DOT Pipeline Compliance News

September 2015 Issue

In This Issue

PHMSA NPMS Request for Revision on Information Collection

[Docket No. PHMSA-2014-0092 / (OMB Control No. 2137–0596)]

On August 27, 2015, PHMSA issued a notice to request a revision to a proposed information collection related to the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) that PHMSA intends to submit to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for approval. The notice is in response to the comments received to PHMSA’s July 30, 2014 (79 FR 44246) proposal to substantially increase the amount of pipeline attribute and operational information that pipeline operators must submit to PHMSA. The data being requested is the first substantial update to NPMS submission requirements since the NPMS standards were developed in 1998. PHMSA is proposing to collect the new data elements in three phases – over a 3 year period.

In summary, below are the proposed attributes dropped:
  • Installation Method if Pipe Segment Crosses Water Body Which is 100 Feet in Width or Greater
  • Year of Last Direct Assessment
  • Type of Leak Detection
  • Special Permit Segment and Permit Number
  • Offshore Gas Gathering Line (Y/N)
  • Average Daily Throughput
  • Refineries
  • Gas Processing and Treatment Plants
The following proposed attributes were kept:
  • Positional Accuracy (changed from previous 60-day notice)
  • Pipe Diameter
  • Wall Thickness
  • Commodity Detail
  • Pipe Material
  • Pipe Grade
  • Pipe Join Method
  • Highest Percent Operating SMYS
  • Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure/Maximum Operating Pressure
  • Seam Type
  • Year or Decade of Installation
  • Onshore/Offshore
  • Inline Inspection
  • Class Location
  • Gas HCA Segment
  • Segment Could Affect an HCA
  • Year of Last ILI
  • Coated/Uncoated and Cathodic Protection
  • Type of Coating
  • FRP Control Number and Sequence Number, if Applicable
  • Year and Pressure of Last and Original Pressure Test
  • Abandoned Pipelines
  • Pump and Compressor Stations
  • Mainline Block Valves
  • Gas Storage Fields
  • Breakout Tanks
  • LNG Attributes

Written comments on this information collection should be submitted by October 26, 2015.

You may submit written comments identified by Docket No. PHMSA–2014– 0092 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

For a copy of PHMSA’s NPMS Request for Revision on Information Collection Notice, contact Jessica Foley.

PHMSA NPMS Public Meeting

September 10 – Arlington, VA

PHMSA will conduct a half-day public meeting to bring pipeline stakeholders together to discuss the revised National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Information Collection which is out for comment and due on October 26, 2015. Operators and industry groups have expressed concern about the cost and time that will be needed to submit the additional data elements that are in the Information Collection.

The meeting will be held at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA. This meeting will not be webcast. Presentations from this public meeting will be made available on PHMSA’s website following the meeting.

Click here for registration, agenda, and hotel information.

GIS Services

RCP is an Esri Business Partner which enables RCP to provide a better service to our clients with access to all of Esri’s related products and technical support. RCP also has direct access to the latest NOAA Navigational Charts, USGS National Hydrology data, USDA Soil data, Bureau of Energy Management offshore data, Google and Bing map imagery, plus more!

RCP has developed a suite of GIS tools for pipeline operators including: Gas Pipeline HCA Determination; Class Location Analysis, Overland Flow Spill Analysis (HCA/USA impact analysis); Gulf of Mexico and its Inlets Determination.

For more information, contact Jessica Foley.

TRRC Proposed Amendments to 16 TAC Relating to Permit Fees

[SMRD Docket Number 1-15]

At its open meeting on August 25, 2015, the Railroad Commission of Texas (TRRC) approved a proposed rulemaking to be published for public comment. The proposed amendments to 16 TAC in §12.108 relating to Permit Fees would adjust the annual fees for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The proposal will be published in the Friday, September 11, 2015, issue of the Texas Register, and the comment period will end at noon on Monday, October 12, 2015. To access the online comment form, please see the TRRC Proposed Rules Table.

For a copy of the PDF version of the proposal, contact Jessica Foley.

Pressure Test WebEx

September 15, 2015

RCP is a leading industry expert on pressure testing and will be hosting a WebEx presentation on TestOp™, our new comprehensive pressure testing tool. TestOp™ is a proprietary web-based application that provides operators with a platform to plan, design, certify and document their pressure tests. For use on gas and liquid lines, with tests using water, nitrogen, natural gas or air, TestOp™ takes the confusion out of pressure testing by providing real-time determination of whether the test segment is experiencing pipe yielding or air entrapment during the ramp up to spike pressure while also modeling the pressure/temperature relationship of the test to determine if a leak is occurring. TestOp™ can be configured to capture test data via digital dead-weight equipment, ensuring data integrity throughout the test. TestOp™ also calculates the MAOP established by the test, the reassessment interval based on federal code requirements, the test factor required based on pipe inputs, and more.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend on September 15 at 2 p.m. CST

Click here to get login information.

