DOT Pipeline Compliance News

October 2007 Issue

In This Issue

DOT Gas Pipeline Compliance Workshop – December 6, 2007

RCP will be hosting our very popular one-day workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance for Gas Pipelines on December 6 in Park City, Utah. 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.

Gas Pipeline Regulations (49CFR192): Covering all the topics below but special emphasis will be placed on the changes in **GAS GATHERING** regulations.

  • PHMSA Overview
  • PHMSA Jurisdictional Boundaries
    • Production / Gathering / Transmission
    • Onshore / Inlets to the Gulf of Mexico / Offshore
  • Compliance Requirements:
    • Design
    • Construction
    • Operation
    • Maintenance
    • Corrosion
    • Testing
    • Integrity Management
    • Operator Qualification
    • Emergency Response
    • Reporting
  • New/Proposed Regulations

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 go to our website here.

RCP’s Website

If you haven’t checked out our website recently, we encourage you to do so now. Same web address with a new look, easier to navigate, search capabilities and a client log-in feature. Visit us at

MMS Proposed OCS Rules – Revising 30 CFR Parts 250, 253, 254 and 256

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has proposed rulemaking to completely revise the MMS Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) pipeline and pipeline Rights-of-Way (ROW) regulations to bring them up to date with current industry practices and technology. The regulations were last revised in 1988.

The proposed rule incorporates parts of several new and revised industry standards into the regulations. It also incorporates several conditions of approval for pipelines, plus guidance from various Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) and one Letter to Lessees and Operators (LTL) into one set of comprehensive pipeline regulations. The proposed regulations would eliminate several NTLs and the LTL. MMS also proposes codifying the Coastal Zone Management information requirements for affected states for the first time in the pipeline regulations.

Significant changes include:

  • a requirement that companies prepare, follow, and update pipeline operations and maintenance manuals, pipeline integrity management programs, emergency plans, and personnel training manuals.
  • a complete revision of the regulations covering pipeline modifications and pipeline repairs to more closely resemble the requirements covering new pipelines.
  • new performance requirements for pipeline fabrication.
  • a requirement that all pipeline risers attached to floating platforms be subject to an independent third party review of the design, fabrication and installation of the pipeline risers, similar to, but separate from, the platform verification program.
  • a requirement for visual surveys of all pipeline routes at least monthly. It would also require annual inspections of each pipeline riser in and above the splash zone, and inspection of the underwater portions of the riser in conjunction with the platform inspection requirements in 30 CFR 250, subpart I.
  • a requirement that pipeline companies in the Alaska OCS Region (AKOCSR) and Pacific OCS Region (POCSR) take cathodic protection readings on all pipeline during repairs and hot tap installations, not just on those pipelines that are over 20 years old.
  • a change in the deadline for reporting anode system inspections from March 1 to October 31 of each year, with the inspections to be conducted no later than September 30 of each year.
  • a requirement for marking pipeline segment numbers on the pipeline at each platform. The proposed rule would require marking immediately for new pipelines, but allows 6 months to mark existing pipelines.
  • a requirement that activities for lease term pipelines be covered in DOCDs in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and in DPPs in the eastern GOM and in the Pacific and Alaska OCS Regions. The proposed rule imposes similar requirements for information on ROW pipeline applications that must be addressed in the DOCD and DPP required by subpart B for lease term pipelines.
  • an increase in the ROW bonding amount to $300,000 for an individual bond or $1 million for an area bond, which would cover all pipeline ROW grants held by the company in one MMS OCS region.
  • an increase annual rental fees for pipeline ROW grants, currently US $15 per mile, to $70 per mile.

Comments to the proposed rule are due by January 31, 2008 to — use the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1010-AD11 in the subject line on all correspondence. For technical questions call Alex Alvarado, Pipeline Section, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region at (504) 736-2547.

For a copy of the MMS proposed 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 employees, facilities, and environment. Click here to request more information.

