DOT Pipeline Compliance News

January 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – March 29, 2007

RCP will be hosting our very popular workshops on DOT Pipeline Compliance on March 29 in Houston, TX. Join us for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance. This workshop has been attended by hundreds of pipeline personnel, with excellent feedback. The workshop provides an overview of the DOT pipeline regulations, and is appropriate for people who are new to pipeline regulations, or who could use a refresher.

Introduction to DOT/PHMSA Pipeline Regulations

  • Agency jurisdictions – what does DOT/PHMSA regulate anyway?
    • Important definitions
    • Important letters of clarification from the agency
    • Recent EPA/DOI memorandums of understanding
  • State and Federal program variations, roles and responsibilities
  • Gas and liquid design, construction, operations, maintenance, and emergency response requirements
  • Spill response planning requirements
  • How to monitor rulemaking activity and stay current with your compliance program
  • Discussion of potential rulemaking – liquid gathering rules, controller certification, etc.

Your Instructor: As principal of RCP, Mr. Byrd enjoys a solid reputation for working with the public, corporate management, and regulatory agencies to resolve complex regulatory issues. He serves on various industry association committees, works as an expert witness and consulting expert, and is frequently called upon to comment on current or proposed rulemakings at public and private meetings and conferences.

For additional information, including a seminar brochure, go to our website here.

National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program – 2007 to 2009 Schedule

The Coast Guard, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minerals Management Service, in concert with representatives from various State governments, industry, environmental interest groups, and the general public, developed the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines to provide guidance for compliance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) pollution response exercise requirements (33 U.S.C. 1321(j)). PREP provides for external “Area” exercises, which are designed to evaluate the entire pollution response mechanism in a given geographic area to ensure adequate response preparedness. Area exercises involve the entire response community including Federal, State, local, tribal, and non-government organizations, and industry participants; therefore, these area exercises require more extensive planning than other oil spill response exercises.

The agencies have announced the PREP triennial exercise cycle for 2007 through 2009, and are requesting industry participants to volunteer for scheduled PREP Area exercises. The PREP schedule for calendar years 2007, 2008, and 2009 for Government-led and Industry-led Area exercises and exercise design manuals are available on the Internet. If a company wants to volunteer for an Area exercise, a company representative may call either the Coast Guard or EPA on-scene coordinator where the exercise is scheduled.

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. Please contact Jessica Roger for more information.

Advisory bulletin on LNG Facility Security (ADB-06-04) [Docket No. PHMSA-04-19856]

PHMSA’s pipeline safety regulations require operators to implement security measures that deter intruders. These measures include written procedures, protective enclosures, security communication, lighting, and monitoring (49 CFR part 193, subpart J). Operators must use staff who have been trained to carry out security duties through means that include security training (49 CFR 193.2709 and 2715). Operators need to implement these measures in ways that ensure personnel and systems detect trespassers and respond correctly. This Advisory Bulletin reinforces the importance of effectively implementing and thoroughly testing security procedures and systems.

A recent breach in security at an LNG facility shows the need for preparedness and vigilance. The operator discovered a breach of security at its LNG facility during routine maintenance on a gate at the side of the storage tank. Although there was no damage to the tank, intruders had broken through the gate to gain access to the tank.

Investigation revealed that the intruders had cut through the outer and inner perimeter fences and through the locked gate and gained access to the storage tank several days before the breach was discovered. A microwave intrusion system documented the intrusions on the computer monitoring system, which should have alerted operator personnel to the intrusions. Operator personnel did not respond. In the days following, personnel conducted several routine visual inspections of the area without noting the cuts in the fences. Although there was also video surveillance of the perimeter, personnel did not review the tape until they investigated the breach.

The full advisory can be viewed on the PHMSA home page at: For further information, contact: Joy Kadnar at (202) 366-0568, or by e-mail at; or Buddy Secor at (571) 227-1306, or by e-mail at

EPA Issues Final and Proposed Amendments to the SPCC Requirements

The EPA signed a final rule to amend the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule at 40 CFR part 112. EPA amended the SPCC rule to address a number of issues raised by its 2002 final rule. The final rule is effective February 24, 2007 (60 days following publish date in Federal Register, 12/26/06). Some provisions of the final rule include:

  • providing owners and operators of facilities that store 10,000 gallons or less of oil and meet other qualifying criteria the option to self-certify their SPCC Plans in lieu of review and certification by a professional engineer
  • providing an alternative to the general secondary containment requirement without requiring a determination of impracticability for facilities that have particular types of oil-filled equipment
  • defining and exempting particular vehicle fuel tanks and other on-board bulk oil storage containers used for motive power
  • exempting mobile refuelers from the sized secondary containment requirements for bulk storage containers

Although the current compliance date for amending and implementing the changes to SPCC Plans remains October 31, 2007, EPA has proposed to extend the deadline to July 1, 2009. Click here for a copy of the final rule published in the Federal Register.

