March 2023 Issue
In This Issue
Gas Gathering / Type R (Reporting Regulated) Annual Report Training
The Pipeline Safety Institute has developed an e-Learning course designed to give gas gathering operators a comprehensive understanding of how to report asset data required for the Type R Gas Gathering Annual Report form (Form F7100.2-3), which is submitted in the PHMSA portal. This course is Ideal for gas-gathering operators that are new to the industry, or anyone who has questions regarding the recent changes to the Annual Reports, or who has not been required to submit an Annual Report in the past.
- Annual Report & Its Importance
- Who Should & When to Submit Annual Reports
- What is Type R Gas Gathering
- Identifying Type R Gas Gathering
- Type R Annual Report Filing Data Checklist
- Type R Annual Report Filing Steps
For additional information, or to register, click here.
Do you have questions? RCP’s SMEs have the answers. Information will be posted here for questions we often get from clients or discussions we have with regulators, regarding interpretations and pending regulatory deadlines.
Q: If PHMSA’s maps show a liquid HCA, such as a drinking water source, in a certain location, must liquid operators assume that information is accurate when doing their “could affect” analysis?
A: PHMSA’s liquid HCA maps are based on various datasets provided by other agencies and organizations. While they are a good starting point when identifying HCAs, they are not definitive. Operators are required to identify any HCAs which were missed in PHMSA’s maps. Likewise, operators may be able to demonstrate that an HCA shown on PHMSA’s maps is not currently an HCA. If so, they can omit that HCA from their “could affect” analysis. RCP can help operators upgrade their HCA datasets to ensure only current HCAs are included in their “could affect” analysis.
- April 10, 2023, is coming soon and require all new and entirely replaced gas transmission and liquids pipelines subject to PHMSA’s new RMV rule to comply from that point forward unless alternative technologies are approved by PHMSA for a particular instance. The new RMVs will have to be operational within 14 days of placing the new line or replacement segment in service.
- The onshore gas gathering rule was published April 8, 2022. Portions became effective May 16, 2022 – Reporting of Incidents for the new Type C & R.
- Full identification by Type and Class location was to be completed by November 16, 2022
- For the newly identified Type C that must have the MAOP established, the deadline for boosting system pressure to take advantage of “highest actual operating pressure” as permitted by 192.619(a)(3) is coming fast – May 16, 2023
- And as a reminder, the “Stay of Enforcement” does not mean regulators don’t expect work toward getting compliance activities in place can be ignored.
If we can help, contact Jessica Foley.
The Enforcement Corner
The Enforcement Corner summarizes recent PHMSA enforcement actions, indicating where PHMSA is putting its enforcement efforts and the fines they are proposing for various types of violations.
In January 2023, PHMSA issued 4 NOAs, 7 NOPVs, and 4 WLs accompanied by $788,608 in proposed fines. Significant proposed fines were attributed to the following code sections:
- $222,504 – 49 CFR 192.493 – In-Line Inspections
- $222,504 – 49 CFR 192.605(c)(v) – Procedure Manual
- $151,900 – 49 CFR 195.202 – Specifications & Standards
- $63,900 – 49 CFR 195.214(b) – Welding Procedures
- $63,900 – 49 CFR 195.228(a) – Welding Inspections
- $63,900 – 49 CFR 195.234(b)(1) – Nondestructive Testing
- Pipeline operators may disagree in whole or in part with each proposed violation cited by PHMSA.
- Proposed Civil Penalties (PCP) may be reduced or eliminated before an enforcement action becomes final.
- A Corrective Action Order (CAO) usually addresses urgent situations arising out of an accident, spill, or other significant, immediate, or imminent safety or environmental concern.
- A Notice of Amendment (NOA) is frequently a result of a difference of opinion regarding written procedure requirements.
- A Notice of Proposed Safety Order (NOPSO) addresses pipeline integrity risks that may not constitute a hazardous facility requiring immediate corrective action (see Corrective Action Order described above),but do need to be addressed over time.
- A Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV) is not proof that a violation actually occurred.
- A Proposed Compliance Order (PCO) frequently documents actions the pipeline operator already planned to do.
- Warning Letter (WL) is an official notice by PHMSA that an operator needs to make improvements but that no further enforcement is proposed for those findings at this time.
RCP maintains a detailed database of all PHMSA enforcement actions dating back to 2007 and is routinely asked for data analysis of various enforcement actions. For more information on how RCP can assist with enforcement action data analysis services, contact Jessica Foley.
Need to respond to a PHMSA enforcement action?
Need to know if your enforcement action is an outlier, or par for the course?
RCP maintains a detailed database of all PHMSA enforcement actions and their resolution which enables us to compare and contrast individual enforcement actions to nationwide actions and trends. We can help put things into context to ensure an effective reply for each citation. For more information on how RCP can assist with enforcement action data analysis services, contact Jessica Foley.
