In This Issue

PHMSA Pipeline Safety – NPRM Misc. Changes

Docket No. PHMSA-2010-0026

The Department of Transportation/Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for parts of 49 CFR 191, 192, 195 and 198. PHMSA is proposing to make miscellaneous changes to the pipeline safety regulations to correct errors, address inconsistencies, and respond to rulemaking petitions. Some highlights include:

  1. Prohibits anyone who was involved in construction activities of a liquid or gas transmission line or gas distribution main from inspecting their own work. This includes contractors or pipeline operator personnel.
  2. Adds leak survey inspections to Type B gas gathering pipelines, similar frequency to those required of gas transmission.
  3. Adjusts the requalification interval for plastic pipe joining personnel.
  4. Adds more stringent mill testing requirements for pipe intended to be operated at the higher alternative design factors.
  5. Adds transportation of pure ethanol to the hazardous liquid regulations. The transportation of pure biodiesel is not included however.
  6. Limits the state pipeline safety agency funding for indirect expenses.
  7. Eliminates a grandfather clause exemption for transportation of pipe that has been sitting in stock yards prior to 1970.
  8. Changes a standard incorporated by reference for threading of copper pipe.
  9. Eliminate obsolete requirements for filing offshore pipeline condition reports.
  10. Adds alternative methods for calculating pressure reductions on liquid pipelines for non-corrosion related immediate repairs conditions
  11. Expands the pre-installation pressure testing allowances for replacing single components on low stress gas pipelines, similar to the requirements for lines operating at greater than 30% SMYS.
  12. Codifies the annual NPMS submission requirements (this is currently only listed as a requirement through an Advisory Bulletin).
  13. Adds qualification requirements for “welding operators” by incorporating by reference existing language from API 1105 and ASME B&PV Code. This is different than the existing requirements incorporated by reference for qualification of welders.
  14. Clarification to pressure test requirements of pressure vessels to ensure they are tested to at least 1.5 times MAOP.
  15. Clarifies the definition of a gas lateral line between transmission and the distribution center for purposes of determining odorization requirements.
  16. Misc. editorial corrections to reflect changes made to standards that have been incorporated by reference.

Persons interested in submitting written comments on this ANPRM must do so by February 3, 2012, to docket number PHMSA–2010–0026 and may be submitted to the E-Gov Web Site.

For a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, contact Jessica Roger.