DOT Pipeline Compliance News

May 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – May 15, 2007

RCP will be hosting our very popular workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance on May 15 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.

PHMSA Issues Advisory Bulletin ADB-07-01 Senior Executive Signature & Certification of IMP Performance Reports

On December 29, 2006, the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act was signed into law. The law, known as the PIPES Act, includes a provision requiring the senior executive officers of pipeline operating companies to certify annual and semiannual pipeline integrity management program performance reports. This advisory provides information to assist pipeline operators with certifying future submissions of annual and semiannual pipeline integrity management program performance reports.

Specifically, the law requires each report to include a signed statement certifying that the senior executive officer has reviewed the report and to the best of the senior executive officer’s knowledge and belief, this report is true and complete.

Operators of gas transmission pipelines are required by 49 CFR §192.945 to submit IMP performance measures semiannually. Operators are encouraged to submit the IMP reports using the electronic form available on PHMSA’s Web site. Electronic forms can be found by clicking here.

PHMSA requires hazardous liquid pipeline operators to submit annual reports providing information about their pipeline infrastructure and their integrity management program. Operators are required to submit these reports annually and by June 15 for the previous calendar year in accordance with 49 CFR §195.49. Operators are encouraged to use the Online Data Entry System (ODES) to submit annual reports. Electronic forms can be found here.

For more information or a copy of this advisory, contact Jessica Roger.

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.

PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Design and Construction Standards to Reduce Internal Corrosion in Gas Transmission Pipelines

The DOT/PHMSA has issued a final rule requiring operators to use design and construction features in new and replaced gas transmission pipelines to reduce the risk of internal corrosion. The rulemaking proceeding was initiated in response to a 2003 recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and corresponding advice of the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (TPSSC). This final rule takes effect May 23, 2007.

The design and construction features required by this rule will reduce the risk of internal corrosion and related pipeline failures by reducing the potential for accumulation of liquids and facilitating operation and maintenance practices that address internal corrosion. The basic requirements of this final rule are similar to those proposed in the NPRM:

  • New and replaced gas transmission pipelines must be configured to reduce the risk that liquids will collect in the line
  • Have effective liquid removal features
  • Allow use of corrosion monitoring devices in locations with significant potential for internal corrosion

The final rule adds new subsections to § 192.143 in Subpart D-Design of Pipeline Components and to § 192.476 which requires an operator to address internal corrosion risk when designing and constructing a new gas transmission line or when replacing line pipe or components in a transmission line.

For additional information, or for a copy of the final rule, contact Jessica Roger.

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 to request more information.

PHMSA Issues Study on Burial of Submerged Pipelines [Docket No. PHMSA-97-3001]

PHMSA has completed a study titled “Burial of Submerged Pipelines”, which addresses the hazards to navigation from offshore submerged pipelines. The study found that since 1990 there have been 58 reported instances of a vessel or its equipment striking a submerged pipeline offshore, and 64 reported instances where a submerged pipeline was either uncovered or presented a hazard to navigation. No incidents were found outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

The study addresses the impact of pipeline depth of burial and vessels in waters less than 15 feet of depth. PHMSA anticipates there will be changes in the offshore environment, such as liquefied natural gas import facilities. PHMSA is working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure adequate protection of LNG lines. PHMSA provides FERC with findings from our safety analysis for consideration of conditional terms for granting permits. Therefore, PHMSA has the ability to get safety concerns addressed through FERC by adding them as conditions of a permit. In addition, climate change may adversely affect offshore pipeline infrastructure by causing shifts in weather patterns, water depth or vessel traffic. PHMSA requests comments on the study to assist in evaluating the need for further analysis due to these anticipated changes in the offshore environment. Comments must be submitted by May 21, 2007.

For a copy of the study, please contact Jessica Roger.

PHMSA Announces Workshop on “Prevention Through People” (PTP)

This notice announces the first public workshop on PHMSA’s “Prevention Through People” (PTP) initiative. This workshop will gather information about noteworthy pipeline safety and integrity practices in control room operations, including measures for managing human risk factors such as fatigue. The information gathered will be used to develop an approach to control room management that enhances safety.