2023 Conference News
In-person conferences are back in full swing! Visit us at our booth at both API & AGA where we will have plenty of swag and an opportunity to win a bottle of RCP’s 25th Anniversary Single Barrel Jack Daniel’s.
API 2023 Pipeline Conference and Expo
May 1-3, 2023 |JW Marriott Nashville, TN
Join us in Nashville and stop by RCP’s booth! Registration is now open. Program details and the schedule at a glance is posted on API’s event page.
2023 AGA Operations Conference and Biennial Exhibition
May 2-4, 2023 | Gaylord Texas Resort & Convention Center | Grapevine, TX
The annual AGA Operations Conference is the natural gas industry’s premier gathering of natural gas utility and transmission company operations for the sharing of technical knowledge, ideas and practices to promote the safe, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of natural gas to the end user. The Operations Conference is AGA’s largest forum including 100 speakers and over 120 technical presentations that run the gamut of topics, such as gas measurement, operations advocacy, safety, environment, storage, engineering, construction and maintenance, gas control, supplemental gas, corrosion control and piping materials. The 2023 exhibition will be held in conjunction with the conference. The exhibition attracts approximately 250 domestic/international vendors.
TGA 2023 Operations and Management Conference
June 5-8, 2023 | Embassy Suites |San Marcos, TX
The Embassy Suites in San Marcos is available to make your hotel reservations for the TGA Conference in June. To receive the TGA group rate of $169.00, YOU MUST mention that you are with the TGA/Texas Gas Association. Conference registration opens in the Spring. Check the TGA website for updated info.
LGA 2023 Pipeline Safety Conference
August 14-17, 2023 |Hilton Riverside | New Orleans, LA
Early Bird registration is now open! For the second year, LGA’s Pipeline Safety Conference is excited to announce that they will be concurrently hosting the Louisiana Oil & Gas Regulatory Conference (previously known as the SONRIS Conference). At this conference, stakeholders will learn the ins & outs of LDNR’s SONRIS program and other important updates from the Office of Conservation. LGA’s agenda continues to cover 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193, 195 & 199, and underground natural gas storage. Representatives from PHMSA, APGA, NTSB, and many more will be present. Check LGA’s website for more information and an updated agenda.
Did you know?
DID YOU KNOW? About the gas cooking safety…
- Natural gas is a commonly preferred source of energy for cooking products, such as ovens and stovetops, as natural gas offers many benefits including quick startup, even temperature, and reliability during outages.
- All forms of cooking, regardless of heat source, generate air pollutants, especially at high temperatures. The installation of exhaust systems for all indoor cooking products, no matter gas or electric, helps to eliminate these pollutants.
- To ensure safe operation, gas kitchen appliances should be installed in accordance with local codes such as the International Fuel Gas Code or the National Fuel Gas Code. These codes and other related appliance safety standards are developed by independent organizations that bring together experts from all areas, including government agencies.
- Always use the appropriate pot or pan size when cooking by matching the pan to flame size. The flame should be the same as or smaller than the bottom of the pan.
- APGA is opposed to bans on gas appliances, as they restrict consumer choice, removing affordable choices that consumers love, such as gas cooking appliances. Read APGA’s recent statement here.
- APGA has a resource page on our website that offers more information on cooking with gas safety/indoor air quality, view it at www.apga.org/naturalgas-cooking-safety.
- Cooking on a natural gas stovetop is a very safe way to cook and offers many benefits. As with any cooking, it’s important to follow a few simple steps to keep your family safe. Find a safety checklist here: https://www.naturalgasgenius.com/safety/.
DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshops (In Person)
Our training events are now available at a new location! PSI Training Courses are now hosted at the RCP Offices or at the PRCI Technology Development Center, both located in Houston.
Be sure to join us this April 25-27, 2023 at the PRCI Technology Development Center to participate in our informative & interactive DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop.
Topics to be addressed in the workshop include:
- An overview of DOT/OPS pipeline compliance requirements
- State and Federal agency roles for pipeline safety
- PHMSA Jurisdiction
- PHMSA Inspections and Enforcement Processes
- Engineering Concepts and Stress/Strain Relationships; %SMYS
- Design Requirements
- Construction Requirements
- Corrosion Control Concepts and Requirements
- Operations and Maintenance Requirements
- Emergency Response Requirements (including spill response planning requirements for liquid pipelines)
- Damage Prevention Programs
- Operator Qualification Programs
- Drug and Alcohol Programs
- Public Awareness Programs
- Integrity Management (gas and liquid) Programs
- Control Room Management Programs
We will also discuss the PIPES Act of 2021; recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA; and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.
Each attendee will receive an electronic copy of the presentation as well as applicable handouts, and applicable regulations and voluminous reference materials including rulemakings, letters of interpretation, and other guidance documents.
To register for this workshop, click here.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you.
W. R. (Bill) Byrd, PE