DOT Pipeline Compliance News

March 2004 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance / Gas Integrity Management Workshop April 6-8, 2004 – Houston Includes updates on the new Gas Pipeline Integrity Management regulations published on Dec 15, 2003 recent and guidance for Operator Qualification and Public Awareness Programs.

RCP will conduct a 3-day workshop on DOT Pipeline Regulations on April 6-8th in Houston. Day 1 of this workshop will present an overview of all the current DOT regulations for pipeline operators. Day 2 will review recent regulatory initiatives for pipelines such as SPCC requirements, operator qualification, public awareness programs, pipeline security, as well as, gas and liquid pipeline integrity management developments. Day 3 is dedicated to the latest regulations and information necessary for Gas Pipeline Integrity Management. This workshop is suitable for all levels of pipeline regulatory expertise. We have conducted several of these seminars in the past, and have received excellent feedback. We expect this workshop to fill up rapidly. Early registration and group discounts are available. You can register or find additional information on our website here.

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.

Gathering Line Definitions

OPS is currently working to modify the definition of gathering lines, which could have impacts for operators of gas and liquid gathering pipelines. A recent presentation concerning gas gathering pipelines and potential regulations can be found at:

OPS is considering using a modified class location procedure to determine if a gathering line should be regulated. The length of the class location “rectangle” would be 1000 feet, and the width depends on the % of specified minimum yield strength that the pipeline operates at. If the pipe operates at <20% SMYS, the width of the rectangle would be 100 yards on either side of the pipe. If the pipe operates at >20% SMYS, the width of the rectangle would be 220 yards on either side of pipe. In either case, only 5 or more dwelling units would be required within the rectangle to cause the pipeline segment to become regulated. OPS is also considering “regulation lite” for regulated gathering pipelines – maybe no integrity management, and / or less demanding requirements, and / or longer time to implement.

A recent presentation on liquid gathering can be found at:

For liquid gathering pipelines, OPS could extend oversight to:

  • All high stress pipelines regardless of location and diameter.
  • Change the diameter of gathering from 8” to 6”.
  • Regulate those gathering lines that could affect Unusually Sensitive Areas (USA’s) and Commercially Navigable Waterways (CNW’s)

Outer Continental Shelf Facility Security; Notice of Policy

On Wednesday, October 22, 2003, the Coast Guard published a series of final rules for maritime security requirements mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, including provisions for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) not subject to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, and certain fixed and floating facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) other than deepwater ports. This Notice of agency policy clarifies which fixed and floating OCS facilities are subject to regulation under Title 33 CFR part 106. This Notice also clarifies how the Coast Guard establishes applicability to Title 33 CFR part 106.

The requirements of 33 CFR part 106 apply to owners and operators of any fixed or floating facility, including MODUs not subject to 33 CFR part 104, operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the United States for the purposes of engaging in the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas or mineral resources, that are regulated by 33 CFR Subchapter N, and that meet certain operating conditions of crewing or production. These regulations were developed under the authority the Maritime Transportation Security Act, which among other things, requires the development of security plans designed to deter, to the maximum extent practicable, transportation security incidents (TSIs). TSIs are security incidents resulting in a significant loss of life, environmental damage, transportation system disruption, or economic disruption in a particular area.

In Title 33 CFR 106.105, the Coast Guard identified three operating conditions to determine if the “consequence threshold” for a TSI was present on a particular OCS facility: the facility hosts more than 150 persons for 12 hours or more in any 24 hour period continuously for 30 days or more; the facility produces greater than 100,000 barrels of oil per day; or the facility produces greater than 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Title 33 CFR part 106 applies to those OCS facilities already regulated by 33 CFR subchapter N that meet the operating conditions of section 106.105 (a), (b) or (c). The Coast Guard uses the definition of the term “production” given in 33 CFR subchapter N (140.10) to include those activities, functions and processes that could render the OCS facility susceptible to a TSI. These activities, functions and processes may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the handling, transfer or transportation of oil or natural gas by an OCS facility supporting pipeline transmission junctions. The Coast Guard will continue to work with the Minerals Management Service (MMS) as necessary to refine and update the “threshold characteristics” upon which the applicability of 33 CFR part 106 is based.

