DOT Pipeline Compliance News

July 2019 Issue

In This Issue


Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee Discusses NPRM Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

The Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) met June 25 – 26 to discuss the third part of the proposed gas mega-rule, Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines.  The GPAC voted on various proposals made by PHMSA in response to comments submitted to the docket for the original NPRM Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines. These included modifications to reporting, definitions, requirements for newly regulated gas gathering lines, and which gas gathering lines would fall within the scope of the rulemaking.  A few GPAC votes of interest:

  • Withdraw the proposed changes to the definition of Gas Gathering from this rulemaking, thus continuing to incorporate API RP 80 for definitions of gas gathering lines, gas treatment, gas processing and onshore gas production operations.  PHMSA indicated it will monitor the outcome of the API working group’s effort to revise API RP 80 and develop API RP 1182 and may change the definition of gas gathering lines, if needed, in future rulemaking.
  • Extend the deadline for determining applicability of the new rule to 2 years from the effective date. Extend the deadline for compliance with new requirements to 3 years from the effective date.  Extend the deadline for compliance when a previously unregulated gas gathering pipeline becomes regulated to 2 years.
  • Create a minimum set of requirements for all gas gathering lines 8-inches and larger nominal outside diameter (ex. damage prevention, line markers, public awareness, emergency plans, leakage surveys and repairs, and design, construction, inspection and testing of new lines).  PHMSA will consider additional requirements for gas gathering lines greater than 12-inch nominal outside diameter that have a building intended for human occupancy located within the pipeline’s Potential Impact Radius.

To view the recorded webinar or download the presentations, click here.

Bonus:  Alan Mayberry, PHMSA Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, announced that the draft NPRM for Valves and Rupture Detection has been submitted to OMB for their review, so keep an eye on the Federal Register and this newsletter over the next few months to see what is contained in this proposed rule.

Gas Mega-Rule Support
Are you ready for the three pending gas transmission and gathering regulations? RCP has been heavily involved throughout this rulemaking process and is ready to assist operators as they get prepared.  Whether it’s a deep dive into MAOP records reconfirmation, assessing where your Moderate Consequence Areas exist, reviewing existing pipeline integrity programs, developing action plans to get into compliance, or simply providing training to your team on what’s coming, RCP can help.  Visit www.rcp.com or contact Jessica Foley for more information.


DOE Notice of Request for Information on Energy Infrastructure Resilience

Many oil and natural gas companies, pipeline operators, fuel distribution and delivery firms, and other owners and operators of oil and natural gas infrastructure, as well as the government agencies that regulate them in some respect, are seeking cost-effective ways to make these infrastructure systems more resilient against cyber and physical threats as well as severe weather events. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather “relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards” and other pertinent materials to provide guidance for enhancing the physical and operational resilience of these systems and their components against such events.

Gathering this information will enable existing expert knowledge on this subject to be synthesized and made broadly available to interested policy officials and other decision-makers. Organizing existing knowledge in this way will also help identify important information gaps that can then be addressed through targeted research and development activities and through emergency preparedness actions by government agencies and the private sector. 

Comments in response to this RFI are due on or before August 23, 2019, and can be emailed to oilandgas.resilience@hq.doe.gov  with ‘‘Guidance for Enhancing Oil and Natural Gas Resilience’’ in the subject line. Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format.

For further information, contact: David Meyer, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity, at (202) 586-3876 or by email.

For a copy of this RFI from the Federal Register, contact Jessica Foley.


Texas to Remove Cast Iron Natural Gas Pipes by 2021

[House Bill 866]

The State of Texas, House Bill 866, was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott and will take effect immediately. HB866 requires natural gas pipeline operators to remove all cast-iron pipes from their systems by December 31, 2021, and prohibits the future use of cast iron, wrought iron or bare steel pipeline in the State of Texas. HB866 also requires operators of distribution gas pipeline systems to:

  1. Develop and implement a risk-based program for the removal or replacement of underground distribution gas pipeline facilities; and,
  2. Annually remove or replace at least 8% (an increase from 5%) of underground distribution gas pipelines posing the greatest risk in the system and identified for replacement under the program.

For a copy of House Bill 866, contact Jessica Foley.


Louisiana 811 Dig Law

[LA Senate Bill No. 82]

Louisiana has passed Senate Bill No. 82, which affects the Louisiana 811 Dig Law. These updates become effective August 1, 2019.

This Bill updates Louisiana Statute 40:1749.13(B)(5), 1749.14(C)(1)(b)(iii) and (3) to allow Operators and Excavators to mutually agree on an extended time to mark pipelines located on or in water. This agreement must be documented. In absence of an agreement, the Commissioner of Natural Resources may delay the mark-by time of these pipelines. The current required wait time to begin excavation is two full business days from placing the one call notification.  The updated regulation also allows an Excavator additional time to renew the one call notification past the current 20 day requirement if the pipeline is on or in water and the work has not been completed.  

For a copy of the updated statues, contact Jessica Foley.


