DOT Pipeline Compliance News

June 2005 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – August 17-18, 2005

Join us at our Houston office for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance and API RP 1162 for DOT Pipelines. This workshop has been attended by hundreds of pipeline personnel, with excellent feedback. Day 1 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 2 covers each of the 8 elements required in RP 1162.

Day 1: 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

Your Instructor for Day 1: 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.

Day 2: API RP1162 Overview

The final rule incorporating by reference API Recommended Practice 1162 will go into effect June 20, 2006 for both gas (192) and liquid (195) pipeline operators. The Public Awareness/API RP1162 Overview will cover each of the 8 elements required in RP1162. The session will also include additional information about the more complex elements of stakeholder audience identification, communication methods and evaluation of effectiveness. The session will be taught by a leader in the development of RP1162 who understands the background and intent of the rule as well as the language.

Your Instructor for Day 2: Susan D. Waller has over twenty-five years of pipeline experience and has been responsible for developing and implementing effective pipeline awareness communication programs throughout North America. Ms. Waller helped lead the development of API’s Recommended Practice 1162, Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators.

Increase your understanding of this new rule by attending Day 2 of the Workshop.

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

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.

New Rule for Pipeline Operator Public Awareness Programs

PHMSA has amended the requirements for pipeline operators to develop and implement public awareness (also known as public education) programs. The amendments for developing and implementing public awareness programs address the requirements of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA) of 2002 and incorporate by reference the guidelines provided in the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1162, “Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators.” There is no intent to include within the scope of the rule any additional communications regarding new pipeline siting or construction, emergency communications necessary as a result of a pipeline accident, or operator performance results addressed through other means of communication or regulatory reporting.

This final rule takes effect on June 20, 2005, and requires compliance for most operators by June 20, 2006. Both 49 CFR part 192 (gas) and 195 (liquid) are modified to incorporate API RP 1162 by reference. In addition, their respective existing requirements for public awareness programs have been replaced with the following text:

Note: Text specific to Gas pipelines is GREEN. Text specific to Liquid pipelines is BLUE.

§ 192.616 195.440 Public awareness.

  1. Each pipeline operator must develop and implement a written continuing public education program that follows the guidance provided in the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1162 (IBR, see § 192.7 195.3).
  2. The operator’s program must follow the general program recommendations of API RP 1162 and assess the unique attributes and characteristics of the operator’s pipeline and facilities.
  3. The operator must follow the general program recommendations, including baseline and supplemental requirements of API RP 1162, unless the operator provides justification in its program or procedural manual as to why compliance with all or certain provisions of the recommended practice is not practicable and not necessary for safety.
  4. The operator’s program must specifically include provisions to educate the public, appropriate government organizations, and persons engaged in excavation related activities on:
    1. Use of a one-call notification system prior to excavation and other damage prevention activities;
    2. Possible hazards associated with unintended releases from a gas hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipeline facility;
    3. Physical indications that such a release may have occurred;
    4. Steps that should be taken for public safety in the event of a gas hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipeline release; and
    5. Procedures for reporting to report such an event.
  5. The program must include activities to advise affected municipalities, school districts, businesses, and residents of pipeline facility locations.
  6. The program and the media used must be as comprehensive as necessary to reach all areas in which the operator transports gas hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide.
  7. The program must be conducted in English and in other languages commonly understood by a significant number and concentration of the non-English speaking population in the operator’s area.
  8. Operators in existence on June 20, 2005, must have completed their written programs no later than June 20, 2006. As an exception, operators of small propane distribution systems having less than 25 customers and master meter operators having less than 25 customers must have completed development and documentation of their programs no later than June 20, 2007. Upon request, operators must submit their completed programs to PHMSA or, in the case of an intrastate pipeline facility operator, the appropriate State agency.
  9. The operator’s program documentation and evaluation results must be available for periodic review by appropriate regulatory agencies.

Shameless commerce plug: RCP’s Susan Waller was on the committee that developed API RP 1162, and is actively involved with several operators to ensure their public awareness programs meet these new requirements. Susan can be contacted at, 832-255-7822.

