DOT Pipeline Compliance News

May 2010 Issue

In This Issue

Advisory Bulletin (ADB-10-04) – Electronic Reporting System is Live

On February 3, 2010 (75 FR 5460), PHMSA published Advisory Bulletin ADB-10-01 in the Federal Register to notify operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of newly revised incident/accident report forms and instructions. (See related article in the February 2010 edition of the DOT Pipeline Compliance News.) In ADB-10-01, PHMSA announced that the revised forms are to be used for all incidents/accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2010. PHMSA further noted that hard copy filing was required until PHMSA launched a new online system which was targeted for early March 2010.

  • This notice advises owners and operators of gas pipeline facilities and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities that the new electronic incident/accident reporting system is available online at the following URL: Each operator may use their current operator ID and PIN from the old system to access the new system. The new online system is for incidents/accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2010.
  • The new online system can also be accessed through the old system at the following URL: and click on “Incidents on or after Jan 1, 2010” for the respective report type. The old online system is still available for filing supplemental reports for incidents/accidents that occurred prior to January 1, 2010, and is still the system for filing annual reports and Gas Integrity Management Program (IMP) reports.

Incidents and accidents that were previously filed in hard copy are being entered by PHMSA staff and should not be reentered by the operator into the system. Operators that have already submitted a hard copy 2010 incident report as previously instructed in ADB-10-01 should not re-submit that report using the online system. Where data quality checks are indicated for the hard copy filed reports, PHMSA will contact operators as needed to facilitate complete data entry for the initial submissions. Once all reports received in hard copy have been entered by PHMSA, operators will be able to submit supplemental reports online if needed. In addition, PHMSA is aligning the hard copy forms with the new online system by replacing the double asterisks with the single asterisks for those data fields deemed required for an initial submission to PHMSA.

PHMSA notes that for hazardous liquid small releases (identified as the areas shaded in gray on the hard copy version of the hazardous liquid accident form), the new online system will accept reporting and does the required logic checks for small releases (those under five barrels that do not involve a fatality, injury, property damage of $50,000 or more, as described in 49 CFR 195.50). However, the new online system does not exclude or hide questions that are not applicable to small releases. Therefore, PHMSA recommends that operators who report such events follow the shaded sections on the hard copy accident form and the guidance provided in the hard copy instructions while entering those events with the online system until a system enhancement is in place to further streamline the online reporting process.

PHMSA appreciates the cooperation of all users of the new online system. For questions regarding filing, please contact:

  • Jamerson Pender at 202-366-0218; or
  • e-mail at
  • Any questions regarding this new online system requirement can be directed to the Office of Pipeline Safety operator helpline at 202-366-8075.

For a copy of ADB-10-04, contact Jessica Roger.

Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems Proposed Rule

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0923; FRL-9131-1]; RIN 2060-AP99

EPA is proposing a supplemental rule to require reporting of fugitive and vented greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems, including:

  • Onshore petroleum and natural gas production,
  • Offshore petroleum and natural gas production,
  • Natural gas processing,
  • Natural gas transmission compressor stations,
  • Underground natural gas storage,
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage,
  • LNG import and export terminals, and distribution.

The proposed supplemental rulemaking does not require control of GHGs, rather it requires only that sources above certain threshold levels monitor and report emissions. This proposed supplemental rule 40 CFR 98, subpart W requires annual reporting of fugitive and vented carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems facilities, as well as combustion-related CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from flares at those facilities.

This proposed rule would also establish appropriate thresholds and frequency for reporting, as well as provisions to ensure the accuracy of emissions through monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping requirements. This proposed supplemental rule incorporates a number of changes from the original proposed rule, including, but not limited to, different methodologies that provide improved emissions coverage at a lower cost burden to facilities than would have been covered under the initial proposed rule; the inclusion of onshore production and distribution facilities; and separate definitions for “vented” and “fugitive” emissions.

This proposed rule applies to facilities in specific segments of the petroleum and natural gas industry that emit GHGs greater than or equal to 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Reporting would be at the facility level. Note: many of these facilities are already required to track and report their combustion-related GHG emissions, according to Subpart C of the April 2009 rulemaking for 40 CFR 98.

Submit comments on the subject of this proposed rule on or before June 11, 2010 to and reference Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0923.