Adequacy of Internal Corrosion Regulations for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines – Notice of availability of materials; request for comments. [Docket No. PHMSA-2007-28993]

The Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 directs PHMSA to review the internal corrosion regulations in subpart H of 49 CFR part 195 to determine if they are adequate to ensure adequate protection of the public and environment and to report to Congress on the results of the review. As an initial step in the review, PHMSA consulted the THLPSSC at its meeting on July 24, 2007. The briefing paper prepared for the committee members contains preliminary data on risk history as well as questions relating to the internal corrosion regulations. This briefing paper is posted on PHMSA’s pipeline Web site ( and has been placed in the docket.

At the meeting, PHMSA officials committed to gathering additional data responding to questions posed by the committee members. PHMSA has updated the data and included data responsive to the committee members. This data is also posted on the pipeline Web site and contained in the docket.

PHMSA is now requesting comments from the public on the adequacy of the internal corrosion regulations and answers to the questions posed in the briefing paper. PHMSA will use these comments in its review of the internal corrosion regulations. Submit comments by October 9, 2007 to the E-Gov Web site: Comments should reference Docket No. PHMSA-2007-28993.

Advisory Bulletin ADB-07-01: Updated Notification of the Susceptibility to Premature Brittle-Like Cracking of Older Plastic Pipe [Docket No. PHMSA-2004-19856]

PHMSA has issued an updated advisory bulletin to owners and operators of natural gas pipeline distribution systems concerning the susceptibility of older plastic pipe to premature brittle-like cracking. PHMSA previously issued three advisory bulletins on this subject: Two on March 11, 1999 and one on November 26, 2002. The current advisory bulletin expands on the information provided in the three prior bulletins by listing two additional pipe materials with poor performance histories relative to brittle-like cracking and by updating pipeline owners and operators on the ongoing voluntary efforts to collect and analyze data on plastic pipe performance. Owners and operators of natural gas pipeline distribution systems are encouraged to review the three previous advisory bulletins in their entirety. These advisory bulletins are available in the docket, and on PHMSA’s Web site at under Pipeline Safety Regulations.

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.

Liquid Low Stress Pipelines – Information Request / Comment Period [Docket No. PHMSA-2003-15864]

Section 4 of the PIPES Act requires that PHMSA issue regulations by December 31, 2007, subjecting all low-stress hazardous liquid pipelines to the same standards and regulations as other hazardous liquid pipelines. PHMSA currently exempts low stress pipelines from regulations except for those in populated areas and crossing navigable waterways. On May 18, 2007, PHMSA published a supplementary notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to apply all Federal Hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations to a specific set of these remaining low rural low-stress lines (72 FR 28008).

Low-stress pipelines are pipelines operating at 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the line pipe. PHMSA does not have data on the total extent of currently unregulated hazardous liquid low-stress pipelines in the United States. To address this gap in the data and to obtain a more accurate understanding of the unregulated hazardous liquid low-stress pipelines, PHMSA is requesting OMB approval to conduct a one-time information collection survey. To the extent possible, all operators of hazardous liquid pipelines will be surveyed about low stress mileage (including interplant pipeline mileage), diameter, pipeline material, products transported, and location.

In order to reach as many operators as possible, the survey will be delivered electronically to each of the companies currently operating regulated hazardous liquid pipelines. PHMSA will also attempt to reach companies that own and/or operate currently unregulated pipelines exclusively by working with industry associations to announce and distribute the survey via e-mail newsletters to members. Respondents will be able to print an electronic version of the survey and mail a hard copy, or complete the survey on-line and e-mail it. Participation in the survey is optional.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, PHMSA is required to obtain OMB approval for information collections. The term “information collection” includes all work related to preparing and disseminating information related to this proposed information collection including: Completing paperwork, gathering information, and conducting telephone calls. PHMSA published a notice providing a 60-day period for comments on the proposed information collection in the Federal Register on June 14, 2007 (72 FR 32941), and received no comments. PHMSA is now providing an additional 30-day comment period and inviting comments on whether the proposed information collection is necessary for DOT’s proper performance. The comments may include (1) whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of DOT’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

  • Respondents: 158.
  • Estimated Average Burden per Response: 16 hours.
  • Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,528 hours.