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.

Public Meeting on Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Service Lines, June 17, 2005

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) is sponsoring a public meeting on the use of Excess Flow Valves in gas distribution safety lines as a technique for mitigating the consequences of service line incidents. EFVs are devices designed to be installed in gas service lines, the pipelines that carry gas from a distribution main to each individual customer. They automatically shut off the flow of natural gas in a service line when the line is ruptured. Proper operation of an EFV would minimize or eliminate safety consequences from fires caused by escaped gas. EFVs will not shut off flow in response to a leak in a building or in response to a slow leak, such as a leak caused by corrosion or a small crack in the service line. If an EFV activates improperly when there is no line break, i.e., spurious actuation, it would cut off gas flow to the customer. Much work is ongoing and stakeholders have taken various positions regarding the need to require use of EFVs. The benefit-cost analysis does not appear to support a requirement mandating installation of EFVs. This meeting will update the public on the continuing EFV activities and provide interested stakeholders an opportunity to present their positions for and against a requirement to use EFVs. Therefore, PHMSA/OPS encourages interested members of the public to attend the meeting and to share their views on EFVs. These views will be considered in making decisions regarding the mandatory use of EFVs.

The preliminary agenda for this meeting includes briefings on the following topics:

  • Operator Case Studies and Experience
  • Analysis of Recent Incident Data
  • NTSB Position and Recommendation
  • Views of State Regulatory Commissioners
  • Views of State Fire Marshals
  • Views of EFV Manufacturers
  • Views of Industry Trade Associations
  • A study for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) conducted by the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)
  • Distribution Integrity Management Program role in EFVs

    The meeting will be held on June 17, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton hotel, Pentagon City, 1250 South Hays Street, Arlington, VA 22202. The phone number for hotel reservations is (703) 415-5000 or 1-(800)-241-3333. Attendees staying at the hotel must make reservations by May 30. For further information contact: Mike Israni (PHMSA/OPS) at 202-366-4571;, regarding the subject matter of this notice. For information regarding meeting logistics, please contact Cheryl Whetsel at 202-366-4431;

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.

Misc. Texas Pipeline Safety Rule Changes

The State of Texas has made miscellaneous changes to their pipeline safety rules applicable to intra-state pipeline operators. These include:

  • A statement that Pipeline Safety Program Fees “shall not be billed to a state agency, as that term is defined in Texas Utilities Code, §101.003”.
  • Clarification that written reports are required for incidents that “resulted in unintentional gas ignition requiring emergency response”.
  • Clarification that reports are required when the incident “could reasonably be judged by the operator as significant because of location, rerouting of traffic, evacuation of any building, media interest, etc., even though it does not meet subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph”.

RCP Services Spotlight – Underwater Inspection Procedures and Interval Risk Modeling

Underwater Inspection Procedures – On August 10, 2004, the DOT published final amendments to 49 CFR 195.413 and 49 CFR 192.612 for Periodic Underwater Inspections of regulated pipeline facilities located in water depths of 15’ or less in the Gulf of Mexico and its inlets. Effective August 10, 2005, operators of certain hazardous liquid and gas pipelines will be required to have procedures in place to identify, inspect, and address those pipelines that are exposed or pose a hazard to navigation. RCP has experience developing comprehensive pipeline safety procedures including procedures to meet the new underwater inspection requirements. RCP can develop comprehensive and customized procedures that address these requirements, including:

  • General application criteria
  • Underwater inspection technologies most appropriate for your pipelines
  • Measures to be taken in the event pipelines are exposed or pose a threat to navigation
  • Risk-based analysis to determine appropriate inspection intervals

Inspection Interval Risk Modeling – The recently finalized regulations for Periodic Underwater Inspections are performance-based and require certain pipeline operators to develop procedures to identify and take appropriate action for lines that pose a hazard to navigation or are otherwise exposed. The Office of Pipeline Safety suggests the use of risk analysis when developing the rationale for inspection intervals. RCP’s development of a proven integrity management risk model has enabled us to translate that success into development of a similar approach to identify underwater inspection intervals.

