In This Issue

PHMSA Update

PHMSA recently provided an update on the agency’s current activities.  Some notes taken from the presentation are provided below.

  • GPAC and LPAC meetings scheduled for October 20-21.  Items likely to be discussed include
    • Class Location NPRM
    • Hazardous Liquid Regulatory Reform
    • Standards IBR Update
  • Safety of Gas Transmission Lines (RIN 2) scheduled to be finalized late 2021. Major Topics under consideration:
    • Repair criteria for both HCA and non-HCA areas
    • Extreme weather inspections
    • Strengthening assessment requirements
    • Corrosion control 
    • Management of change
    • Integrity management clarifications
  • Safety of Gas Gathering Lines (RIN 3) scheduled to be finalized late 2021. Major Topics under consideration:
    • Revision to the definitions for gas gathering (production, gathering, incidental gathering, elimination of RP 80 reference)
    • Data collection for all gas gathering lines (including unregulated gas gathering): Annual reporting and Incident Reporting
    • Appropriate regulations for large diameter-high pressure lines and establish minimum set of requirements for pipelines 8.625 inches in diameter and greater
  • Rupture Detection and Valve Rule scheduled to be finalized late 2021. Major Topics under consideration:
    • Installation of automatic shut-off valves (ASV) or remote controlled valves (RCV) on newly constructed or entirely replaced (2 miles or more) natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines (with nominal diameters ≥ 6 inches) with the objective of improving overall incident response for new and replaced pipelines
    • Operators must be able to detect ruptures within 10 minutes
    • Valves must be closed within 40 min of detection or as soon as practicable
  • Liquefied Natural Gas NPRM scheduled for mid-2022.  Major Topics under consideration:
    • Revise 49 CFR Part 193 to incorporate current industry developed standards (via NFPA 59A-2019)
    • Address LNG export facilities
    • Address small scale LNG facilities
    • Incorporate other provisions as necessary
    • AGA Petition
    • PIPES Act 2020 Section 110
  • Standards Update scheduled to be discussed at next GPAC/LPAC meeting (October 2021).  Standards to be discussed include:
    • API 5 L   – 46th edition
    • API 1104 – 21st edition
    • B31.8 – Nov 2018
    • B31.8S  – 2016 edition; asks for comments on 2018 edition
    • NFPA 58 – 2020 edition
  • Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform to be discussed at next LPAC meeting (October 2021).  Items to be discussed include:
    • Submitting information to PHMSA
    • Response plan clarifications
    • Accident reporting criteria
    • Remote monitoring of rectifiers
    • Corrections to Integrity Management guidance
  • Leak Detection NPRM scheduled for mid-2022.  Major Topics under consideration:
    • Leak detection issues for gas pipelines addressed in Section 113 & Section 114 of the PIPES Act 2020
    • Considering revisions to leak survey frequency, repairs of leak survey and the use of Advance Leak Technology
    • Section 114 contains self-executing provision for operators to minimize releases of natural gas
    • Per section 114, PHMSA is initiating a study on best available practices to minimize leaks
  • Safety of Gas Distribution Pipelines NPRM scheduled for mid-2022.  Major Topics under consideration:
    • Risks related to the presence of cast iron via DIMP
    • Risks related to operation of low-pressure distribution systems
    • Communications during a pipeline emergency 
    • O&M manuals in regard to the handling of over-pressurizations and management of change procedures 
    • Critical records for ensuring proper pressure controls
    • Presence of qualified employees relative to pressure controls
    • Assessments and upgrades for district regulator stations

For a pdf copy of the presentation, contact Jessica Foley.