The Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) issued an advisory to gas distribution, gas transmission, and hazardous liquid pipeline systems. Owners and operators should review their information and mapping systems to ensure that the operator has clear, accurate, and useable information on the location and characteristics of all pipes, valves, regulators, and other pipeline elements for use in emergency response, pipe location and marking, and pre-construction planning. This includes ensuring that construction records, maps, and operating history are readily available to appropriate operating, maintenance, and emergency response personnel. The Advisory Bulletin is reproduced below. The full text of RSPA’s announcement can be downloaded from RCP’s website by clicking here.
Advisory Bulletin (ADB-02-03)
To: Owners and Operators of Gas Distribution Systems.
Subject: Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Mapping.
Purpose: To advise owners and operators of gas distribution, gas transmission, and hazardous liquid pipeline systems of the need to maintain and review construction records, maps, and operating history, and to make this information available to operating, maintenance, and emergency response personnel.
Advisory: Owners and operators of gas distribution, gas transmission, and hazardous liquid pipeline systems should ensure that accurate construction records, maps, and operating history are available to appropriate operating, maintenance, and emergency response personnel. The maps or associated records should provide the following information:
(1) Location and identification of pipeline facilities, including key features needed in emergency response.
(2) Crossings of roads, railroads, rivers, buried utilities, and pipelines.
(3) The maximum operating pressure of each pipeline.
(4) The diameter, grade, type, and nominal wall thickness of pipe.
RSPA urges every pipeline operator to (1) accurately locate and clearly mark on company maps and records key pipeline features and other information needed for effective emergency response; (2) keep these maps and records up-to-date as pipeline construction and modifications take place; (3) ensure that ‡its personnel are knowledgeable about the location of abandoned pipelines and to keep data on their location in order to further eliminate confusion with active pipelines during construction or emergency response activities; and (4) communicate pipeline information and maps to appropriate operating, maintenance, and emergency response personnel. Operators are also encouraged to collaborate with the Common Ground Alliance and the Federal and State pipeline safety programs to improve all phases of underground facility damage prevention, including improved mapping standards; and to work toward developing and using, to the maximum feasible extent, consistent mapping symbols and notational system