DOT Pipeline Compliance News

March 2020 Issue

In This Issue

PHMSA Public Meeting: New Regulations, FAQs, Docket

PHMSA conducted public meetings on February 26th and 27th to review recently finalized rules for hazardous liquids and natural gas transmission pipelines.  In addition to summarizing key issues within each rule, PHMSA also walked through revisions coming to the annual and incident report forms.  PHMSA also explained their plans for inspector training and expectations for future inspections.  Attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions about the draft FAQs.  Docket #PHMSA‐2019‐0225 has been created for these meetings.  All public comments and recommendations for changes to the draft FAQs should be submitted through this docket.  Presentations from these meetings can be downloaded here.  For more information about this meeting, or to discuss how RCP can help operators to comply with these new rules, contact Jessica Foley.

PHMSA UGS Final Rule

[Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0016; Amdt. Nos. 191-27; 192-126; 195-103]

PHMSA issued a final rule to amend its minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities (UNGSFs). The final rule incorporates the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practices (RP) 1170 and 1171 by reference into the pipeline safety regulations as written. RPs 1170 and 1171 outline safety standards for several types of underground facilities and provide a minimum federal standard for inspection, enforcement, and training. These standards will directly apply to approximately 200 interstate facilities and serve as the minimum federal standard for approximately 200 intrastate facilities. The rule also clarifies the threshold for reportable changes and events which require PHMSA notification and revises the definition of an Underground Natural Gas Storage facility.

RCP has been closely following this UGS rulemaking and has published many related articles in the DOT Pipeline Compliance News. Search Newsletter Archive editions from 2017 to present for background information on the Interim Final Rule, FAQs, etc.

This final rule is effective on March 13, 2020.  For a copy of this UGS Final Rule, contact Jessica Foley.

NEW Gas Transmission Pipeline Rule Workshop

June 9-11, 2020

Join us June 9-11, 2020 in Houston at our corporate office and dedicated training facility for a deep dive into the recently finalized Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines rule. There is a lot to unpack with this rule.  This workshop will not only dive deep into the rule requirements and some of its nuances, but there will be several practical hands-on exercises for the audience to ensure you come away with the knowledge necessary to comply with various elements of the new rule. RCP has partnered with Mike Rosenfeld for portions of this workshop, so you are sure to learn from the best in the industry.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is intended for gas transmission operator personnel who are responsible for implementing any part of the rule requirements, including:

  • MAOP Validation and Reconfirmation,
  • Engineering Critical Assessments,
  • Material Verification Planning,
  • Moderate Consequence Area analysis,
  • Spike Test planning and execution,
  • Pipeline Integrity Outside of HCAs.

What You Will Learn

This 3-day workshop provides participants a deep dive into the Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines rulemaking. There will be several practical and interactive exercises for the audience to perform, ensuring they come away knowledgeable with “what” is required, but also “how” to conduct certain analyses that are new to the gas transmission pipeline regulations.

About the Trainers

RCP trainers have a wealth of industry experience and provide participants a practical perspective on operations and maintenance activities at a level all can understand and are very effective in answering any questions.

Mr. Rosenfeld is an experienced consultant in pipeline fitness for service, pipeline integrity, pipeline design and construction, causes of pipeline failures, pipeline regulations and standards, and related matters. He has performed numerous pipeline failure investigations and root cause failure analyses; research funded by the pipeline industry on the effects of mechanical damage, fatigue, pipeline integrity threat interactions, and methods to determine the probable grade of undocumented pipe materials; engineering analyses of a broad range of design, operations, or integrity matters for numerous pipeline operators; and provided expert support in litigation. He chairs the Subgroup on Design, Materials, and Construction of the ASME B31.8 Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Committee and serves on other ASME piping standards development committees. Mr. Rosenfeld has authored or co-authored over 90 published articles or public presentations dating to 1988, is an ASME Fellow, and is a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Ohio. He previously worked with Kiefner & Associates (27 years), Battelle (6 years), and Impell Corporation (4 years). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan (1979) and a Master of Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1981).

Chris Foley has a deep understanding of the new gas transmission regulation, including participating on the Joint Industry Trade Association Task Group to prepare for and submit comments throughout the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee process.  Mr. Foley owns three patents for MaxOp, which is widely considered the gold standard used across the gas and hazardous liquid pipeline industry for MAOP validation. He serves on the ANSI GPTC Z380 Gas Piping Technology Committee and the American Gas Association Engineering Committee.  Mr. Foley has almost 30 years’ experience developing and implementing engineering and regulatory compliance solutions and technology for the oil and gas industry. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering with a specialty in Systems Safety Engineering from Texas A&M University.

To register for our workshop, click here.

TRRC Chapter 8 Amended Pipeline Safety Regulations

Effective January 3, 2020, the Railroad Commission of Texas (TRRC) adopted amendments to 16 TAC 8 – Pipeline Safety Regulation Subchapters A, B, C, and D.

