DOT Pipeline Compliance News

October 2006 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshops – October 17 and December 8, 2006

RCP will be hosting our very popular workshops on DOT Pipeline Compliance on October 17 in Houston, and December 8 in Park City, Utah (go figure). 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 principal of RCP, Mr. Byrd enjoys a solid reputation for working with the public, corporate management, and regulatory agencies to resolve complex regulatory issues. He serves on various industry association committees, works as an expert witness and consulting expert, and is frequently called upon to comment on current or proposed rulemakings at public and private meetings and conferences.

For additional information, including a seminar brochure, go to our website here.

Gas Processors Association Sponsors Gas Gathering Seminar

The GPA is sponsoring two seminars on the new onshore gas gathering pipeline definition. Questions expected to be answered during the seminars include:

  • How will the new rule affect your company?
  • What are expectations of The Railroad Commission of Texas and Colorado Public Utilities Commission?
  • What are PHMSA’s thoughts on compliance issues?


  • Opening and Welcome 8:00 AM – Jeanette Jones, Industry Coalition Chair
  • Introduction of Seminar Participants/Panelists
    • DeWitt Burdeaux, PHMSA
    • Mary McDaniel (for Houston Seminar)
    • Steve Pott (for Denver Seminar)
  • Outline of current activities by various parties (FAQ process, Industry, State Actions)
  • Defining Gathering
    • Beginning of Gathering
    • Endpoint of Gathering
  • Implementation of new regulated gathering rule
    • Type A
    • Type B
    • Compliance Timeframes
  • Conclusion
  • Adjourn 4:00 PM


  • TIME/DATE: 8:00 AM – 4 PM, Thursday, October 5, 2006 (beverage breaks and lunch will be provided)
  • LOCATION: Sheraton North Houston (near Intercontinental Airport) – 15700 John F Kennedy Blvd.


  • TIME/DATE: 8:00 AM – 4 PM, Thursday, November 16, 2006 (beverage breaks and lunch will be provided)
  • LOCATION: Sheraton Denver West (360 Union Blvd. Lakewood, CO)

Has the new Gas Gathering definition affected your pipelines?

RCP can conduct a detailed analysis of your gas pipelines to determine end points of production and gathering based upon the recently finalized definition of gas gathering pipelines. The analysis will also determine whether your gathering pipelines are regulated and whether they are classified as Type A or B regulated gas gathering. For more information, click here.

Oklahoma Seminar on the new Gas Gathering rules

The State of Oklahoma is hosting a gas gathering definition workshop on October 19, 2006 at the Moore Norman Technology center in Oklahoma City. This workshop is being sponsored by the following agencies and is free to the public:

  • Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission
  • Railroad Commission of Texas

The agenda listed includes the following topics:

  • Definition: PHMSA Perspective
  • Regulations: What lines are regulated?
  • Regulations: What regulations apply?
  • State Regulator Perspective
  • Questions & Answers

Registration information:
TEL: 405-521-2258
FAX: 405-521-3455
Web Registration:

“Restoring Trust in Pipeline Safety” conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

On November 2 – 3, 2006, the Pipeline Safety Trust is sponsoring the “Restoring Trust in Pipeline Safety” conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference, headquartered at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, is designed for all stakeholders and features a wide agenda, including the following topics:

  • Pipelines And Risk Based Management
  • Update On The Aftermath Of Hurricanes Ivan And Katrina
  • Pipeline ROW Maintenance
  • Pipelines 101
  • What The Industry Wants The Public To Know
  • Environmental And Health Effects From Hurricane Damaged Energy Infrastructure
  • Setbacks, Real Estate Disclosure, Franchise Agreements – Do Local Governments Have Any Real Tools To Protect People?
  • Pipeline Maps – A Valuable Tool For Local Government And Citizens, Or An Invitation For Pipeline Damage Or Sabotage?
  • Pipelines And Natural Disasters – Are We Prepared?
  • Can Technology Save Us?
  • So You Have A Concern About The Pipeline On Your Property, Who Cares?
  • Herding CATS – What Have These Liaisons Between The Public, Industry And Government Learned In Their First Few Years On The Job?

In addition, there will be numerous breakout sessions and an optional guided bus tour of hurricane affected neighborhoods and industry. For more information regarding this conference, including registration information, please click here.

Gas IMP FAQ’s Posted

Several gas pipeline integrity management FAQ’s have been posted on the OPS website recently. Click on the link to view the answers provided:

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.

Proposed Rule: Public Awareness Regulations for Small Gas Distribution Operators

As described below, PHMSA proposes to relax regulatory requirements governing public awareness programs conducted by operators of master meter systems and certain operators of petroleum gas systems. These operators typically manage property and incidentally provide gas service to customers located on the property. The proposed change provides a less burdensome means for these operators to satisfy public awareness needs. Anyone interested in filing written comments on the rule proposed in this document must do so by November 28, 2006 (Docket No. PHMSA-2003-15852).