Public Awareness Effectiveness Evaluations due June 2010

The clock is ticking on the due date on completion of effectiveness surveys for operators implementing public awareness programs. Most plans must be completed by June, 2010 to be in compliance with the regulations. According to API RP 1162, operators should conduct these effectiveness evaluations “no more than four years apart.” The effectiveness evaluation is intended to “assess whether the actions undertaken in implementation (of RP 1162) are achieving the intended goals and objectives.”

RCP can assist you in conducting an effectiveness evaluation based on your public awareness plan. For more information, contact Jessica Roger.

Revision to Effective Date for Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is changing the effective date of the Revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines) from May 1, 2010, to October 1, 2010. The Mandatory Guidelines establish the scientific and technical guidelines for drug testing programs and establish standards for certification of laboratories. The revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines address the:

  • Collection and testing of urine specimens,
  • Requirements for certification of Instrumented Initial Test Facilities (IITF), and
  • Role of and standards for collectors and Medical Review Officers (MRO).

No other changes to the Mandatory Guidelines have been made. This change in the effective date becomes effective April 30, 2010.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) publishes the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs at 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40. This DOT regulation requires the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees in certain DOT-regulated industries. Consistent with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, the DOT utilizes the HHS laboratory procedures set forth in the Mandatory Guidelines in its regulations.

On February 4, 2010, DOT published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (75 FR 5722) announcing revised procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs. DOT’s final rule based on this NPRM will not be completed by May 1, 2010. It is anticipated that DOT’s rule will be issued in time to go into effect by October 1, 2010. Without this change of effective date for the Mandatory Guidelines, laboratories certified under the Mandatory Guidelines would be required to maintain a dual system for testing using the revised Mandatory Guidelines, and testing for DOT regulated entities covered by the current Mandatory Guidelines, until DOT rules are issued. Further, the National Laboratory Certification Program would be required to certify laboratories utilizing different sets of requirements. The new effective date of October 1, 2010 will allow time for related training in Federal and federally-regulated workplace drug testing programs and will be consistent with the beginning of the new Fiscal Year for Federal agencies.

For further information contact: Robert L. Stephenson, II, M.P.H., Director, Division of Workplace Programs (DWP), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 2–1035, Rockville, MD 20857; Telephone: 240–276–2600; E-mail:

Proposed Changes to TRRC – TCEQ Memorandum of Understanding

The Railroad Commission of Texas has proposed amendments to 16 TAC §3.30, relating to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (TRRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), as found in Title 16, Part 1, Chapter 3 of the Texas Administrative Code. The proposed amendments affect the Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.414; Texas Water Code, §26.131, Chapter 27, and §§29.001-29.053; and Texas Natural Resources Code, §§81.052, 85.042(b), 85.201, 85.202, 91.101, and 91.602.

Proposed changes of interest to pipeline operators in Texas include:

  • Proposed amendments in subsection (d)(3) address storage of oil, and provide that tank bottoms and other wastes from the storage of crude oil (whether foreign or domestic) before it enters the refinery are under the jurisdiction of the TRRC, and that waste resulting from storage of crude oil at refineries is subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.
    • Wastes generated from storage tanks that are part of the refinery and wastes resulting from the wholesale and retail marketing of refined products are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.
    • The proposed amendments strike references to storm water because storm water is addressed in proposed new subsection (b)(1)(B) and (b)(2)(B).
  • Subsection (d)(6) addresses transportation of crude oil or natural gas. Proposed new wording addresses questions both agencies have received on a regular basis, and adds a paragraph about general jurisdiction over pipeline related activities. Proposed new paragraph (6)(A) provides that the TRRC has jurisdiction over:
    • Matters related to pipeline safety for all pipelines in Texas that transport hazardous materials as that term is defined by federal regulation.
    • Spill response and remediation of releases from pipelines transporting crude oil, natural gas, and condensate from the point of origin at exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.
    • Waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease, and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.
    • Waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines transporting carbon dioxide.

The TRRC is responsible for water quality certification issues related to construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.

The Railroad Commission of Texas will hold a public hearing on this proposal on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., in Room 1-100 of the William Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78711.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted online at ; or by electronic mail to Comments should refer to O&G Docket No. 20-0264933 and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on May 17, 2010.

