In This Issue

PHMSA NPRM: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

[Docket No. PHMSA-2010-0229]

PHMSA has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Regulations in 49 CFR Part 195. This NPRM proposes to:

  • extend annual safety and incident reporting requirements to gravity lines and all hazardous liquid gathering lines;
  • require inspections of pipelines 72 hours after in areas affected by extreme weather, natural disasters, and other similar events;
  • require periodic assessments of pipelines that are not already covered under the IM program requirements at least once every 10 years;
  • expand the use of leak detection systems on hazardous liquid pipelines outside of HCAs;
  • modify the IM repair criteria by eliminating the 60-day and 180-day repair categories and adding a new consolidated 270-day repair category for HCAs; and,
  • increase the use of inline inspection tools by requiring that any pipeline that could affect an HCA be capable of accommodating these devices within 20 years unless its basic construction will not permit that accommodation.

PHMSA also seeks to clarify other existing requirements to improve compliance and enforcement. Notably, this includes requiring that an operator develop a written integrity management (IM) program before pipeline operations begin instead of the current one-year after operations begin (§195.452(b)(1)). PHMSA also proposes to specify pipeline attributes to be included within in the information analyzed for integrity management. Clarification on other IM requirements including deadlines and applicability to line pipes or facilities are also being sought in these updates.

Comments on this proposed rulemaking are due by January 8, 2016. For a copy of the NPRM, please contact Jessica Foley.