The amendments to Subchapter A require the retention of documents filed with the DOT to be made available to the TRRC upon request rather than concurrent filing. Additionally, some definitions have been clarified, including a newly written definition of what constitutes a private school.

The amendments to Subchapter B added a new section requiring operators of otherwise unregulated natural gas pipelines (gathering lines) and rural hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering lines to (1) take appropriate action to correct hazardous conditions that create risk to public safety; (2) submit appropriate reports; investigate accidents, incidents, public safety threats, and complaints; (3) take appropriate correction action and preventative measures to avert reoccurrence. Additionally, changes have been made to the notification requirements (60 days instead of 30 days) for the construction of pipelines and facilities as well as the amendments to the Typical Penalties table.

The amendments to Subchapter C – Gas Pipelines include changing the leak survey intervals for the prescriptive option to once each calendar year at intervals not exceeding 15 months within a business district and changes to the incident reporting for gas distribution systems. In addition, dates that are no longer applicable have been removed from §8.209 Distribution Facilities Replacements, along with changes that requires operators to annually remove or replace at least eight percent of underground distribution gas pipeline facilities posing the greatest risk in the system and identified for replacement under the program. Eight percent is an increase from the current requirement of five percent. Other changes are also noted to reflect the reporting and record retention changes noted in Subchapters A and B.

The amendments to Subchapter D – Hazardous Liquids and Carbon Dioxide Pipelines reflect the reporting and record retention changes noted in Subchapters A and B.

The Railroad Commission of Texas (TRRC) also adopted changes to 16 TAC 8 Section 70 – Pipeline Permits Required which states that operators of a pipeline or gathering system, other than an operator excluded under §8.1(b)(4), must obtain pipeline permits and renew them annually. Production or flow lines subject to §8.1(a)(1)(B) and (a)(1)(D) must also comply with the permitting requirements.

For a copy of TRRC’s amendments to 16 TAC 8, contact Jessica Foley.

Iowa Intrastate Gas Transmission Pipeline Permits

The state of Iowa has made a variety of amendments to its permitting process for intrastate gas transmission pipelines in Title 199 – Utilities Division, Chapter 10 – Intrastate Gas Pipelines and Underground Gas Storage.  This includes new definitions for Permit, Amendment of permit, Person, Affected person, and Negotiating.  For a copy of the new regulation, contact Jessica Foley

Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Incident Reporting

[Docket No. CSB-2019-0004]

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) published a final rule (40 CFR 1604) for accidental release reporting. These reporting requirements will become effective on March 23, 2020. This new rule applies to a wide variety of industry segments, including pipelines and pipeline facilities that are “stationary sources” under EPA regulations. If an accidental release results in a fatality, hospitalization or property damage greater than $1,000,000, then notification to the CSB is required. If the release is also reportable to the National Response Center (NRC), then notification to the CSB is to be done within 30 minutes of the NRC report by submitting the NRC identification number. If the release is not reportable to the NRC, then notification to the CSB is required within 8 hours of the release. Reports can be submitted by email to

The content of a CSB report contains some additional information not normally included in an NRC report. The operator has 30 days to update the CSB report with the additional information. For more information or to get a copy of this final rule, contact Jessica Foley.

API Updated Standard for Pipeline Construction Inspection

API has published an updated edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 1169, Pipeline Construction Inspection.  This edition updates the issues that pipeline inspectors should review when overseeing each phase of a pipeline’s construction. While the first edition of RP 1169 concentrated on new pipeline construction, the second edition expands the scope of covered activities to cover all pipeline construction along the right of way, including repairs and excavations of existing lines. The inspector’s role under the updated standard begins during the pre-construction phase of the pipeline project, and extends through the surveying process, construction activities and related work that occurs immediately after construction has been completed.

API has also initiated the process of updating its inspector program examinations, which, through the API Individual Certification Program, conveys elements of the new standard to industry inspectors. The program currently has over 8000 certified individuals who conduct API 1169 inspections. For those interested in the API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification, the second edition will take effect with the 2021 exams in order to allow pipeline personnel to familiarize themselves with the new standard and its enhancements.

API RP 1162, Version 3 Goes to Letter Ballot

API published RP 1162 Pipeline Public Awareness, version 3 for public comment and ballot. To view this draft version, click here.  The deadline for submitting comments is April 13, 2020.  Once the final version is published, our understanding is that PHMSA intends to eventually incorporate this version of RP 1162 into Parts 192 and 195.  There are many changes from RP 1162, version 1 to version 3.  The most significant change appears to be how operators evaluate the effectiveness of their public awareness program, including standardizing the effectiveness assessment questionnaire.  To submit public comments, click here and enter 5075 in the Ballot ID Number field.

Advisory Committee Meetings on Valve/Rupture Rulemaking

PHMSA will hold a joint public meeting of the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) and the Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC) on July 22 and 23 to discuss the PHMSA Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards NPRM. The NPRM was published on February 6, 2020 and the comment period ends on April 6, 2020. (See related article in the February 2020 Edition of the DOT Pipeline Compliance News.) Check the PHMSA meeting page for updated information.

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


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