Sections 12 & 19 of the Pipeline Integrity, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES Act), direct PHMSA to address various risks to pipeline integrity in which people play a large role, including fatigue and other safety concerns in control room management. PHMSA plans to use its PTP initiative to address these PIPES Act requirements.

Historically, PHMSA’s pipeline integrity management (IM) efforts were driven by making best use of risk data to prioritize risk control efforts. Third party damage and corrosion are only part of the safety picture. The next logical area of program development is to examine the role of people, including control center operators. Human error, including those caused by mistake or fatigue, can cause or exacerbate events involving releases leading to safety impacts.

Several existing regulations focus on the role of people in effectively managing safety. These include regulations on damage prevention programs (§ 192.614 and 195.442), public awareness (§ 192.616 and 195.440), and qualification of pipeline personnel (§ 192.801 and subpart G of part 195).

Preliminary Workshop Agenda

  • Prevention through People’ Overview.
  • Purpose and Goals of Workshop.
  • Fatigue and SCADA-NTSB.
  • Fatigue-Panel Discussion.
  • Computer Interface and Change Management-Panel Discussion.
  • Control Room Practices-Panel Discussion.
  • Risk Approach to Control Room Management- PHMSA

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

The workshop will take place at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20594.

For additional information regarding this workshop contact Byron Coy at (609) 989-2180, or by e-mail.

Need to Update Your Current Operator Qualification Program?

We have the expertise to update your current operator qualification program utilizing the most recent PHMSA inspection protocols and advisory bulletins. For more information on how RCP can support your ongoing OQ Program needs, click here.

PHMSA Launches Enforcement Transparency Website

PHMSA has launched a new website intended to provide greater public access to enforcement activities. The website provides reports that can be sorted in a variety of ways.

The yearly Listing of Cases Initiated report lists all of the enforcement Cases initiated by PHMSA in a given year, beginning in 2002. The yearly tables include dates that each Case was opened, the name of the operator involved, the PHMSA Region initiating the enforcement action(s), the corresponding date on which the Case was closed (if applicable), the current status of the Case, and PHMSA’s unique Case Number. When an Enforcement Case is opened,

The Enforcement Actions Details table lists key information pertaining to a particular enforcement Case. For cases initiated after January 1, 2007, electronic files of PHMSA’s initial notice letter, the operator’s initial response letter (if any), and PHMSA’s Final Order (if an Order is issued) are provided. PHMSA only issues Final Orders in certain situations. For example, Final Orders are not issued for Warning Letters and most Notices of Amendment.

To view the Summary of Enforcement Actions website, please follow this link.

Washington State Enacts More Stringent Pipeline Control Measures

OLYMPIA, Washington – On April 20, 2007, Governor Chris Gregoire signed the first major revision to Washington’s pipeline safety act since 2001.

Substitute Senate Bill 5225 passed in the House 98-0, and in the Senate 48-0.

The law, which takes effect in July, will:

  • Increase the maximum penalties for pipeline safety violations from $25,000 to $100,000 per day. That brings the state’s penalties in line with federal law.
  • Defines “gas” in a way so that the state agency can regulate hydrogen and acid gas pipelines.
  • Extends state pipeline safety regulation over publicly owned small pipeline systems called “master meters” that are subject only to federal pipeline safety rules.
  • Gives the UTC regulatory authority over propane pipeline distribution systems even if the agency does not have rate-setting authority over the propane system.
  • Eliminates obsolete references and unused definitions in existing laws.
  • Consolidates all pipeline safety authority under one law instead of several.

Under state law, the Utilities and Transportation Commission can levy a civil penalty of $25,000 per violation up to a maximum $500,000 for a series of violations. The current federal penalty is $100,000 per violation up to $1 million for a series of violations.

For a copy of this Bill, contact Jessica Roger.

Damage Prevention Plans

RCP can develop or update your Damage Prevention plan. For more information about how RCP can assist you with your Damage Prevention Plan, click here.