Send comments on or before October 9, 2007 directly to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of Transportation, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. For further information contact: Lane Miller at (405) 954-4969, or by e-mail at

PHMSA Posts Hazardous Liquid IMP FAQ

PHMSA has revised FAQ # 12.5 which discusses how notifications related to hazardous liquid pipeline integrity management should be made. The text of the FAQ is listed below:

12.5 How can notifications be submitted?
Operators can submit notifications via this web site. A password is required. Operators who require a password should send the name and e-mail address of the person responsible for their integrity management program to Operators can also submit notifications as specified in the rule: in writing to Information Resources Manager, Office of Pipeline Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, or by fax to 202-366-7128. Submission by mail or fax is not required if the notification is submitted on-line.

Emergency Response and Preparedness – OSHA Request for Information [Docket No. H-010]

Editor’s note: although OSHA regulations are pre-empted for PHMSA regulated pipelines if PHMSA has an existing regulation, this potential rulemaking is still of interest to PHMSA regulated pipeline operators since it may reach into non-pre-empted areas, and since many PHSMA regulated pipeline operators also operate OSHA regulated facilities.

Elements of emergency responder health and safety are currently regulated by OSHA primarily under the following standards: The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard; the personal protective equipment general requirements standard; the respiratory protection standard; the permit-required confined space standard; the fire brigade standard; and the bloodborne pathogens standard. Some of these standards were promulgated decades ago, and none was designed as a comprehensive emergency response standard. Consequently, they do not address the full range of hazards or concerns currently facing emergency responders, nor do they reflect major changes in performance specifications for protective clothing and equipment. Current OSHA standards also do not reflect all the major improvements in safety and health practices that have already been accepted by the emergency response community and incorporated into industry consensus standards.

OSHA is requesting information and comment from the public to evaluate what action, if any, the Agency should take to further address emergency response and preparedness. The Agency will be considering emergency response and preparedness at common emergencies (e.g., fires or emergency medical and other rescue situations), as well as large scale emergencies (e.g., natural and intentional disasters). OSHA’s areas of interest are primarily: personal protective equipment; training and qualifications; medical evaluation and health monitoring; and safety management. The agency will also be evaluating the types of personnel who would constitute either emergency responders or skilled support employees at such events, as well as the range of activities that might constitute emergency response and preparedness.

Comments must be submitted by December 10, 2007. You may submit comments, requests for hearings, and attachments electronically at, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making electronic submissions. All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for this rulemaking (OSHA Docket No. S-023B). Submissions, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at

The full OSHA proposal can be obtained from Jessica Roger at

Need to Update your Response Plan?

RCP has the expertise to update your Facility Response Plan, Integrated Contingency Plan or Oil Spill Response Plan. We can take an unwieldy plan and convert it to one that is comprehensive and user friendly. Click click here to request more information.

MMS NTL 2007-N04, Oil Discharge Written Follow-up Reports

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) issued a National Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) in the outer continental shelf (OCS) clarifying the information to be included in the written follow-up discharge reports required by 30 CFR 254.46(b)(2) for all oil discharges of one barrel or more.

Submit your written follow-up reports to the MMS Gulf of Mexico Regional Supervisor (RS), Alaska OCS RS, or Pacific OCS Region District Manager within 15-calendar days; even if ongoing damage assessment, weather conditions, or other situations prevent you from determining a total, official discharge volume. Failure to submit written follow-up reports with the 15-day period could result in the issuance of an Incident of Non-Compliance (INC).

The NTL effective date is September 26, 2007.

For a copy of NTL 2007-N04 contact Jessica Roger.

Rio Pipeline Conference / IPC

The Rio Pipeline Conference was held October 2-4, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with over 3,500 attendees, 120 exhibits, and 343 Technical Papers. The conference was sponsored by IBP, the Brazilian Petroleum, Gas, and Biofuels Institute. The Rio conference is held in alternating years with the International Pipeline Conference (IPC) in Calgary, AB, Canada. The next IPC will be held September 29 – October 3, 2008. Visit the IPC website for more information.

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