Proposed Changes to Gas Pipeline Regulations in Maine

[Docket No. 2010-106]

The Public Utilities Commission in Maine has initiated a rulemaking to repeal and replace Chapter 420 of its rules on safety standards for natural gas transmission and distribution systems and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. The proposed Chapter 420 includes the federal requirements that the Commission must enforce as a certified agent of DOT. Furthermore, it contains additional requirements that have been enacted by other states and recommendations promulgated by PHMSA in order to more vigorously protect the public. Additionally, the proposed rule clarified how federal gas transmission and distribution system safety standards will be applied in Maine. The affected sections include: Scope, Definitions, Damage Prevention, Emergency Procedures, Installation and Maintenance Standards, Operations Standards, Documentation and Reporting Requirements, Enforcement Procedures, and Federal Regulation Waivers.

Jurisdictional liquefied propane gas (LPG) facility safety and operations standards will hereafter be contained in a new rule, Chapter 421. The proposed Chapter 421 is currently under consideration in Docket No. 2009 392.

A public hearing has been scheduled for May 20, 2010 in the Commission’s Worster Hearing Room at 1:00 p.m. This rulemaking will be conducted according to the procedures set forth in 5 M.R.S.A. §§ 8051-8058.

Written comments on the proposed revisions are due by June 21, 2010, and should refer to Docket No. 2010-106. Submit comments to the Administrative Director, Public Utilities Commission, 18 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 0018, or may be filed electronically.

PHMSA Announces New Central Region Director

PHMSA has announced the appointment of David (Dave) A. Barrett as Director, Central Region for the Office of Pipeline Safety. Dave joined PHMSA in 2000 as an engineer in the Central Region office in Kansas City. During his career at PHMSA, Dave has had increasing responsibilities as a project manager, and most recently as supervisor in Central Region. Dave’s varied experience includes all aspects of regulatory compliance at the region level, with a particular focus on integrity management.

Dave is originally from the Baltimore, MD area, and graduated in 1989 from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining PHMSA, Dave spent 10 years performing engineering and project management duties with Colonial Pipeline Company. As a project manager he was responsible for meeting project deliverables; including design, material acquisition, inspection, and construction.

Dave and his family enjoy outdoor activities together, and most especially Orienteering (racing across unfamiliar countryside using a map and compass).

AGA Operations Conference May 11-14, 2010 in New Orleans

Meet us at the 2010 AGA Operations Conference at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans. RCP representatives will be attending the conference and look forward to meeting you. If you plan on attending, mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 12, for Chris Foley’s presentation on Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP). This presentation will describe how gas distribution operators leverage existing leak data for purposes of DIMP implementation. Practical methods for turning leak data into compliance with various DIMP elements, such as system knowledge, threat identification, risk evaluation, performance measurement and reporting will be discussed.

For more information on AGA’s 2010 Operations Conference, click Here.

RCP’s Web-Based Compliance Management Systems

CP’s Compliance Management System (CMS) is an invaluable tool for managing all aspects of regulatory workflow. Some examples of how our clients are using the CMS include:

  • O&M Scheduling and Data Acquisition;
  • Cathodic Protection Inspection and Data Management;
  • One-Call Screening and Ticket Management;
  • Repair / Replacement Programs;
  • Operator Qualification Administration and Workflow Integration;
  • Leak Life Cycle Management;
  • Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance;
  • Audit Action Item Tracking; and
  • Customer Data Management.

DIMP Integration

For gas distribution operators looking for a powerful tool to implement DIMP, the RCP CMS integrates O&M data captured from field personnel along with inherent system attributes to provide real-time risk analysis, performance reporting, as well as track additional and accelerated actions taken to mitigate risks.

Key Features

  • GIS integrated workflow management
  • Custom tailored e-mail notifications and reporting
  • Runs on any web-enabled device, no software to download
  • Powerful reporting and custom query functionality
  • Multiple security and user privilege settings
  • Document storage and control (ex. procedures, maps, images, and completion documentation)
  • Automatic recurrence setting for routine tasks (example: leak surveys, CP surveys, etc.)
  • Create work orders for unscheduled / unplanned activities (ex. release reporting)

To request a demonstration or to request more information, please contact Jessica Roger.

RCP President Elected to SERAD Executive Committee

RCP is proud to announce that its President, Bill Byrd, PE, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering’s Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Division (SERAD). The interests of SERAD extend across most of the other ASME Divisions. This Division works with industry, ASME Codes & Standards, and other relevant professional and regulatory organizations to discuss, review, and promote practices which lead to reduced risk and improved occupational environments. SERAD members include engineers conducting research and practicing engineers in risk analysis, mechanical equipment design, occupational health and safety, environmental control, toxic and explosive hazards from dusts and gases, radiation hazards, process (system) operations, design, maintenance, and testing. Member activity has expanded to include product liability, loss prevention and occupational health.