[Docket No. RMU-2016-0004]

The Iowa Utilities Board issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) to amend Chapter 10, “Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage.” As part of a comprehensive review of its rules, the Utilities Board has reviewed its rules that establish filing requirements for companies that propose to construct, operate, and maintain natural gas pipelines. This proposed rulemaking updates the requirements for obtaining natural gas pipeline permits and is based upon the Board’s experience in recent years in reviewing petitions for permits. Stakeholder comments were sought during the Board’s review and have been considered in the proposed amendments to the rules in Chapter 10. In addition, the Board is updating the safety standards for natural gas pipelines to make them consistent with federal and industry standards since pipeline companies are required to comply with the most recent federal and industry standards.

The Board issued an order commencing rulemaking on May 31, 2019. The order is available on the Board’s electronic filing system, under Docket No. RMU-2016-0004.   For a copy of the proposed rulemaking, contact Jessica Foley.

Underground Gas Storage
RCP is the market leader for underground gas storage integrity and risk management.  We have unmatched industry leaders, including Rick Gentges, Steve Nowaczewski, Terry Rittenhour, Phil Baker and more available to assess your program and provide practical feedback and recommendations for improving your gas storage integrity and risk programs.  For more information about RCP’s underground gas storage integrity management and risk analysis services, visit our website  or contact Jessica Foley.


Missouri LNG Facilities

Effective July 30, 2019, the state of Missouri has adopted the most recent edition of 49 CFR 193 concerning LNG facilities into its state regulations (4 CSR 240-40.033 Safety Standards–Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities). Part 193 was not previously regulated at the state level in Missouri.


2019 Industry Conference Schedule

LGA Pipeline Safety Conference
July 29–August 1, 2019
Astor Crowne Plaza | New Orleans, Louisiana

RCP is once again a proud sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s conference, which has been referred to as the “Premier Pipeline Safety Conference.”

APGA Annual Conference
July 28-31, 2019
Stowe Mountain Lodge | Stowe, Vermont

A conference for public natural gas professionals and industry experts.

Western Regional Gas Conference
August 20-21, 2019
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel | Tempe, Arizona

Mark your calendar for August 20th (3:45-4:30 session) and plan to attend Sheri Baucom’s presentation on “Pipeline Pressure Testing Objectives and Acceptance Criteria.”  The Western Regional Gas Conference provides a forum for the free exchange of information between natural gas companies and their state and federal regulators, and with associated industry organizations, consultants, manufacturers and vendors that serve the pipeline industry.

RRC Regulatory Conference: Oil & Gas and Pipeline Safety
August 20-21, 2019
AT&T Conference Center | Austin, Texas

This conference marks the second year the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is bringing its oil and gas and pipeline safety experts together to share their knowledge with the energy industry on complying with RRC’s rule requirements. Registration Fees are $350 per person by July 22, 2019 and $450 per person July 23, 2019 – August 16, 2019. No walk-up registration is available. For additional conference information and to register, visit the RRC’s website

API Storage Tank Conference
October 14-17, 2019
Westin Denver Downtown | Denver, Colorado

The Annual API Storage Tank Conference provides attendees with new information on tank-related research, latest technologies, and API petroleum standards. This informative conference features multiple panels that will help you understand the requirements to maintain tank integrity while complying with environmental rules.

APGA Operations Conference
October 27-31, 2019
Huntsville Marriott at the Space and Rocket Center | Huntsville, Alabama

The APGA conference will be preceded by committee and board meetings to be held October 27-29. Who should attend: Natural gas utility operations and engineering professionals, gas utility procurement personnel, organizations providing products and/or services used in natural gas distribution, state and federal pipeline safety regulators.

Note: The conference provides 16 continuing education credits required by many states to maintain professional engineering licensure.

Pipeline Safety Trust Annual Conference
November 7-8, 2019
Hotel Monteleone | New Orleans, Louisiana

Each year since 2006, the Pipeline Safety Trust has hosted pipeline safety conferences. What makes them unique among pipeline conferences is the mix of attendees, who come with experience as the affected public, the pipeline industry, and government regulators. All these people come together to discuss barriers to safer pipelines.


RCP’s 2019/2020 Workshop Schedule

DateEventLocation
Nov 14 2019Pressure Test Design & AnalysisHoustonMore Info
Nov 21 2019Understanding MAOP Reconfirmation Requirements WebinarOnlineMore Info
Jan 9 2020What can TaskOp do for you? WebinarOnlineMore Info
Jan 28 2020 – Jan 30 2020DOT Gas & Liquid WorkshopHoustonMore Info

Visit our events page for updates, registration, and hotel information.

RCP Safety Management System
RCP has experience assisting our clients implement API RP 1173 – Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS) as the basis for their safety management system.  RCP can perform gap assessments and prepare project plans to close the identified gaps with the goal of having a fully functional safety management system. RCP continues to work with the joint industry group, developing much of the material on the PipelineSMS.org website and is currently working to create a formal auditing program for RP 1173.  For more information on how RCP can assist with your company’s PSMS implementation, contact Jessica Foley.


We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you.

Sincerely,

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