To this end, the MMS has provided the Coast Guard with a list of OCS facilities that, according to MMS data, meet or exceed the “threshold characteristics” in 33 CFR part 106. The Coast Guard has sent letters to owners or operators of these facilities informing them that they must comply with the requirements of 33 CFR part 106. The Coast Guard intends to work closely with the MMS to identify all OCS facilities to which 33 CFR part 106 applies, and to inform the owners and operators of these facilities that they have been so identified. Owners and operators who believe their OCS facilities have been misidentified, or otherwise do not meet the “threshold characteristics” may appeal as prescribed in 33 CFR 10 01.420. While the Coast Guard will make a good faith effort to identify and notify the owners and operators of those OCS facilities subject to the requirements of 33 CFR part 106 , ultimate responsibility for complying with 33 CFR part 106 rests with the cognizant OCS facility owner or operator.

For further information on the subject of this Notice, contact Lieutenant Commander Eric Walters (G-MOC) U.S. Coast Guard by telephone at (202) 267-0499 or by electronic mail at

Pending Audits?

Has the DOT notified you of a pending audit? RCP can provide confidential internal auditing to help ensure that your facilities are up to the agency’s latest standards.
Click Here.

The Department of Homeland Security Announces Voluntary Submittals of Critical Assets (including pipeline systems)

The Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of the Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program on February 20, 2004. The PCII Program is designed to encourage private industry and others with knowledge about our critical infrastructure to share confidential, proprietary, and business sensitive information about this critical infrastructure with the Government to assist the Nation in reducing its vulnerability to terrorist attacks. The Department will use PCII information in pursuit of a more secure Homeland, focusing primarily on analyzing and securing critical infrastructure and protected systems; developing risk assessments and vulnerabilities; and assisting with recovery. Critical infrastructure includes the assets and systems that, if disrupted, would threaten our national security, public health and safety, economy, and way of life. Although these industries, services and systems may be found in both the public and private sectors, the Department of Homeland Security estimates that more than 85 percent falls within the private sector.

The PCII Program Office has developed rigorous safeguarding and handling procedures to prevent unauthorized access to information submitted under this program. For more information regarding the PCII program and how to make submissions go to;=3230.

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 recent DOT Hazmat Transportation & Pipeline regulations. We can also assist you in USCG security plans for dock facilities and vessels. Please contact Jessica Roger for more information.

MMS Announces New Publication – MMS Ocean Science

The Minerals Management Service (MMS), an agency of the Department of the Interior, which has funded over 600 million dollars of research on the marine environments along the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, Pacific and Atlantic outer continental shelves through its Environmental Studies Program, has launched MMS Ocean Science.

MMS Ocean Science is a bimonthly magazine which will report on research, which includes biological resources (fish, turtles, birds, whales), habitat resources (water quality, sediment quality), and socioeconomic resources (communities, archaeology, fiscal impacts).

The magazine will also feature articles about MMS funded studies of the different types of technology used by industry to extract offshore mineral resources to evaluate their safety and performance, and the numerous studies conducted to evaluate technologies used to prevent and clean up oil spills.

The first issue of MMS Ocean Science focuses on the MMS as an organization. Subsequent issues will cover information about the deepwater environment, the latest technology in use offshore, the rigs-to-reefs programs, shoreline studies, and oil spill prevention.

MMS Ocean Science is on the MMS website at Anyone interested in receiving MMS Ocean Science can be put on our mailing list or receive an electronic notification with a link to the website by registering at

MMS Announces the International Workshop on Coatings for Corrosion Protection: Offshore Oil and Gas Facilities, Marine Pipelines & Ship Structures

The MMS announced it will hold the International Workshop on Coatings for Corrosion Protection: Offshore Oil and Gas Facilities, Marine Pipelines & Ship Structures on April 14-16, 2004 at the Imperial Palace Hotel, Biloxi, Mississippi.

