DOT Pipeline Compliance News

October 2003 Issue

In This Issue

Advisory Bulletin Re: Pipeline Industry Implementation of Effective Public Awareness Programs

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) has issued an advisory bulletin to owners and operators of regulated hazardous liquid pipelines, gas transmission pipelines, gas distribution pipelines, and crude oil and gas gathering pipeline systems. The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (PSIA) requires that each owner or operator of a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facility implement a continuing public education program. By December 17, 2003, each owner or operator must review its existing public education program for effectiveness and modify the program as necessary. RSPA/OPS is asking that each operator complete a self-assessment of its public education program against the guidelines established in the proposed consensus standard, American Petroleum Institute’s API RP 1162, “Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators,” before December 17, 2003, to demonstrate compliance with the PSIA. Note that API RP 1162 has not yet been officially incorporated into the OPS regulations, and that the modifications to an operator’s public awareness program, if any are required, should be those necessary to meet the existing regulations in 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195.

The full advisory bulletin is available from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

Need to update your Public Awareness Program?

RCP can help develop your updated plan to meet API RP 1162 standards, and provide turnkey implementation, mail-outs, evaluations, and tracking of your program. For more information call or Click Here.

Misc. Liquid Rule Changes

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) is changing several safety standards for hazardous liquid and carbon dioxide pipelines, effective October 14, 2003. The changes, which concern welder qualifications, backfilling, records, training, and signs, are based on recommendations by the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR). RSPA/OPS believes the changes will improve the clarity and effectiveness of the present standards. The changes to 49 CFR part 195 are summarized below:

Amend § 195.222 by redesignating the existing text as paragraph (a); and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:

  (b) No welder may weld with a particular welding process unless, within the preceding 6 calendar months,
       the welder has-
      (1) Engaged in welding with that process; and
      (2) Had one weld tested and found acceptable under Section 6 of API 1104.

Revise § 195.252 to read as follows:

  § 195.252 Backfilling. When a ditch for a pipeline is backfilled, it must be backfilled in a manner that:
      (a) Provides firm support under the pipe; and
      (b) Prevents damage to the pipe and pipe coating from equipment or from the backfill material.

Amend § 195.310 by removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph (b)(8); removing the period at the end of paragraph (b)(9) and add “; and” in its place; and adding paragraph (b)(10) to read as follows:

  § 195.310 (b) (10) Temperature of the test medium or pipe during the test period.

Revise § 195.403(a)(5) to read as follows: “Learn the potential causes, types, sizes, and consequences of fire and the appropriate use of portable fire extinguishers and other on-site fire control equipment, involving, where feasible, a simulated pipeline emergency condition.”

Revise § 195.434 to read as follows: “Each operator must maintain signs visible to the public around each pumping station and breakout tank area. Each sign must contain the name of the operator and a telephone number (including area code) where the operator can be reached at all times.”

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

FERC Stakeholder Involvement Meeting

The FERC Office of Energy Projects will host the fifth workshop in its “Better Stakeholder Involvement Series.” This workshop will focus on “lessons learned” from a project where the Commission’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pre-Filing Process was implemented. It will be held at the Holiday Inn-Tanglewood, 4468 Starkey Road, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2003. The phone number at the hotel is 1-888-228-5040. Interstate natural gas companies; Federal, state and local agencies; landowners and other non-governmental organizations are invited to participate.

Participants will learn from stakeholder and industry experiences with projects, solicit ideas for enhancing communication, and discuss the development of a new brochure to help stakeholders effectively participate in the NEPA Pre-Filing Process. FERC will specifically discuss the facility planning process, but not the merits of any specific proposed or existing pipeline projects. Participants are asked to speak from experience and be constructive, and bear in mind that the focus of the workshop is on discussing and improving the process of communication between the industry, the stakeholders, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the filing of an application.

The full meeting notice is available on RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

Need A HAZMAT Security Plan?

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RCP 7 Step Security Protocol
We have the expertise to develop a Security Plan
and audit program to meet the September 25, 2003 deadline!
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Gas Pipeline Regulations: Misc. Revisions

On November 13, 2002, RSPA/OPS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (67 FR 68815). The NPRM invited the public to comment by January 13, 2003, on proposed changes to 21 sections in Part 192. The changes are based on recommendations by the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR), a review of the recommendations by the State Industry Regulatory Review Committee (SIRRC), and subsequent public comments. RSPA/OPS has finalized their review and incorporation of the submitted comments, and has published the final revisions to these regulations. This Final Rule takes effect October 15, 2003. The final rule can be downloaded from RCP’s website can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

RCP’s Fantastic 1-Page Version of New SPCC Regulation

The deadline for SPCC Plan revisions is fast approaching, February 17, 2006! RCP has developed a 1-page version (in tiny type) of the new SPCC regulations, to be revised as per the April 17, 2003 rule modification. To receive a complimentary copy along with a CD of valuable SPCC Reference Materials Click Here to request additional information.

Direct Assessment Meeting

The Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) will cosponsor a workshop with the pipeline industry trade associations (API, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, Association of Oil Pipelines, American Gas Association, National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), and American Public Gas Association) on November 4, 2003 at the Wyndham Greenspoint North Hotel, 12400 Greenspoint Dr, Houston, TX 77060 to discuss direct assessment technology. The workshop is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of direct assessment technology as it relates to natural gas integrity management. The RSPA/OPS will gather issues presented at the workshop needing additional clarification or guidance material development. The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • identify issues with direct assessment that need clarification or additional guidance material development;
  • familiarize operators with the current status of direct assessment research and development;
  • provide examples of implemented direct assessment programs; and
  • familiarize operators with the current status of development of NACE direct assessment standards for External Corrosion, Internal Corrosion, and Stress Corrosion Cracking.

Use the following link to register for the OPS meeting:;=19.

Note that NACE International will also have a Direct Assessment workshop in the same hotel on Nov. 5-7. For additional information on the NACE meeting, click here:

More Texas Pipeline Safety Regulations

In addition to the Texas pipeline safety regulations that were discussed in last month’s newsletter, the Texas RailRoad Commission has also approved the following new regulations:

  §8.201.Pipeline Safety Program Fees – concerning fees to be assessed against operators of
   distribution pipelines and master meter systems, and

  §8.240.Discontinuance of Service – concerning deadlines to discontinue gas service to a customer.

For copies of either of these regulations, please contact Dan Shelledy at

Integrity Management Plan Up-to-Date?

RCP has the tools and expertise to develop comprehensive Integrity Management Plans for both liquid and gas pipelines. Click Here if you would like information on RCP’s Integrity Management Services and receive a copy of our FREE Integrity Management CD.

The Railroad Commission Of Texas Announces Fourth Annual Regulatory Expo & Commissioners’ Offices Open House

The Railroad Commission of Texas has scheduled its 4th Annual Regulatory Expo for October 22 and 23 at 1701 North Congress in Austin, Texas. The Expo is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of commission forms and procedures and provide an overview of essential information. The Expo also offers an opportunity to personally meet and interact with Commission staff.

Go to or contact Mary Martinez at (512) 463-6755, fax (512) 463-6955, or email for more information and registration instructions.

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