DOT Pipeline Compliance News

July 2011 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – August 9 – 11, 2011

Join us August 9 – 11 in Houston at our new office and dedicated training facility for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance and OPA Planning for DOT Pipelines. 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, who could use a refresher, or anyone who needs to know the latest information in these areas.


Day 1 (August 9): Gas Pipeline Regulations (49CFR192)
The workshop will include an introduction to DOT/OPS pipeline compliance; State and Federal program variations; roles and responsibilities; design, construction, operations, maintenance, and emergency response requirements; how to monitor rulemaking activity and stay current with your compliance program; operator qualification, public awareness; with a specific emphasis on the gas integrity management regulations. Each attendee will receive general training materials which include the applicable DOT 49 CFR 192 regulations for gas pipelines (cd-rom), inspection checklists, and speaker’s PowerPoint presentation handouts.

Day 2 (August 10): Special Topics
Back by popular demand! RCP is conducting a special workshop day to discuss topics that many of our clients have expressed an interest in. The workshop topics will include: Control Room Management, Public Awareness Program Effectiveness Evaluations, and Revised Reporting Requirements.

Day 3 (August 11): Liquid Pipeline Regulations (49CFR195)
The workshop will include an introduction to DOT/OPS pipeline compliance; State and Federal program variations, roles and responsibilities; design, construction, operations, maintenance, and emergency response requirements; spill response planning requirements; how to monitor rulemaking activity and stay current with your compliance program; operator qualification and public awareness. Each attendee will receive general training materials which include the applicable DOT 49 CFR 195 regulations for hazardous liquid pipelines (cd-rom), inspection checklists, and speaker’s PowerPoint presentation handouts.

To register, or for additional information, click here.

PHMSA Control Room Management FAQs and Inspection Protocols released June 17, 2011

On June 17, PHMSA released updated FAQs and new inspection protocols for the Control Room Management (CRM) rule. The FAQs provide additional information on the facilities and personnel intended; and, an explanation is provided for “safety-related” operators and parameters. The compliance questions are numbered to correspond to the like-numbered paragraphs in the text of the CRM rule.

For a copy of the FAQs, Inspection questions or CRM assistance, contact Jessica Roger.

Control Room Management Services

RCP is able to provide pipeline operators with fully compliant, customized Control Room Management Programs that take advantage of any existing processes that are currently in place and develop new processes that are tailored to your organization’s ability to successfully implement.

RCP also has the expertise to conduct readiness assessments as well as compliance analysis of your existing Control Room Management programs. This independent analysis will take into consideration what others within the industry are doing as a benchmark as well as what the final regulations require.

For more information on how RCP can help with your Control Room Management Program, contact Jessica Roger.

PHMSA On-Line Reporting Webinar July 12, 2011 (1:30 EDT)

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has scheduled a webinar to demonstrate its online reporting system for the new hazardous liquids pipeline operator annual report (Form PHMSA F 7000-1.1) on July 12. Click here for more details and to register. After you register, you will receive a link to the webinar’s Live Meeting. You may recall that the June Edition of the DOT Compliance Newsletter contained a similar item, but delays in developing PHMSA’s online data entry system meant that it was not available in time for the June 9 meeting.

PHMSA Data Mart

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has developed a Data Mart that shows all information an operator has submitted (forms, safety condition reports, annual reports, NPMS, etc.) as well as compilations from those submittals. Formerly assembled only for the operators that have had an Integrated Inspection, the Data Mart is now in place for each operator. It contains more information than the public operator pages, and is currently available only to the operator involved.

The information contained in the Data Mart will be used during inspections, enforcement actions and other aspects of PHMSA’s interaction with an operator. Inaccuracies in the data may cause significant issues in the future. PHMSA encourages Pipeline and LNG Operators to access the Pipeline Data Mart to view and validate the accuracy of all required reports submitted to PHMSA. All reports are available electronically. A feedback form is available that will allow operators to ask questions or suggest changes/updates to data. However, please keep in mind most data will need to be changed by the operator via a supplemental submission.

MAOP Analysis Services

RCP has developed the most comprehensive MAOP analysis model on the market. Using this model, RCP has successfully conducted MAOP analysis for dozens of complex onshore/offshore gathering, transmission, and distribution pipeline systems. The analysis can be performed as a service with the results delivered on a system-by system basis as well as detailed individual record MAOP reports that indicate the regulatory code citation or letter of interpretation that is driving the calculated MAOP value. The MAOP model can also be purchased and configured to run by your personnel using your in-house data sets. For more information, visit or contact Jessica Roger.

Oklahoma Pipeline Safety — Final Rule

Oklahoma Register Vol. 28, No. 19 [RM 201000008]

On June 15, 2011, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) adopted final rules to Title 165 Chapter 20 – Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety. Of particular interest, is the adoption of Subchapter 10 Non-DOT Regulated Gas Gathering Pipelines which establishes reporting requirements relating to incidents of a gathering pipeline unit that is not subject to 49 CFR 191 and 192 regulations. This includes telephonic notice of certain non-DOT gathering pipeline incidents and reports.

