DOT Pipeline Compliance News

March 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – March 29, 2007

RCP will be hosting our very popular workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance on March 29 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.

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.

Your Instructor: As Vice President of RCP, Mr. Foley enjoys a solid reputation for working with the public, corporate management, and regulatory agencies to resolve complex regulatory issues. He is frequently called upon to provide expert opinions on a wide array of jurisdictional issues, including current or proposed rulemakings at public and private meetings and conferences.

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

API Pipeline Conference, April 17 – 18

The Pipeline Conference will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico this year with registration April 16 and the conference April 17 and 18. Unlike in previous years, there will be technical sessions following the luncheon on the 18th, with the last sessions ending at 4:00pm on the 18th. Admiral Thomas Barrett, the PHMSA Administrator, is scheduled as the luncheon speaker on the 18th. The Environmental and Safety Awards and the Distinguished Environmental &Safety; Award will be presented during the luncheon, with API President, Red Cavaney, scheduled to attend the reception on April 17 and present the Distinguished E&S; Award on April 18. In addition, this year API will honor our pipeline members who have been active over the years in standards development. To register, please click here

PHMSA Administrator promoted and Deputy Administrator of PHMSA Announced

PHMSA Administrator Barrett has been designated by the President as Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation. While serving as Acting Deputy Secretary Barrett will also officially retain title of PHMSA Administrator.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced that Krista L. Edwards has been appointed the Deputy Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Edwards has served as PHMSA’s Chief Counsel since May 2006. Prior to joining the department, Edwards was a partner in the Washington, DC, office of Sidley Austin, LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s Transportation and Employment and Labor practice groups. Edwards received her J.D., with honors, from Northwestern University School of Law in 1988, and a B.A., with honors, from Northern Illinois University in 1984.

As Deputy Administrator, Edwards will assist the PHMSA Administrator in leading the agency, focusing on regulatory matters, enforcement, and legislative policy. Edwards reports directly to Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. Stacey Gerard remains PHMSA Assistant Administrator and Chief Safety Officer. Jeff Wise is Acting Associate Administrator, Pipeline Safety as Ted Willke has moved to Acting Associate Administrator, Hazardous Materials.

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. Please contact Jessica Roger for more information.

DOT Special Permits

The federal pipeline safety laws allow a pipeline operator to request PHMSA to waive compliance with any part of the federal pipeline safety regulations. The DOT has published a notice to provide a list of requests they have received from pipeline operators seeking relief from compliance with certain pipeline safety regulations. Included with the list of waiver requests, PHMSA provided notice that they are changing what they will call a decision granting such a request to a “special permit”. At the conclusion of the each waiver comment period, PHMSA will evaluate each request individually to determine whether to grant a special permit or deny the request.

Texas Drafts Proposal to Incorporate Production Facilities Into Pipeline Regulations

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is considering amending the pipeline safety regulations as they relate to thedefinition of gathering pipelines. In March 2006, PHMSA adopted new regulations defining production/flow, gathering, incidental gathering, and the associated endpoints with these potential pipeline types. The RRC participated in two meetings/workshops in 2006, in Dallas and Houston, in conjunction with the Gas Processors Association and PHMSA to discuss the amended definition of “gathering pipeline” and its applicability. Based on the discussions during these meetings, the RRC is considering changes to the current rules found in 16 T.A.C. §§8.1, 8.5 and 8.101, as they relate to applicability, definitions, and integrity management. The changes would allow continued regulation of all pipelines located in populated areas (class 2 or higher), while at the same time removing the requirement for integrity assessment and management for regulated gathering pipelines to match the federal pipeline regulations.

At this time, the RRC is seeking comments on the suggested changes. The RRC anticipates that at in April, they will evaluate all of the comments received and determine, based on the comments, how to proceed with this effort. Please send your comments by regular mail to Mary McDaniel, Director, Safety Division, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967; by electronic mail to; or by using the online comment form found at by March 30, 2007.

For a copy of this proposal, contact Jessica Roger.

Has the new Gas Gathering definition affected your pipelines?

RCP can conduct a detailed analysis of your gas pipelines to determine end points of production and gathering based upon the recently finalized definition of gas gathering pipelines. The analysis will also determine whether your gathering pipelines are regulated and whether they are classified as Type A or B regulated gas gathering. For more information, click here.

PHMSA Publishes R&D; Forum Presentations

The Government/Industry Pipeline R&D; Forum was held in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 7-8, 2007. The 2 day event included approximately 250 representatives from Federal, State and international government agencies, public representatives, research funding organizations, standards organizations, and pipeline operators from the U.S. and overseas. Forum documents, including presentations from each Technical Track, are available by clicking here. The six technical tracks discussed at this forum include:

  1. Data Mining/Threat Assessment
  2. Excavation Damage Prevention
  3. Direct Assessment
  4. Defect Detection/Characterization
  5. Defect Remediation/Repair/Mitigation
  6. New Fuels Transportation

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.

USCG Issues Guidance on Vessel and Facility Response Plans

The US Coast Guard has issued Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC 01-07) which provides guidance on vessel and facility response planning in relation to oil spill removal organizations (OSRO) resource movements during significant pollution events. The purpose of the NVIC is to provide guidance to Coast Guard units, vessel and facility plan holders, OSRO’s, and other members of the public in connection with spill removal resource movements after an oil spill associated with a significant pollution event such as a Spill of National Significance (SONS) or an Incident of National Significance (INS). For a copy of the NVIC, contact Jessica Roger.

Need to Update your Response Plan (FRP, ICP or OSRP)?

We have the expertise to update your Facility Response Plan, Integrated Contingency Plan, or Oil Spill Response Plan to include new guidance and lessons learned from recent incidents and natural disasters. Please contact Jessica Roger for more information.

In 2005, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that operators of hazardous liquid pipelines be required to follow the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 1165 for the use of graphics on the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) screens (see our December, 2005 newsletter). At the time of NTSB’s recommendation, RP 1165 had not been published (one of your basic cart before the horse kind of situations…). RP 1165 has now been officially published by API. This RP focuses on the design and implementation of displays used for the display, monitoring, and control of information on pipeline SCADA. The primary purpose is to document industry practices that provide guidance to a pipeline company or operator who want to select a new SCADA system, or update or expand an existing SCADA system. The RP is available for sale on API’s website. Copies may be purchased for $135.00 each. API members receive a 30% discount on orders.

API RP 1162 Seminar Offered by Paradigm

Paradigm® is offering a seminar designed to inform and educate members of the oil and gas industry on the recently enacted public education requirement, RP 1162. The seminar will be held in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, March 15, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Denver City Center, 1450 Glenarm Place. An overview of RP 1162 requirements will be given. RP 1162, part of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act, provides pipeline operators with specific recommendations on their public education programs promoting pipeline safety. Specifically, the regulation identifies stakeholder audiences, outlines safety information to be communicated, defines message frequency and delivery methodologies, and provides evaluation guidelines for program effectiveness. The morning session of the seminar will address requirements, needs and solutions for transmission pipeline operators, and the afternoon session will focus on distribution operators. Seminar highlights include live demonstrations of the Paradigm® suite of public awareness tools. Open to all members of the oil and gas industry, the seminar is free of charge and participants will be served lunch.

For more information on the Denver seminar, please contact Peter Ryther at (713) 937-0084. RSVP by contacting Manda Denning at (866) 577-1162. Future RP 1162 Solutions Seminars are planned in Seattle, WA and Phoenix, AZ. Dates for those seminars are not yet determined.

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