In This Issue

Use of Polyamide-11 Plastic Pipe in Gas Pipelines

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) seeks public comments on two petitions for rulemaking filed by Arkema, Inc. The petitions request changes to the gas pipeline safety regulations to increase the design factor for new polyamide-11 (PA-11) pipe from 0.32 to 0.40, and to allow use of PA-11 pipe for systems operating at up to 200 pounds per square inch gauge pressure (psig). These requested changes will allow the use of PA-11 pipe in gas pipelines in place of metal pipe. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by August 22, 2005 [docket No. PHMSA-05-21305].

Arkema asserts that pipelines with the new PA-11 material will pose less risk to the public at a design factor of 0.40 than older thermoplastic piping materials used with a 0.32 design factor and that allowing an increased design pressure will allow gas companies to replace metal piping systems with 2-inch plastic pipe operating up to 200 psig to avoid the risk of corrosion failure in steel pipes. A detailed technical justification, including performance test results for PA-11 pipe and a discussion of its history of use, is provided in the petition, which may be read in its entirety in the docket.