DOT Pipeline Compliance Workshop – Liquid

October 6-8, 2015

Join us October 6-8, 2015 in Houston at our corporate office and dedicated training facility for an informative, lively, and interactive workshop on DOT Pipeline Compliance topics . This workshop provides an overview of the DOT pipeline regulations in 49 CFR 195 and 199. It also describes pipeline operations, engineering concepts and pressure test requirements. It is appropriate for people who are new to pipeline regulations, who could use a refresher, or anyone who needs to know the latest developments in these areas. This workshop will address liquid pipeline topics only.

Topics to be addressed in the workshop include:
  • An overview of DOT/OPS pipeline compliance requirements
  • State and Federal agency roles for pipeline safety
  • PHMSA Jurisdiction
  • PHMSA Inspections and Enforcement Processes
  • Engineering Concepts and Stress – Strain Relationships; %SMYS
  • Design Requirements
  • Construction Requirements
  • Corrosion Control Concepts and Requirements
  • Operations and Maintenance Requirements
  • Emergency Response Requirements
  • Damage Prevention Programs
  • Operator Qualification Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Public Awareness Programs
  • Integrity Management Programs
  • Control Room Management Programs

We will also discuss the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (pipeline reauthorization bill), recent Advisory Bulletins from PHMSA, and new, pending and proposed rulemakings.

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook, and electronic copies of the applicable regulations and voluminous reference materials including rulemakings, letters of interpretation, and other guidance documents. The workshop will adjourn at 2 p.m. on the third day, for those who need to fly out Thursday evening.

To register for our workshop, click here.

API RP1173 Assessment Services

API recently published a new Recommended Practice (RP) concerning safety management systems for pipelines. API RP 1173 provides pipeline operators with a comprehensive way to make safe operations and continuous safety improvement a constant focus of their operations. The first step for most pipeline operators will be to assess their current safety management system maturity – from nothing in place to a sustainable, improving system. RCP can assist operators in the evaluation of the maturity levels of each element of the recommended practice, and establish an action plan for further development / maturity. Contact Jessica Foley for API RP 1173 Assistance.

Texas Railroad Commission – Pipeline Damage Prevention Newsgroup

The Railroad Commission of Texas has created a new “Pipeline Damage Prevention” email subscription service. This subscription will feature email notifications regarding the Pipeline Damage Prevention Program of Texas. To subscribe to or unsubscribe from the email subscription service, visit the Railroad Commission of Texas website. This link will also give you information on other email distribution lists.

CGA DIRT Report for 2014

Vol. 11 Released August 2015

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has issued its Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report for 2014, providing a summary and analysis of the pipeline damage, near miss, and downtime events that occurred in 2014. The DIRT Report identifies the importance of calling 811 as most critical to safety.

The number of events submitted for 2014 increased by nearly 50,000 over 2013, due to efforts of the Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee to promote data entry by existing and new submitters. The total number of US damages increased in 2014 over 2013.

The DIRT Report is a summary of utility damage data submitted anonymously from facility operators, locators, one-call centers, and regulators. The report gives us the opportunity to not only understand the root causes of damages, but to measure the effectiveness of damage prevention efforts and campaigns. DIRT offers insight on equipment used, type of work being performed, one-call notification, the effects of one-call exemptions, and regional differences.

The complete DIRT Annual Report for 2014 is available for download at the CGA website.

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, contact Jessica Foley.

Fall Conference Schedule

September – November 2015

Have you registered and confirmed your reservations for these upcoming conferences? RCP will be attending. We hope to see you there!

Texas Gas Association:
2015 RRC/PHMSA Training and Qualification
September 15 – 17, 2015
San Antonio, TX

Arkansas Gas Association 2015 Annual Conference
September 20 – 22, 2015
Hot Springs Convention Center, Arkansas

Pipeline Safety Trust
November 19 & 20, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Last Call for RCP’s DOT Workshop in 2015!

If you were unable to attend a workshop earlier this year, here’s your final chance in 2015. Join us at our corporate office and dedicated training facility in downtown Houston for RCP’s DOT Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Workshop on October 6, 7, 8 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). Visit our Training Website for updates and registration information.

The 2016 schedule for Gas, Liquid and Pressure Testing Workshops is in the works. Updates will be posted in the newsletter and on our website. Stay tuned!

PHMSA Incident and Annual Data Analysis

RCP can provide detailed and timely analysis of PHMSA historical incident and annual data for clients needing to compare their performance against the industry averages, respond to press inquiries, or analyze trends. Contact Jessica Foley for more information.

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