If you would like information regarding RCP’s Underwater Inspection Procedures or Interval Risk Modeling e-mail Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080.

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

Meetings of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Committees, June 15-16, 2005

The Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (TPSSC) and Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (THLPSSC) will meet in joint sessions on June 15 and 16 to discuss future challenges facing the pipeline industry and options for direction on key projects. The discussion will focus on three topical areas:

  • Managing Risk and Integrity
  • Sharing Responsibility and Building Alliances for Safety
  • Improving Our Stewardship of the Environment, Security

Issues that will be addressed under each discussion topic include:

Managing Risk and Integrity

  1. Inspection Technology and Quality Assurance
    • How do we ensure that technology is applied to get credible results?
    • Are the national consensus standards sufficient for tool selection and qualification of pig log interpreters?
    • Is there a need for additional industry standards?
    • Will these consensus standards solve problems in the future in other subject areas?
  2. Pilot Operator Relief Valve Advisory Notice
    • Is the process outlined in the advisory an appropriate approach to address the inspection of relief valves?
  3. Human Factors
    • What have we learned from the experience of other modes about human factors?
    • How do human factors affect the performance of pipeline operators?
    • What evidence do we have that human factors may contribute to incidents?
    • Is the advice from other modes generally applicable?
  4. Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP)
    • Does the current plan draw data from all key areas?
    • What are your views on including the decision to install and maintain excess flow valves in DIMP?
    • Should OPS give special consideration to the small operators in DIMP implementation, master meter operators and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operators?
  5. Liquid Gathering Lines
    • Is the “integrity” approach of protecting pipelines that could affect unusually sensitive areas (USA’s) appropriate?
    • What safety functions are appropriate or needed?

Sharing Responsibility and Building Alliances for Safety

  1. Common Ground Alliance (CGA)-Virginia Experience
    • Do you believe enforcement will be necessary for damage prevention?
    • How do we improve effectiveness of the one-call system and what is the role of technology?
    • How can we apply the Virginia experience in other areas (i.e., distribution integrity management)?
  2. High Consequence Area (CCA) Pilots
    • Is there a way of using partnerships to expand damage prevention, emergency preparedness and response?
    • Are there key partners missing? If so, how do we enlist them, such as in the areas of emergency preparedness, encroachment, etc.?
    • Should this best practice model be introduced to all States?
  3. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
    • Is PHMSA/OPS doing all it should to educate communities about LNG?
    • Show Video Clip-Liquefied Natural Gas
    • Pipeline Information Planning Alliance (PIPPA)
    • How do we approach home builders and insurers?

Improving Our Stewardship in Environmental and Energy Projects

  1. Permit Streamlining
    • How do we introduce our concepts to State and local agencies?
    • What is the most efficient way to develop best practices?
    • How could we effectively use and improve on developing best practices during implementation of the second pilot program?
  2. Alaska
    • Are OPS’s current pipeline safety regulations aligned and applicable for the new technologies and materials being proposed for the Alaska North Slope gas transmission pipeline?
    • What changes need to be made to ensure the optimum delivery rate from Alaska, through Canada, and into the lower 48 States?
  3. Security
    • How can OPS ensure continuing pipeline security in the current environment?
    • What is OPS doing for pipeline security?

The meetings will occur from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Pentagon City), 1250 South Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202, The phone number for reservations at the Ritz Carlton is 1-800-241-3333 or (703) 415-5000. Attendees staying at the hotel must make reservations by Tuesday, May 31.

Need to Update Your Current Operator Qualification Program?

We have the expertise to update your current operator qualification program to satisfy the upcoming regulation change and inspection protocols. Click Here to request more information.

Advisory Bulletin ADB-05-03, Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Facilities in the Vicinity of Electric and other Utilities

On May 23, 2005, OPS published the following advisory bulletin, which was prompted by an NTSB investigation into a pipeline tank failure and fire involving electrical transmission wires:

To: Owners and Operators of Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Facilities in the Vicinity of Electric and other Utilities.

