DOT Pipeline Compliance News

July 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – September 25 & 26

RCP will be hosting our very popular workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance on September 25 and 26 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.

Day 1: Gas Pipeline Regulations (49CFR192)
Day 2: Liquid Pipeline Regulations (49CFR195)

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.

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

THLPSS Teleconference on Low-Stress and Rural Liquid Pipeline Regulations [Docket No. PHMSA-98-4470]

The Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (THLPSSC) will meet on Tuesday, July 24, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST by telephone conference call to vote on a proposal to extend pipeline safety regulations to certain unregulated hazardous liquid gathering lines and low-stress pipelines and on a supplemental proposal addressing new requirements for low-stress pipelines in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES Act). PHMSA will also consult with the THLPSCC on a concept addressing internal corrosion issues in hazardous liquid pipelines.

This supplemental proposal would apply all Federal hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations to currently unregulated low-stress pipelines meeting certain criteria. These proposals will help protect unusually sensitive areas from the potential adverse impacts of releases from unregulated hazardous liquid pipeline in rural areas.

Members of the public may attend the meeting at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, East Bldg., 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20590, Room E27-302. Members of the public who want to make an oral statement should notify Cheryl Whetsel at (202) 366-4431 or by email at before July 17. Comments regarding this meeting should reference Docket No. PHMSA-98-4470. You may send or deliver your comments to DOT’s Docket Facility or send them electronically by the Web page

New 2007 API RP 753 – Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Portable Buildings

The American Petroleum Institute has issued the 1st edition, “Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Portable Buildings.” Developed for refineries, petrochemical and chemical operations, natural gas liquids extraction plants, and other facilities such as those covered by the OSHA Process Safety Management Standard, 29 CFR 1910.119. API RP 753 provides guidance for reducing the risk to personnel located in portable buildings (i.e., light wood trailers) from potential explosion, fire, and toxic release hazards. To order API RP 753, contact IHS via their website> or (877) 413-5187.

PHMSA 2007 R&D; Forum – Request for White Papers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) held a Government and Industry Pipeline R&D; Forum on February 7-8, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a result of this forum, PHMSA is seeking white papers on individual projects or on consolidated programs that address pipeline safety program areas:

  • Pipeline Damage Prevention,
  • Detection and Characterization,
  • Defect Remediation and Repair,
  • New Fuels Transportation.

The R&D; Forum led to a common understanding of current research efforts, key challenges facing government and industry, and potential research areas where exploration can help meet these challenges, and should therefore be considered in developing new research and development applications. The 2 day event included representatives from Federal, State and international government agencies, public representatives, research funding organizations, standards developing organizations, and pipeline operators from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

For more information about the forum and how to submit a white paper can be found here.

Integrity Management Services

RCP can assist pipeline operators with ongoing compliance management and engineering associated with your IMP. This includes direct assessment strategies, tool and vendor selection, ILI/ECDA report analysis, corrosion control programs, repair strategies, and IMP/risk model updates. For more information on how RCP can support your ongoing IMP needs, click here.

PST 2007 Conference – November 15 & 16

The Pipeline Safety Trust will be hosting another pipeline safety conference: Increasing Pipeline Safety through Shared Planning; A conference for all stakeholders. The agenda is under development but will include topics such as:

  • The need for land use policies affecting the siting, width, and other characteristics of new pipeline corridors.
  • Setbacks and other measures that could be adopted to protect structures that are built and maintained near pipelines.
  • Development of industry best practices for the specification, acquisition, development and maintenance of pipeline ROW.
  • The need for the Federal Government to develop guidance about appropriate vegetation and environmental management practices that would provide habitat for some species, avoid threats to pipeline integrity and allow for pipeline operators’ regulatory obligations to maintain ROW to inspect pipelines.
  • Raise the awareness of the risks and hazards of encroachment on pipeline ROW.
  • Formation of the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA)

The conference will be held at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. Registration and more information can be found here.

TRRC Issues Final Rule: Chapter 18 – Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention

The Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) adopted Chapter 18, Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention, as part of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), and was published in the Texas Register on June 15, 2007. The new rule is effective September 1, 2007.

TRRC adopted §§18.1 – 18.12 of the new Chapter 18, entitled Underground Pipeline Damage prevention (with changes to the proposed versions published December 22, 2006) relating to:

  • Scope, Applicability, and General Provisions;
  • Definitions;
  • Excavator Notice to Notification Center;
  • Excavator Obligation to Avoid Damage to Underground Pipelines;
  • Operator and Excavator Obligations with Respect to Positive Response;
  • General Marking Requirements;
  • Excavator Marking Requirements;
  • Operator Marking Requirements;
  • Options for Managing an Excavation Site in the Vicinity of an Underground Pipeline;
  • Excavation within Tolerance Zone;
  • Reporting Requirements; and
  • Penalty Guidelines.

The new rules in Chapter 18, with some stated exceptions, would apply to all persons engaged in or preparing to engage in the movement of earth in the vicinity of an intrastate underground pipeline containing flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas, a hazardous liquid, or carbon dioxide. However, the legislation amending Texas Natural Resources Code, §117.012, and Texas Utilities Code, §121.201, specifically authorizes the Commission to exempt other entities or occupations if the Commission determines in its rulemaking process that exempting those entities or occupations from the rules is either in the public interest or not likely to cause harm to the safety and welfare of the public. The Commission gives notice that one result of this rulemaking may be the exemption of additional entities and/or activities from the new rules in Chapter 18.

Although there are some specific requirements for both excavators and pipeline operators set forth in the proposed new rules, generally the Commission attempted to avoid provisions that would either duplicate or contradict the mandates of Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 251, the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act. There may be persons exempt from the provisions of Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 251 that would be required to comply with this chapter.

For a copy of the final rule language, go to this website.

Damage Prevention Plans

RCP can develop or update your Damage Prevention plan. For more information about how RCP can assist you with your Damage Prevention Plan, contact Jessica Foley.

New York State — Pipeline Security Legislation

The New York State legislature passed a bill adding a new §715 that will provide authority to the state Department of Homeland Security to conduct a review and inspect aviation fuel tanks and pipelines and make any appropriate recommendations to strengthen those facilities. The legislation also provides authority for the state Public Service Commission to require by regulation that the recommendations be implemented. As deemed appropriate, the office of homeland security shall have the authority to:

  • Physically inspect the premises
  • Review any audits or reports related to the security of such critical infrastructure

The Governor is expected to sign the bill. This bill was introduced in the wake of the alleged plot to blow up tankage and pipelines providing fuel to JFK International airport.

For a copy of the new bill, contact Jessica Roger.

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 DOT Hazmat Transportation & Pipeline regulations. We can also assist you in USCG security plans for dock facilities and vessels. Click here for more information.

2007 International Pipeline Security Forum

The 2007 International Pipeline Security Forum will be held on October 24 & 25, 2007 at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The agenda is currently being developed. Additional information on the Forum, registering procedures, and agenda will be posted on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website as it becomes available.

TRRC Proposed Rulemaking – Re-adopt Chapter 8, Pipeline Safety Regulations

The Railroad Commission of Texas filed a notice of intention to review and re-adopt 16 TAC Chapter 8 relating to Pipeline Safety Regulations. This review is being conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.039. The agency’s reasons for adopting these rules continue to exist. The comment period ended on June 25, 2007. The status of Commission rulemakings in progress is available at the Railroad Commission website.

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