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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin (ADB–2012–10) Pipeline Safety: Using Meaningful Metrics in Conducting Integrity Management Program Evaluations

[Docket No. PHMSA–2012–0279]

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued Advisory Bulletin ADB-2012-10 to remind operators of gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of their responsibilities, under Federal integrity management regulations, to perform evaluations of their integrity management programs using meaningful performance metrics. ADB-2012-10 outlines 11 key elements for these evaluations.

A critical program element of an operator’s integrity management program is the systematic, rigorous evaluation of the program’s effectiveness using clear and meaningful metrics. When executed diligently, this self-evaluation process will lead to more robust and effective integrity management programs and improve overall safety performance. This process is critical to achieving a mature integrity management program and a culture of continuous improvement. Program evaluation is a required integrity management program element as established in §§192.911(i) and 195.452(k) for gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines, respectively.

In light of NTSB’s findings following the San Bruno gas transmission incident, PHMSA is reminding operators about the importance of these requirements. Operators are advised to critically review their processes and methods for evaluating integrity management program performance and take action to strengthen these processes where warranted.

In addition, operators must keep records supporting the decisions, analyses, and processes developed and used in their evaluation of integrity management program effectiveness. These records should include those justifying the selection of performance metrics, the performance metric data and trends, and how these metrics are used to improve the integrity management program.

For a copy of the Advisory Bulletin ADB-2012-10, contact Jessica Roger.