TGA O&M Conference June 13-16, 2010 in Corpus Christi

Meet us at the 2010 TGA Operations Conference at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. RCP representatives will be attending the conference and look forward to meeting you. Bill Byrd will be speaking on SPCC issues at a breakout session on Tuesday, June 15 and will provide a regulatory overview to liquid operators on Thursday, June 17th. And, Chris Foley will be giving a DIMP presentation during this conference as well.

Click here to check for updates on the conference agenda, registration information and hotel reservations.

PHMSA/RRC Pipeline Safety Seminar June 16 – 18, 2010 in Corpus Christi

The Texas Gas Association (TGA) will be hosting the Texas PHMSA/RRC pipeline safety seminar immediately following the O&M Conference. PHMSA will be discussing and instructing on requirements of 191, 192 and 195. The natural gas portion of the pipelines seminar will be on Wednesday and Thursday and the liquid portion will run from Thursday to Friday. Click here to check for updates on the conference agenda and registration.

RCP Adds More Experience to its Roster

In March/April, RCP added two new employees to our roster.

Gary Welch, PHD, recently joined RCP as an Executive Consultant. In his 32 years of industry experience, Gary has demonstrated his expertise in several technical disciplines including nearly all aspects of Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE), corrosion research and materials selection, and production engineering. Dr. Welch has a distinguished background in stress corrosion cracking research and metallurgical engineering, and has produced multiple articles for publication on this subject matter. He also has in-depth knowledge and expertise on complex regulatory and risk-management issues, having managed large risk analysis and mitigation projects (HEMP Studies, etc.) for a major integrated oil company. He has developed and / or audited corporate-level HSSE Assurance Programs and HSSE Management Systems both domestically and overseas. We are looking forward to his valuable contributions to RCP and our clients.

Amber Pappas has been working for RCP as a consultant since October, 2009, and recently accepted a position as our Director of Marketing. She will work on RCP’s external marketing efforts, creating new synergies and opportunities within our industry. Her hard work and dedication in the area of public awareness / damage prevention has earned her an excellent reputation, as she is widely recognized in our industry as an expert on such matters. This, combined with her 15+ years of marketing and communications experience, will serve as an added benefit to our clients.

Students Learn Important Lessons about Underground Utility Safety

The Educational Programs Committee of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) partnered with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation to design an underground utility safety curriculum for Safety Day events throughout the United States. Safety Days are one-day events that teach children safety lessons to keep them safe at home, on a farm or ranch. The goal is to reduce the incidence of agriculture-related injuries by increasing the awareness of the potential danger around the home, work and recreation.

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation reaches more than 60,000 children and adults each year through their Safety Day Program. The Safety Day event consists of small groups of children (ages 8 to 13), which are led by a facilitator who provides hands-on, challenging learning activities on a variety of topics, including underground utility safety, ATV safety, gun safety, food safety and firearm safety, to name a few. The program was funded and developed by the CGA and successfully introduced in late March, 2008. Since then, more than 16,000 students have participated in the underground utility safety lessons throughout the US.

There are hundreds of Safety Day events scheduled in 2010. To find out how your company can do their part to promote the underground utility safety lesson, contact Amber Pappas or visit the Progressive Ag Foundation website for more information and a complete listing of the upcoming Safety Day locations:

Jurisdictional Determination

Is there uncertainty as to whether a pipeline meets the applicability of 49 CFR 195 or 192? RCP can answer your questions regarding the jurisdictional status related to pipelines that may be regulated by the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT/PHMSA). Click here to request more information on how RCP can help.

811 Wins at Talladega!

National Safe Digging Month was supported through many nationwide efforts, including one of the most popular races of the season. Kevin Harvick raced the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet to victory lane and celebrated his first points win of the season just recently in Talladega. During the race, Harvick helped celebrate National Safe Digging month, by sporting the “Call 811” logo on the deck lid and rocker panels of the No. 29 car to help educate fans about the importance of following the proper safety procedures when digging.

In addition, the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle was a strong contender to take the checkered flag as well bearing the 811 logo on the camera panel, hood and deck lid. Biffle’s crew chief also wore an 811 hat and was interviewed multiple times on national TV during the race. Click here to access highlights from the winner circle.

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