TSA Announces Availability of Pipeline Security Awareness Training Materials

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced the availability of pipeline security awareness training materials for employees and neighbors:

  • Pipeline Security Awareness for the Pipeline Industry Employee – Training CD
    Through its Pipeline Corporate Security Review Program, TSA’s Pipeline Security Division determined that improved security awareness training for pipeline company employees would be useful. To increase the security awareness levels across the pipeline industry, TSA developed compact disc-based security awareness training titled “Pipeline Security Awareness for the Pipeline Industry Employee” (CD-1). The course is intended for distribution to interested pipeline companies and is centered on heightening pipeline employees’ awareness of suspicious activity and their importance in keeping our nation’s pipeline system secure. The course is useful to all pipeline company employees – administrative, operations, and security personnel – who need a basic level of awareness and understanding of pipeline security.
  • Security Awareness for Employees (Brochure) – Electronic Reproducible PDF Format
    To further enhance the information contained in the training CD, TSA produced the Pipeline Security Awareness for Employees brochure. This brochure will be sent as PDF files and can be customized by user companies to meet their needs.
  • Good Neighbors, A Pipeline Security Neighborhood Watch (Brochure) – Electronic Reproducible PDF Format
    This brochure will assist with your company’s neighborhood outreach efforts and promote the reporting of suspicious activity or incidents to you.

The training CD and brochures can be obtained by completing an order form at this website.

DHS Final Rule 6 CFR Part 27 Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) issued this interim final rule (IFR) pursuant to Section 550 of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 (Section 550), which provided the Department with authority to promulgate “interim final regulations” for the security of certain chemical facilities in the United States.

This rule establishes risk-based performance standards for the security of our Nation’s chemical facilities. It requires covered chemical facilities to prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs), which identify facility security vulnerabilities, and to develop and implement Site Security Plans (SSPs), which include measures that satisfy the identified risk-based performance standards. It also allows certain covered chemical facilities, in specified circumstances, to submit Alternate Security Programs (ASPs) in lieu of an SVA, SSP, or both.

The rule contains associated provisions addressing inspections and audits, recordkeeping, and the protection of information that constitutes Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI). Finally, the rule provides the Department with authority to seek compliance through the issuance of Orders, including Orders Assessing Civil Penalty and Orders for the Cessation of Operations.

This regulation is effective June 8, 2007, except for Appendix A to part 27. A subsequent final rule document will announce the effective date of Appendix A to Part 27.

Comments related to the addition of Appendix A to part 27 only will be accepted until May 9, 2007. You may submit comments identified by docket number 2006–0073 at

For additional information, or for a full copy of the Final Rule, contact Jessica Roger.

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 Issues Notice to Lessees Regarding Pipeline Risers

The Minerals Management Services has issued NTL 2007-G14 to provide clarification and guidance for pipeline riser design, fabrication and installation under the platform verification program specified in 30 CFR 250.909 through 918.

Under 30 CFR 250.910(b)(1)(i) and (2)(i), pipeline risers connected to floating platforms are subject to the platform verification program as associated structures. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) Gulf of Mexico OCS Region (GOMR) has determined that new pipeline risers are subject to a separate verification process that necessitates the use of an independent Certified Verification Agent (CVA) specifically for the pipeline riser. These pipeline risers are a critical component of any floating platform proposal and must meet stringent requirements for design, fabrication, and installation. Accordingly, the MMS GOMR has developed guidelines for the pipeline riser verification process as part of the platform verification program.

For a copy of this NTL, contact Jessica Roger.

811 Rollout

The nationwide 811 service for damage prevention one-call notifications is now in place, and a nationwide education campaign is underway. About 98% of the country is now covered by 811 service. And, to prove that the dig-safely community is totally hip (I guess that shows what generation I’m from, but never mind…), the public service announcements are posted on

A Digression: The Ultimate Commute

I’ve long daydreamed of my own personal ballistic transportation missile, that could whisk me anywhere on the globe in a matter of minutes. That dream is now one step closer to reality. Effective June 5, 2007, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending its commercial space transportation regulations under the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, to establish application requirements for an operator of a manned or unmanned reusable suborbital rocket to obtain an experimental permit. The FAA is also establishing operating requirements and restrictions on launch and reentry of reusable suborbital rockets operated under a permit.

I think the companies that are commercializing space transportation are missing a golden opportunity. Instead of blasting their customers into space and then returning them to the same spot a few minutes later, they should blast off from Arizona, and then land in Australia a few minutes later. Now THAT would be cool…!

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