In This Issue

PHMSA Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2014-05) Guidance for Strengthening Pipeline Safety through Rigorous Program Evaluation & Meaningful Metrics

[Docket No. PHMSA-2014-0086]

The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Advisory Bulletin to owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that PHMSA has developed guidance on the elements and characteristics of a mature Integrity Management (IM) program evaluation process using meaningful metrics. This document, “Guidance for Strengthening Pipeline Safety through Rigorous Program Evaluation and Meaningful Metrics,” should be used when operators develop and perform IM program evaluations. It provides additional specificity to several of the topics detailed in a previously issued Advisory Bulletin, ADB–2012–10, “Using Meaningful Metrics in Conducting Integrity Management Program Evaluations.”

Operators under the current regulations are required to perform program evaluations and use meaningful metrics. PHMSA’s new guidance document builds on existing standards and regulations to provide a more detailed and comprehensive description of the steps involved in program evaluations as well as the selection of meaningful performance metrics to support these evaluations. The guidance expands and clarifies PHMSA’s expectations for operator processes when measuring IM program effectiveness. Major topic areas addressed in the guidance document include:

  • Establishing Safety Performance Goals.
  • Identifying Required Metrics.
  • Selecting Additional Meaningful Metrics.
  • Metric Monitoring and Data Collection.
  • Program Evaluation Using Metrics.

The guidance document includes tables listing regulation-required metrics and other programmatic and threat-specific metrics that operators could include in their documented IM program evaluations.

PHMSA inspectors will use the program evaluation guidance within this new guidance document as criteria when evaluating the effectiveness of operator IM program evaluations to assure operators are developing sound program evaluation processes and are developing and applying a robust and meaningful set of performance metrics in their program.

For a copy of ADB-2014-05; or, a copy of the Guidance to Operators document, contact Jessica Foley.