In This Issue

PHMSA NPRM: OQ, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Proposed Changes

[Docket No. PHMSA-2013-0163]

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing amendments to the pipeline safety regulations to address Sections 9 and 13 of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (2011 Act), and to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements.

Among other provisions, PHMSA is proposing to add a specific time frame for telephonic or electronic notifications of accidents and incidents and add provisions for cost recovery for design reviews of certain new projects, for the renewal of expiring special permits, and for submitters of information to request PHMSA keep the information confidential. They are also proposing changes to the operator qualification (OQ) requirements and drug and alcohol testing requirements and incorporating consensus standards by reference for in-line inspection (ILI) and Stress Corrosion Cracking Direct Assessment (SCCDA) in Part 195. This NPRM covers the following areas:

  • OQ enhancement, including new construction, regulated gathering
  • Control room management updates
  • Design reviews by PHMSA for large projects or new technology
  • Excluding farm taps from DIMP and adding over pressure protection requirements for farm taps
  • Notifications to PHMSA for flow reversal or conversion of service
  • Part 195 incorporated by reference updates
  • Part 195 IMP updates, including SCCDA assessment
  • Special permit renewal process
  • Drug & alcohol testing criteria following incidents
  • Reporting of drug & alcohol test results
  • Adding references to API 1104, Appendix B for in-service welding

Comments on this proposed rulemaking are due by September 8, 2015. For a copy of the NPRM, please contact Jessica Foley.