan is inadequate to achieve safe operation, the operator shall revise the plan.

Based on comments, the Commission decided not to adopt the proposed new §8.110, Operations and Maintenance Procedures, which was derived from prior §§7.70(i) and 7.84(d). Federal rules incorporated by reference already require the preparation and use of operations and maintenance (O&M;) manuals. Deleting this rule will eliminate the unnecessary provision that requires operators to submit O&M; manuals to the Commission 20 days prior to the effective date. The Commission already has the authority to require that an operator revise its O&M; plan if the Commission finds the plan is inadequate to achieve safe operation.

Shameless commerce plug: If you want a detailed review of all the changes to the Texas Pipeline Safety Regulations, and how they differ from the Federal regulations, attend our upcoming seminar. Click here for details!

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.

Gas Integrity Management Workshop for Inspection Protocols, January 19-20, 2005

The Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) will cosponsor a workshop January 19-20, 2005 at The Westin Atlanta North to discuss the oversight implementation of the Gas Integrity Management program and the Inspection Protocols. The workshop will provide a detailed review and discussion of Gas Pipeline Integrity Management Inspection Protocols as posted on the Gas Integrity Management public Web site at RSPA/OPS and NAPSR will gather issues presented at the workshop needing additional clarification or guidance material development for the implementation of the rule oversight program. Operators of natural gas transmission pipelines are urged to attend either in person or to observe the workshop via the internet. RSPA/OPS will web cast this meeting.

Advance registration for the meeting is strongly encouraged and can be accomplished online at the following Web site:

For more information regarding the meeting contact Zach Barrett at (405) 954-5559; E-mail, or Jeff Wiese at (202) 366-2036. For hotel reservations contact The Westin Atlanta North (Perimeter Mall), Seven Concourse Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia. URL: Phone: (770) 395-3900; fax: (770) 395-3935 (refer to the U.S. Department of Transportation block when making reservations).

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.

Construction Stormwater General Permit – Final Modification

The EPA has modified the permit conditions specific to construction activities covered under EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities. These final NPDES construction general permits (commonly referred to collectively as the CGP) for discharges from large (five acres or more) and small (one to five acres) construction activities were published on July 1, 2003 (68 FR 39087) and August 4, 2003 (68 FR 45817). The CGP and accompanying fact sheet are available on EPA’s Internet Web site at: These general permits are available for use where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority in EPA Regions 1-3 and 5-10. The revisions clarify that only sites covered by this permit can be subject to noncompliance with the permit. In addition, the EPA has corrected a typographical error in the permit and a corresponding error in the fact sheet. This permit modification is effective on January 21, 2005.

Note that the EPA has expressed a much different interpretation of the “oil and gas exemption” for Storm Water Permits than most oil and gas operators believe to be correct. EPA’s position is that the “construction” of an oil and gas facility (such as a drill well pad) is NOT exempt from the Storm Water Permitting requirements. We understand that EPA headquarters intends to provide guidance to E&P; operators prior to the March 10, 2005 implementation deadline.

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.

Notice of Minimum Annual Percentage Rate for Random Drug Testing

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 the Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) determines, either 50 percent or 25 percent of covered employees, based on the industry’s positive rate of random tests. In accordance with applicable standards, RSPA/OPS has determined that the positive rate of random drug tests reported by operators this calendar year for testing done in calendar year 2003 is less than 1.0 percent. Therefore, in calendar year 2005, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent of covered employees.

Air Permit Needs?

Are you planning to expand or acquire? Air permit applications can be complex and consuming. RCP has the expertise to navigate through the application process, develop compliance assurance systems, and submit reports. Click Here

OSHA Standards Improvement Project-Phase II

On January 5, 2005, OSHA published revisions to its regulations that revised or removed a number of health provisions in its standards for general industry, shipyard employment, and construction. The Agency believes that the changes streamline and make more consistent the regulatory requirements in OSHA health and safety standards. In some cases, OSHA has made substantive revisions to requirements because they are outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, or inconsistent with more recently promulgated health standards. The Agency believes these revisions will reduce regulatory requirements for employers without reducing employee protection. Changes to the regulations include:

  • first aid kit requirements;
  • laboratory licensing;
  • periodic exposure monitoring;
  • reporting the use of alternative control methods;
  • evaluating chest x-rays;
  • signing medical opinions;
  • semiannual medical examinations;
  • requirements to notify OSHA of certain events;
  • semiannual updating of compliance plans;
  • employee notification requirements; and
  • methods of communicating illness outbreaks in temporary labor camps.

