In This Issue

Summary of Pending PHMSA Regulations

A summary of pending PHMSA rulemakings is given below, based on PHMSA’s presentation at the December 17, 2013 Technical Advisory Committee teleconference.

Rulemakings “In Process”
Integrity Verification Process: This rulemaking would define testing and materials verification requirements to ensure the integrity of grandfathered and vintage pipelines.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – in PHMSA
Gas Transmission Misc Changes (ANPRM 8/25/2011): This rulemaking would make various changes to the Gas Transmission Integrity Management regulations, including the following topics: Expansion of IM requirements beyond HCA’s, Definition of a HCA, Repair criteria for both HCA and non-HCA areas, assessment methods, valve spacing, corrosion control, and Integrity Management for gas gathering pipelines.

Operator Qualification, Cost Recovery and Other Pipeline Safety Proposed Changes: This rulemaking would address various issues that are included in the most recent Pipeline Safety Act, including: Operator Qualification for new construction, incident reporting criteria, cost recovery processes, transportation of non-supercritical carbon dioxide, and renewal process for special permits.

Plastic Pipe: This rulemaking would address various issues specific to plastic pipe used for gas transportation, including: use of PA12 at higher pressures, increase in design factor from 0.32 to 0.40 for PE pipe, enhanced tracking and traceability, misc. revisions for PE and PA11 pipelines, and additional provisions for fittings used on plastic pipe.

Rupture Detection and Valve Rule: This rule would establish and define rupture detection and response time metrics including the integration of Automatic Shutoff Valves (ASV) and Remote Control Valve (RCV) placement as necessary, with the objective of improving overall incident response. This rule responds to requirements of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (The Act):

  1. Section 4: ASV/RCV or equivalent technology be installed on newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines 2 years after the act was issued;
  2. Section 8: Require operators of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to use leak detection systems and establish standards for their use; and,
  3. NTSB Recommendation P-11-10 (gas) which requires transmission and distribution operators to equip SCADA systems with tools to assist with recognizing and pinpointing leaks.

The Act also mandated two studies of leak detection and response, one by the GAO, and one by PHMSA. In March of 2012, PHMSA commissioned the Oak Ridge Laboratory to study the ability of transmission pipeline facility operators to respond to a hazardous liquid or natural gas release from a pipeline segment located in a high consequence area (HCA).

NPRM – (Proposed rule is past PHMSA)
Liquid Misc Changes (ANRPM 10/18/2010): This rule would address various liquid pipeline issues, including: assessments beyond High Consequence Areas (HCAs), leak detection beyond HCAs, repair criteria in HCA and non-HCA areas, Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) , management, piggability of lines, reporting requirements for gathering lines, and gravity line exemption.

EFV Expansion beyond Single Family Residences (ANPRM 11/25/2011): This rule proposes to require EFVs for: branched service lines serving more than one single family residence, multi-family residential dwellings, and commercial buildings.

Final Rule – in PHMSA
Standards Update (NPRM 8/16/2013, Adv. Committee OK 12/2013): This rule would update 22 of the 60+ standards Incorporated By Reference (IBR) throughout Parts 192, 193 and 195. Note: All IBR standards pertaining to the pipeline safety regulations must be available for free to the public. ANSI has developed an IBR portal at, to assist people in finding those standards.

Final Rule – past PHMSA
Miscellaneous Rulemaking (NPRM 11/29/2011; Adv. Committee OK 7/2012): This rule would make various modifications and clarifications to the gas pipeline regulations, including: performance of post-construction inspections, leak surveys of Type B onshore gas gathering lines, requirements for qualifying plastic pipe joiners, regulation of ethanol, and the transportation of pipe.

Excavation Damage Prevention (NPRM 4/2/2012; Adv. Committee OK 12/2012): This rule would establish procedures for PHMSA to enforce damage protection laws in States that have inadequate enforcement to protect safety. Complies with PIPE’s Act 60114(f).