A master meter system is defined in 49 CFR 191.3. An operator of a master meter system receives gas through a meter as the customer of a local distribution company and then redistributes the gas on its own property. The operator of a master meter system distributes gas as an incidental part of a primary business. For example, a typical master meter operator manages a trailer park or apartment complex and may charge residents for the gas service through the rent. The master meter system is typically located on the property of the master meter operator. The proposal will require a master meter operator to conduct a limited public education program reaching (1) customers of the master meter system and (2) persons controlling other property, if any, the master meter system crosses.

Many operators of petroleum gas systems are similar to operators of master meters because they distribute gas as an incidental part of their primary business. The operator of a petroleum gas system receives a supply of propane (or similar petroleum product), frequently by truck; vaporizes it; and supplies its customers with petroleum gas. A petroleum gas system may be in a remote area without gas distribution service, for example a ski lodge. Some operators of a petroleum gas system distribute gas as a major part of their business. These operators have pipeline safety expertise equivalent to other gas distribution companies and should develop and implement public awareness programs. Others, like operators of master meter systems, distribute gas incidentally to a primary business, such as property management. These petroleum gas operators need to communicate with their customers and those persons controlling property they cross. They also need to maintain liaison required by 49 CFR 192.615 with emergency responders. However, they will be less effective in the remaining outreach activities required for public awareness. The proposal relieves them of public awareness requirements to the same extent as master meter operators, retaining the same communication requirements. Proposed 49 CFR 192.616(j), which provides the alternative for master meter operators, also addresses petroleum gas operators.

The regulations currently require development and implementation of public awareness programs meeting API RP 1162. This proposal provides less onerous requirements for master meter and petroleum gas operators (for whom gas transportation is not a primary business activity) regardless of size. The proposal would require compliance in early 2007, which should allow sufficient time for compliance.

Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a notice in the Federal Register to reissue and modify the nationwide permits (NWPs). The Corps is soliciting comments for the reissuance of the existing NWPs, general conditions, and definitions, with some modifications. The Corps is also proposing to issue six new NWPs and one new general condition. The reissuance process started September 26, 2006, with the proposed NWPs in the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period. The purpose of the Federal Register notice is to solicit comments on the proposed new and modified NWPs, as well as, the NWP general conditions and definitions. Concurrent with the September 26, 2006 notification, each Corps district will publish a public notice to solicit comments on their proposed regional conditions for the new and modified NWPs with a 45-day comment period.

To submit comments follow the instructions at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: All submissions should be identified by docket number COE-2006-0005 and/or the ZRIN number 0710-ZA02.

Comments should be submitted on or before November 27, 2006.

For further information contact:
Mr. David Olson
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G Street NW.
Washington, DC 20314-1000

Phone number: (202) 761-4922
Fax number: (202) 761-0140
E-mail: (include docket number COE-2006-0005 and/or ZRIN number 0710-ZA02 in subject line of message)
Or access the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Home Page.

For a copy of the proposed regulation, contact Jessica Roger at

RCP Services Spotlight – RCP Auditing, Due Diligence and Expert Witness Services

RCP’s approach to audits and assessments is typically either consultative or enforcement oriented depending upon the client’s needs. The consultative approach is typically viewed by clients as a cooperative effort that assesses regulatory compliance status in concert with operational and maintenance issues. This method provides feedback on existing management practices versus industry standards. The consultative approach not only identifies opportunities for regulatory compliance improvement, but also provides recommendations on how existing management practices can effectively achieve and sustain these improvements. An enforcement approach gives the client an idea of how well a facility can manage an agency audit and how likely it would be for an agency inspector to issue a Notice of Violation.

RCP provides comprehensive, confidential regulatory consulting services, including:

  • Quick-Hit Regulatory Compliance Checkups
  • Comprehensive Regulatory Compliance Audits
    • Compliance program gap analysis
    • Recordkeeping evaluation
    • Field inspections
  • Regulatory Agency Jurisdictional Determinations, Interpretations & Audits
    • DOT
      • Integrity Management Program
      • Operator Qualification
      • Operations & Maintenance
      • Public Awareness API RP1162
      • Facility Response Plans
    • U.S. Coast Guard
      • Dock Operations
      • Oil Spill Response Plans
      • Facility Security Plans
    • EPA
      • Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure Plans
      • Air/Wastewater Permitting
      • Facility Response Plans
      • Risk Management Plans
    • OSHA
      • Process Safety Management
      • Health & Safety Plans
    • FERC
      • NEPA Pre-filing
      • Environmental Compliance and Report Planning
    • State-Specific Regulations
  • Asset Acquisition Due Diligence
    • Phase I Environmental Assessments
    • Permitting & Associated Agency Notifications
    • Compliance Program Development
    • Employee Qualification & Training Program Assessments
    • Asset Integrity Management Liability Assessment
    • Record Keeping, Documentation & Data Room Inspections
  • Expert Witness Service
    • Pipeline Safety
    • Regulatory Interpretation

If you would like information regarding RCP�s Auditing, Due Diligence and Expert Witness Services, e-mail Jessica Roger or call (713) 655-8080.

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