The final rule becomes effective March 7, 2005. Certain sections in part 1910 are incorporated by reference in parts 1915, shipyard employment, and 1926, construction. Therefore, any changes to referenced sections in part 1910 also apply to parts 1915 and 1926.

If you would like a copy of the rule revisions, or would like to discuss how RCP can help ensure you are in compliance with these revised regulations, please contact Jessica Roger at or call (713) 655-8080.

REMINDER – January 15 deadline for Hazardous Liquid & CO2 operators in Texas

One significant revision to 16 TAC 8.315 “Hazardous Liquids and Carbon Dioxide Pipelines or Pipeline Facilities Located Within 1,000 Feet of a Public School Building or Facility” includes notification provision that are due on January 15, 2005. An excerpt of these revisions is provided below.

c) Each pipeline owner and operator to which this section applies shall, for each pipeline or pipeline facility any part of which is located within 1,000 feet of a public school building containing classrooms, or within 1,000 feet of any other public school facility where students congregate, file with the Commission’s Safety Division, no later than January 15, 2005, and every two years thereafter, the following information:

(1) the name of the school;
(2) the street address of the public school building or other public school facility; and
(3) the identification (system name) of the pipeline.

Army Corps Completes Initiative to Name a Lead District for the Regulatory Program in Each state

The Army Corps of Engineers has identified Lead Districts for Regulatory Program administration for states with multiple district offices. This change will provide a single point of contact for state development, transportation, and natural resource regulatory agency coordination. Lead districts are responsible for:

  • Consistent, statewide implementation of Regulatory Program technical and policy guidance.
  • Development and coordination of Corps-State strategies for program efficiencies.
  • Development and coordination of nationwide general permits regional (statewide) conditions, as appropriate.
  • Establishment of a single point of contact for the state (or multiple contacts for various state agencies) to address questions and direct them to the responsible Corps officials and/or appropriate districts.
  • Develop/maintain/coordinate a statewide coordination list of Federal, state and tribal agency representatives and other appropriate public entities to coordinate lead district, statewide initiatives.

For a list of lead districts within each state, visit the following website:

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.

RCP Services Spotlight – SPCC & Response Planning Capabilities

RCP has developed or revised OPA-90 plans and SPCC plans for both large and small facilities throughout the US in order to meet the February 17, 2006 deadline. Our previous experience with contingency plans enables us to be very efficient in the development of these plans. We are very familiar with the necessary cross-references, indices, graphs and charts, and appropriate plan formats. The types of services we provide include the following:

  • SPCC Plans and Revisions – RCP will produce a PE certified SPCC plan for your facilities as required by EPA requirements found in 40 CFR 112, revised effective August 16, 2002. This includes an on site assessment by RCP to verify facilities, secondary containment, and determine the lowest cost approach to achieve compliance with the new rule. RCP recently completed and certified SPCC Plans for a customer with a variety of complex facilities including a large chemical plant, polymers plant, natural gas pipeline compressor station, liquids pipeline facility, and a petroleum products storage terminal.
  • OPA 90 Plans (MMS, DOT, EPA, USCG) – We specialize in development of facility and operations-specific oil spill contingency plans under OPA 90 in compliance with all DOT, USCG, EPA, or MMS regulations, and consistent with the National Contingency Plan and appropriate Area Contingency Plans.
  • Integrated Contingency Plans – RCP can develop an Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP) for you that combines multiple facility response and contingency plans into a single, user-friendly facility response plan.
  • Seminars, Workshops and Specialized Training – RCP is prepared to conduct a SPCC workshop on-site for your company and tailor the content to your company’s specific needs. We can also provide all types training to meet MMS, DOT, EPA and USCG regulations.

Please Click Here if you would like information on RCP’s SPCC & Response Planning Capabilities.

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