Need to update your SPCC plan?

RCP has developed hundreds of SPCC plans for all types of facilities and is intimately familiar with all the relevant regulations and guidance documents. For assistance with your SPCC plan revisions, contact Jessica Roger at RCP.

PHMSA Gas Gathering Workshops

PHMSA has published the following date and location for the gas gathering definition workshop in Kansas. The first few workshops have been very informative and have provided an opportunity for “lively” exchanges among federal, state, and industry stakeholders. Workshop schedule and registration information can be found by clicking here.

Jan 9, 2007Finney State Office Building, 130 Market Street, Rm 3080, Wichita KansasKansas Corporation Commission

The topics to be discussed include:

  • Identify the beginning and endpoints of gathering by applying American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 80 and its supplemental definitions
  • Identify a “regulated” segment of a gathering line
  • Identify and understand which compliance activities are required for certain gathering lines
  • Apply and enforce significant dates for various compliance activities
  • Recognize, identify and define equipment and processes associated with production
  • Explain processing and treatment of gas stream constituents in gathering systems
  • Interpret and apply PHMSA enforcement policies and significant opinions

Has the new Gas Gathering definition affected your pipelines?

RCP can conduct a detailed analysis of your gas pipelines to determine end points of production and gathering based upon the recently finalized definition of gas gathering pipelines. The analysis will also determine whether your gathering pipelines are regulated and whether they are classified as Type A or B regulated gas gathering. For more information, please email Jessica Roger.

Notice of Minimum Annual Percentage Rate For Random Drug Testing [Docket No.: PHMSA-97-2995]

PHMSA has determined that the minimum random drug testing rate for covered employees will remain at 25 percent during calendar year 2007.

Operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and carbon dioxide pipelines and operators of liquefied natural gas facilities must select and test a percentage of covered employees for random drug testing. Pursuant to 49 CFR part 199.105(c)(2), (3), and (4), the PHMSA Administrator’s decision on whether to change the minimum annual random drug testing rate is based on the reported random drug test positive rate for the pipeline industry. The data considered by the Administrator comes from operators’ annual submissions of Management Information System (MIS) reports required by 49 CFR part 199.119(a). If the reported random drug test positive rate is less than 1.00 percent, the Administrator may continue the minimum random drug testing rate at 25 percent. In 2005, the random drug test positive rate was less than 1.00 percent. Therefore, the minimum random drug testing rate will remain at 25 percent for calendar year 2007.

In reference to the notice published in 70 FR 20800, PHMSA intends to publish an Advisory Bulletin specifying the methodology for reporting calendar year 2007 MIS contractor data to PHMSA. Therefore, operators must ensure records on contract employees continue to be maintained in calendar year 2007.


Cindy Ingrao
Director, Drug and Alcohol Policy and Investigations
PHMSA, U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 8406
Washington, DC 20590
Telephone: (202) 366-2350

Canadian EUB Issues Draft Directive 71 – Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry

Directive 071 (formerly Guide 71) was initially published in June 2003 to consolidate all of the EUB’s emergency response requirements into a single document. The next major revision to the Directive is anticipated for publication in April, 2007. As part of the review process, the EUB has been engaged with the CAPP Emergency Response Committee in revising the document. The revised EUB draft Directive 071 is now available for broader stakeholder comment below.

Bulletin 2006-46: Draft Directive 071: Emergency Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry for Stakeholder Review and Comment (Released: December 19, 2006)

Draft Directive 071 (December 2006): A significant change incorporated into the draft Directive is a new computer software program (EUBH2S) required for calculating emergency planning zones (EPZs) for sour wells, pipelines and facilities. This change has been implemented to address recommendations of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Public Safety and Sour Gas. The new draft EUBMODELS (now EUBH2S) computer software program, and supporting documentation, is now available for stakeholder comment by February 1, 2007.

Area Source NESHAP for Oil and Gas Production Facilities Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0238.

The EPA has promulgated national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) to regulate hazardous air pollutant emissions from oil and natural gas production facilities that are area sources. The final national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for major sources was promulgated on June 17, 1999, but final action with respect to area sources was deferred. Oil and natural gas production is identified in the Urban Air Toxics Strategy as an area source category for regulation under section 112(c)(3) of the Clean Air Act because of benzene emissions from triethylene glycol dehydration units located at such facilities. The final rule also amends a general provision in the regulation to allow the use of an ASTM standard as an alternative test method to EPA Method 18 in the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities.

Entities potentially affected by this final rule include, but are not limited to, condensate tank batteries, glycol dehydration units, and natural gas processing plants (ref. 40 CFR part 63, subpart HH). The final rule is contained in 72 FR pp 26-43 (Vol. 72, No. 1).

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