In This Issue

THLPSSC Teleconference on Low Stress and Rural Liquid Pipeline Regulations

[Docket No. PHMSA-98-4470]

The Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (THLPSSC) will meet on Monday, February 12, 2007, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST by telephone conference call to vote on a proposed rule to extend pipeline safety regulation to rural onshore hazardous liquid gathering lines and low stress lines. Discussion will include comments received on the proposed rule published on September 6, 2006, and the recently passed Congressional direction on the subject of this rulemaking.

This proposed rule partially addresses a statutory requirement of the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES Act of 2006). On December 29, 2006, the President signed the PIPES Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-468), which requires PHMSA to extend regulation to all low stress hazardous liquid pipelines. To accomplish this, PHMSA needs additional information on the economic and energy impacts extension of the regulations will have on the operators of these pipelines. Many of these may be small operators. While this information is gathered, PHMSA intends to act on the current proposal to extend safety regulation to currently unregulated rural onshore gathering lines and certain unregulated low stress pipelines. This will expedite safety protection for these pipelines.

The pipeline safety law requires PHMSA to seek the THLPSSC’s advice on the reasonableness, cost-effectiveness, and practicability of proposed safety standards for hazardous liquid pipelines. The pipeline safety law also requires PHMSA to submit the cost-benefit analyses and risk assessment information on each proposed standard to the appropriate advisory committee. THLPSSC evaluates the merits of the data and, when appropriate, provides recommendations on the adequacy of the cost-benefit analyses.

Members of the public may attend the meeting at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, in room 2103. Members of the public who want to make an oral statement should notify Cheryl Whetsel at (202) 366-4431 or by e-mail at before February 5. You may send or deliver your comments to DOT’s Docket Facility or send them electronically by the Web page All comments should reference docket number PHMSA-98-4470.

PHMSA will issue a final rule based on the proposed rule, the comments received from the public, and the vote and comments of the advisory committee.