The Colorado School of Mines is organizing this international Workshop on behalf of the MMS and the other co-sponsors to include the American Bureau of Shipping, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Association of Corrosion Engineers, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety, Society for protective Coatings, The National Association of Pipe Coating Applications and major oil and gas companies.

Working groups will undertake complete assessment of opportunities for research and development of coating practice, coating materials, application, repair, non-destructive evaluation, and extended coating life prediction. The workshop will conclude with the clear identification of research and development issues and will create a roadmap for achieving them.

For further information, please contact: Melody Francisco, SPACE, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado 80401, USA, Tel: [303] 273-3321; Fax: [303] 273-3314 or visit:

Acquiring a pipeline?

RCP can provide due diligence audits to help you ensure that potential compliance issues have been addressed before the sale is final. Click Here.

EPA Issues Final Rule for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): Organic Liquids Distribution (Non-Gasoline)

The EPA recently issued the final rule regarding the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for new and existing organic liquids distribution (OLD) (non-gasoline) operations.

This is a new air emissions rule impacts the following entities:

Operations at major sources that transfer organic liquids into or out of the plant site, including:

  • Liquid storage terminals
  • Crude oil pipeline stations
  • Petroleum refineries
  • chemical manufacturing facilities, and
  • Other manufacturing facilities with collocated OLD operations

The EPA estimates that the final standards will result in the reduction of HAP emissions from major sources with OLD operations by 60 percent. The emissions reductions achieved by the final standards, when combined with the emissions reductions achieved by other similar standards, will provide improved protection to the public and achieve a primary goal of the CAA.

The complete Federal Register article is available on RCP’s website here.

RCP’s Fantastic 1-Page Version of New SPCC Regulation

The deadline for SPCC Plan revisions is fast approaching, February 17, 2006! RCP has developed a 1-page version (in tiny type) of the new SPCC regulations, to be revised as per the April 17, 2003 rule modification. To receive a complimentary copy along with a CD of valuable SPCC Reference Materials Click Here to request additional information.

RCP Services Spotlight – SPCC & Response Planning Capabilities

RCP has developed or revised OPA-90 plans and SPCC plans for both large and small facilities throughout the US in order to meet the August 17, 2004 deadline. Our previous experience with contingency plans enables us to be very efficient in the development of these plans. We are very familiar with the necessary cross-references, indices, graphs and charts, and appropriate plan formats. The types of services we provide include the following:

  • SPCC Plans and Revisions – RCP will produce a PE certified SPCC plan for your facilities as required by EPA requirements found in 40 CFR 112, revised effective August 16, 2002. This includes an on site assessment by RCP to verify facilities, secondary containment, and determine the lowest cost approach to achieve compliance with the new rule. RCP recently completed and certified SPCC Plans for a customer with a variety of complex facilities including a large chemical plant, polymers plant, natural gas pipeline compressor station, liquids pipeline facility, and a petroleum products storage terminal.
  • OPA 90 Plans (MMS, DOT, EPA, USCG) – We specialize in development of facility and operations-specific oil spill contingency plans under OPA 90 in compliance with all DOT, USCG, EPA, or MMS regulations, and consistent with the National Contingency Plan and appropriate Area Contingency Plans.
  • Integrated Contingency Plans – RCP can develop an Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP) for you that combines multiple facility response and contingency plans into a single, user-friendly facility response plan.
  • Seminars, Workshops and Specialized Training – RCP is prepared to conduct a SPCC workshop on-site for your company and tailor the content to your company’s specific needs. We can also provide all types training to meet MMS, DOT, EPA and USCG regulations.

Please Click Here if you would like information on RCP’s SPCC & Response Planning Capabilities.

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