Additional rule changes include how fines are calculated, fining an operator up to $10,000 per day plus prosecution costs for each day the violation continues, with maximum fine not exceeding $500,000 for any related series of violations.

If, after an inspection, the Manager of Pipeline Safety may request more specific information from the owner or operator; and, may require testing of portions of pipeline facilities that have been involved in, or affected by, an accident.

The OCC also adopts the provisions of 49 CFR 192 & 195 as such exist on January 1, 2011 and all those amendments and appendices adopted thereafter.

Effective date July 1, 2011.

For a copy of Oklahoma’s Pipeline Safety Final Rule, contact Jessica Roger.

Changes in Louisiana’s Dig Law Will Affect Everyone Reprinted with permission from LA One Call

Changes Effective October 1
Governor Jindal has signed into law significant changes in the Louisiana Underground Utilities and Facilities Damage Prevention Act R.S. 40:1749, otherwise known as the state’s “dig law.” These changes become effective October 1, and they will affect everyone involved in excavation in Louisiana, including homeowners, contractors and utility operators.

Emergency Excavations Redefined
The revised law now defines emergencies more strictly. The intent is to reduce the number of excavations declared to be “emergencies” merely to get the site marked more quickly when no imminent threat or danger to life, health, or property exists. The new definition requires that excavators who declare an emergency must have a crew on site when an emergency is declared, and provides for penalties up to $5,000 for repeated violations of this requirement.

Waiting Period Changed
Under the revised statute, utilities, pipelines and other operators will have a little more time to mark their underground facilities. The 48-hour waiting period will begin at 7 a.m. on the next working day after the excavator files their request to have the site marked.

Markings Valid Longer
Once the site is marked, the markings will be considered valid so long as they are visible for up to 20 calendar days on non-agricultural sites, doubling the time allowed before such sites must be marked again. Farmers and other agricultural excavators get an additional 10 days and therefore need not request re-marking for 30 days so long as the marks remain visible.

More Time to Plan Large Jobs
Excavators working on large projects will be able to request utility location up to 20 days in advance rather than the 10-day maximum imposed under old law.

Utility Operators May Elect Not to Receive Notifications
Finally, the new law will allow utility operators excavating near their own underground systems to elect not to receive notifications involving their own work.

The original article appeared in the LA One Call 811 Newsletter, Vol. 5 No. 2., June 29, 2011.

Public Awareness Effectiveness Program Inspections

In October, 2009, the NTSB issued a Safety Recommendation that PHMSA initiate a program to evaluate pipeline operators’ public education programs, including pipeline operators’ self-evaluations of the effectiveness of their public education programs. Since then, PHMSA organized an ad hoc team which developed inspection forms and guidance information regarding these inspections, which are scheduled to begin soon.

These two-day public awareness effectiveness inspections will take a close look at the administration and development of operator public awareness programs; program implementation; and the program evaluation process ( including annual audits and effectiveness evaluations). RCP can help you prepare for these inspections. For more information, contact Jessica Roger.

LGA Annual Conference July 25 – 29, 2011 New Orleans

RCP is proud to be a sponsor of the annual Louisiana Gas Association (LGA) 191/192 & 195 Pipeline Safety Conference & Tradeshow. The conference will be held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. RCP representatives will also be attending the conference and look forward to meeting you. Make plans to stop by RCP’s exhibit. Click here for registration information and the conference agenda.

WRGC Regional Gas Conference August 23 & 24, 2011 Tempe, AZ

Join us at the 2011 Western Regional Gas Conference at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona. RCP representatives will be attending the conference and look forward to meeting you. Chris Foley (RCP Vice President) will be giving a presentation on “MAOP Process Management” on Tuesday, August 23. Click here to check for updates on the conference agenda and registration. (WRGC is a non-profit and volunteer-organized event to provide a venue for discussion of natural gas distribution and transmission issues.)

Pipeline Regulations for iPhone

There’s an app for that! In 2009, at our request, Tekk Innovations developed an iPhone application containing the federal pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR 40, and 190-199). It has keyword search and the capability to e-mail excerpts of the regulations to others. There have been several updates since the original app was released. The current version 1.4 was updated on May 27, 2011. The app can be found in the iTunes store. The cost is $19.99.

Tekk Innovations has also developed apps for all the other CFRs, including all of 49 CFR for those who want all the transportation regulations, not just the pipeline ones; Louisiana Law, California Law and FAA FAR for Pilots.

Editor’s Note: I like the app with just the pipeline parts of 49 CFR, since I can search the pipeline regulations easier that way without getting hits from the other transportation regulations.

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