Energy - Pipeline Safety

Van Ness Feldman provides a full range of pipeline safety services for operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, and LNG facilities. The firm represents operators in enforcement and litigation matters before the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and in federal courts; provides strategic counseling and day-to-day compliance guidance; helps clients prepare for audits and inspections; reviews compliance plans; provides policy guidance on rulemakings and legislation; and assists with special permit applications and implementation.

Robust compliance programs and effective responses to enforcement must be informed by an appreciation of big-picture safety objectives and business and legal risk. Van Ness Feldman’s pipeline safety practice is anchored by attorneys with long-standing involvement in the pipeline industry, and is highly skilled at collaborating with pipeline personnel to help balance these considerations, while protecting and preserving clients' legal rights.

With significant industry knowledge and a highly-respected pipeline practice, Van Ness Feldman helps operators develop, implement, and defend their safety programs. Backed by a strong litigation team, the firm also helps operators effectively respond to and manage administrative enforcement actions and, when necessary, litigation.

Van Ness Feldman’s Pipeline Safety Group publishes a bi-weekly “Pipeline Safety Update” to inform clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders of important developments affecting pipeline safety. To access an inclusive database of these updates, please visit the Van Ness Feldman Pipeline Safety Update Library. To ensure regular delivery of this resource, please register here.

 

COMPLIANCE COUNSELING

Van Ness Feldman helps operators of interstate and intrastate gas and hazardous liquid pipelines and LNG assets on regulatory requirements and compliance expectations. Specific areas of counsel include:

  • The day-to-day application of regulatory requirements in real world operational situations;
  • Policies pertaining to validating maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP), maximum operating pressure (MOP), and pipe materials;
  • PHMSA jurisdictional and regulatory classifications;
  • Preparing and updating written compliance procedures for PHMSA regulatory programs;
  • Federal safety standards for the siting of LNG facilities;
  • Pipeline safety compliance issues in connection with the acquisition and sale of assets; and
  • Special permit applications and their implementation.

Services we provide include seminars and training to in-house legal staff and management regarding PHMSA jurisdiction, programs, and processes, and on-site, pre-audit reviews of compliance procedures and documents for liquid and gas pipelines preparing for PHMSA inspections, including integrated inspections.


ENFORCEMENT, LITIGATION & POST-INCIDENT COUNSELING

Van Ness Feldman represents and advises pipeline operators in responding to PHMSA enforcement actions. The firm teams with clients' engineering and business personnel to develop case strategies, prepare strong response documents, and develop and implement creative solutions. When necessary, the firm represents clients in civil pipeline safety litigation in the federal courts. Recent representations include:

  • Successfully representing a crude oil pipeline in a PHMSA civil penalty case resulting in settlement and elimination of the civil penalty in exchange for an agreement to perform supplemental safety projects;
  • Acheiving withdrawal of NOPV for an interstate natural gas pipeline;
  • Assisting a crude oil pipeline in responding to a Notice of Proposed Safety Order; 
  • Counseling a large interstate gas pipelines and LNG facility operators on enforcement matters before PHMSA and state regulators arising from pipeline inspections and incident investigations;
  • Counseling an interstate natural gas liquids pipeline on litigation with PHMSA regarding agency jurisdiction; and
  • Counseling a gas pipeline operator in responding to a Corrective Action Order.

The firm counsels pipeline clients on post-incident communications and in enforcement matters, including corrective action orders, safety orders, and investigations. Van Ness Feldman’s pipeline safety team also assists clients with navigating environmental compliance matters related to the aftermath of incidents.

NEW REGULATORY & POLICY INITIATIVES

Van Ness Feldman counsels clients in shaping legislative and regulatory policy, assisting them with congressional and agency outreach and communications. Representative work includes: 

  • Advising clients and collaborating with trade associations on legislative drafting and understanding implications of proposed legislation;
  • Working with operators and trade associations in evaluating PHMSA policy initiatives and developing responses, including rulemaking comments; and 
  • Assisting interstate gas pipelines with pipeline FERC rate and abandonment implications of pipeline safety regulatory developments.


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Professionals

Tyson C. Kade

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1948

tck@vnf.com / vCard

Bryn S. Karaus

Associate

Washington D.C.

202-298-1821

bsk@vnf.com / vCard

Frances Bishop Morris

Associate

Washington D.C.

202-298-1874

ftb@vnf.com / vCard

Susan A. Olenchuk

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1896

sam@vnf.com / vCard

News

FERC Examines New Policy for Income Tax Costs

Van Ness Feldman Expands Pipeline Safety Practice

American Gas Foundation and Van Ness Feldman Release Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Study

Tyson Kade Named Of Counsel to Van Ness Feldman

Keith Coyle Appointed to Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force

Van Ness Feldman Welcomes Mona Tandon as Partner

Van Ness Feldman Awarded 2014 NiSource Crystal Key Award

The American Gas Association and Van Ness Feldman Release 2014 FERC Manual

Susan Olenchuk Presents on PHMSA Regulations at the 36th Annual AGA Legal Forum

Jim Ziglar Named to New Gulf of Mexico Advisory Group

The American Gas Association and Van Ness Feldman Release 2013 FERC Manual

CEQ Proposes Paradigm Shift for Funding Federal Water Investments

Events

2017 EBA Annual Meeting & Conference

2016 EBA Primer Series: An Introduction to Federal Regulation of the Natural Gas Industry

AOPL's Annual Business Conference

AGA 2016 Legal Forum

Energy Bar Association Annual Conference

2016 API Pipeline Conference

AGA Legal Forum 2015

6th Annual Pipe Tech Americas Summit

Understanding Appalachian Basin Midstream Assets

9th Annual Gas Processors Association Convention

Transportation Forum XI

Shale Insight 2014

Webinar: Pipeline Safety Enforcement and Compliance: Recent Trends and Developments

Webinar: Shale Gas—Infrastructure, Impacts and Issues

2014 Pipeline Conference and Cybernetics Symposium

Pipeline Safety Seminar

2013 Annual Conference

Pipeline Safety: A Gateway to Expanded Access to Natural Gas

New Initiatives in Pipeline Safety

American Gas Association 2011 Energy Market Regulation Conference, The Impact of Pipeline Safety Costs on Rates for Pipeline Services

Alerts

PHMSA Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Rule

FERC Issues Final Audit Reports for Colonial Pipeline Company and Enterprise Product Partners L.P.

Policy Outlook for 2015

FERC Offers Analytical Framework for Pipeline Recovery of Costs Related to Safety, Reliability, and Environmental Compliance Costs and Requests Comments

OUTLOOK 2014: KEY POLICY DEVELOPMENTS

Fractured Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Decision on Constitutionality of Oil and Gas Law

FERC Issues Final Rule Clarifying Work Space Requirements for Section 2.55(a) Auxiliary Installations

In Case of "First Impression" FERC Dismisses Application To Operate Facilities in Hawaii to Receive LNG from Continental U.S.

Updates

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 124

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 123

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 122

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 121 Special Edition

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 120

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 119

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 118

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 117

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 116

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 115

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 114

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 113

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 112

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 111

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 110

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 109

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 108

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 107

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 106

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 105

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 104

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 103

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 102

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 101

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 100

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 99

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 98

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 97

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 96

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 95

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 94 - Special Edition

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 93

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 92

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 91

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 90

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 89

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 88

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 87

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 86

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 85

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 84

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 83

EMC Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 83

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 82

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 81

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 80

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 79

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 78

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 77

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 76

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 75

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 74

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 73

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 72

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 71

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 70

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 69

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 68

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 67

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 66

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 65

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 64

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 63

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 62

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 61

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 60

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 59