Subject: Preplanning with owners of electric and other utilities for coordinated response to pipeline emergencies.

Purpose: To advise operators of pipeline facilities located near electric and other utilities of the need to preplan emergency response with the owners of those electric and other utilities to ensure better coordination of response, and reduced damages, when a pipeline emergency occurs.

Advisory: Operators of pipeline facilities are required to plan emergency response before an emergency happens. The regulations include required elements of emergency plans and procedures. In planning emergency response, an operator should carefully look at the environment surrounding the pipeline facility and the risks that the environment will pose in the event of a pipeline emergency. Electric and other utilities may pose sources of ignition or may provide additional fuel for fires. The operations of these utilities may make response to a pipeline emergency by firefighters or the pipeline operator more difficult. Preplanning with these utilities will help the operator identify issues that may arise in responding to pipeline emergencies and plan effective response before there is an emergency. This will improve the coordination of emergency response and reduce delays.

OPS advises pipeline operators to include within their emergency response planning outreach to owners of electric and other utilities in order to preplan and coordinate response to pipeline emergencies.

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.

Coast Guard Releases OPA 90 Report

The Coast Guard has posted its Report on the Implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 on the web at The report notes, “Based on past spending trends and current forecasts, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) is expected to be depleted by FY 2009.” Additional funding sources would be needed to maintain a balance in the fund.

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.

DOT/PHMSA Permit Streamlining for Pipeline Repairs Public Meeting Notes

(We’d like to thank Ben Cooper from AOPL for the following information.)

On May 6, 2005 DOT/PHMSA held a public meeting to discuss the repair process, repair criteria and the agency permitting process with a focus on streamlining the process. A representative from the Council on Environmental Quality reinforced the four point plan for pipeline repair streamlining, first outlined by CEQ Chair James Connaughton at a Senate hearing last summer. The plan commits the federal government to:

  1. Facilitate early notification by operators of pipeline testing schedules through an innovative information technology application based on the National Pipeline Mapping System;
  2. Consolidate multi-agency permitting for pipeline repairs into a single review through a concurrent, rather than sequential process;
  3. Provide for categorical exclusions – automatic permitting — in instances where access for repairs can be carried out with minimal disturbance and previously agreed upon best management practices are used; and
  4. Develop specific procedures to address situations (examples were presented at the meeting) where the unusual difficulty is encountered in harmonizing repair requirements with environmental requirements.

In addition to the reaffirmation by CEQ of its commitment to the four-point plan, a major positive outcome from the meeting was the statement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative of his intention to propose in the near future a nationwide permit for pipeline repairs. A number of excellent industry presentations from the meeting should appear on the docket in the near future. In addition, the liquid pipeline industry will be collecting data through this site on the liquid pipeline repairs that have taken place since 2001 under the federal integrity management rules. Intra-state natural gas transmission operators are participating in development of procedures streamlining permits for pipeline repairs, and representatives of the interstate natural gas transmission industry spoke at the meeting of their interest in joining the effort. The questions, answers and comments from the public meeting will be stored under the public docket number 20920.

Notes from the Public Meeting to Discuss Technical Issues Associated with the NPDES Stormwater Permit Coverage for Small Oil and Gas Construction Activities

The intent of the public meeting on May 10, 2005 was for stakeholders to have an opportunity to participate in an open discussion of the technical issues associated with controlling storm water discharges from small (1 – 5 acre) oil and gas construction activities. The Environmental Protection Agency presented the regulatory background that leads to permitting of discharge from smaller oil and gas construction sites. The Domestic Petroleum Council proposed a best management practice guidance document called RAPPS (Reasonable and Prudent Practices for Stabilization) to address environmental concerns as opposed to the permitting process and indicated that most companies are already following these BMPs. Other industry representatives made comments that reflected concerns with the permitting process. Most of the open discussion centered on options to the need for permitting. A transcript and summary of the proceedings will be made available on the Office of Wastewater Management Web site ( within 30 days after the meeting date.

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