Energy - Pipeline Safety

Van Ness Feldman provides a full range of pipeline safety services for operators of gas and liquid pipelines and LNG facilities.  Attorneys with extensive experience in the pipeline industry and with key regulatory agencies, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), provide guidance on day-to-day compliance questions; defend operators in federal and state enforcement proceedings; advise in litigation proceedings; provide post-incident counseling; counsel on regulatory and legislative policy matters; coordinate with consultants and other technical professionals to review or draft compliance plans; help prepare for audits and inspections; lead internal investigations; assist with special permit applications and implementation; and help develop regulatory strategies for using new materials and technologies.

Our advice to clients is multi-faceted, taking into consideration big-picture safety objectives and an appreciation of business, regulatory, and legal risks facing companies.  In response to enforcement actions, we team with client’s 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 and state courts.

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 ensure regular delivery of this resource, please register here.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Enforcement Successes:

  • Defended pipeline operators in multiple enforcement proceedings involving such issues as welding, operator qualification, and physical security of facilities, achieving withdrawals of Notices of Probable Violations, proposed civil penalties and compliance orders.
  • Assisted in successfully resolving enforcement proceeding involving the application of PHMSA’s Part 192 MAOP and record-keeping requirements to gas distribution pipelines constructed before 1970.
  • Helped operator negotiate favorable consent agreement to resolve the application of PHMSA’s Part 195 regulations to natural gas liquid fractionation facilities.
  • Counseled LNG operator on a corrective action order proceeding that involved a hearing and helped with implementation issues.
  • Assisted hazardous pipeline operator in managing notice of proposed safety order. 
  • Counseled operators with respect post-incident issues involving drug and alcohol testing. 
  • Advised operator in district court litigation involving jurisdictional status of plant piping.

Regulatory Counseling and Problem Solving under the Pipeline Safety Act:

  • Provided gas pipeline operators with regulatory certainty in applying Part 192 MAOP requirements and conversion regulations to transmission and gathering pipelines, successfully helping operators manage real-life operational circumstances, conserve resources, and achieve business and operational objectives.
  • Provided hazardous liquid pipeline operator compliance guidance and regulatory certainty in applying integrity management regulations to non-line pipe.
  • Assisted pipelines in determining whether gas pipeline segments should be classified as transmission, distribution, or gathering. 
  • Provided gas pipeline operator regulatory certainty with respect to the construction of new road crossings over existing pipeline.
  • Provided gas pipeline operators regulatory certainty regarding the classification of farm taps facilities and their regulatory status.
  • Helped provide regulatory certainty to pipeline operators in assessing whether their pipelines are subject to PHMSA jurisdiction, and if so, which regulations apply.
  • Guided pipeline operator in applying odorization requirements for new and existing pipelines. 
  • Assisted gas and hazardous liquid pipeline operators in determining jurisdictional and classification status of terminal piping.
  • Helped gas pipeline operator prepare applications for special permits.
  • Reviewed written compliance procedures for Control Room Management, Distribution Integrity Management, Operating and Maintenance, Emergency Response, and other PHMSA regulatory programs to assess compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Help operators assess the impact of new PHMSA regulations in rate and abandonment proceedings before FERC.
  • Identified compliance issues in connection with the acquisition and sale of assets.

Legislative and Regulatory Policy:

  • Helped trade association and pipeline operators prepare comments on complex notice of proposed rulemaking that may significantly amend safety standards for gas transmission and gathering pipelines; guided trade association on outreach to FERC regarding rate and abandonment implications of PHMSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking.

In-House Training:

  • Provide training and seminars to management, operational staff, and in-house legal staff regarding PHMSA jurisdiction and regulatory programs.


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Professionals

Keturah A. Brown

Associate

Washington D.C.

202-298-1844

kab@vnf.com / vCard

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming

Partner

Washington D.C.

202-298-1928

gfleming@vnf.com / vCard

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

Jason Larrabee

Senior Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.

202-298-1877

jlarrabee@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

Landmark FERC Order Adopts New Method for ROE Determinations

Updated TSA Guidelines Suggest New Approach for Pipeline Cybersecurity

Court Ruling on Post-Spill Access to Records Highlights Importance of Corporate Safety Culture

DC Circuit Hands Pipelines Roadmaps to Construct Projects over Delays by Local Permitting Agencies

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. 146

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 145

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 144

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 143

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 142

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 141

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 140

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 139

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 138

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 137

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 136

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 135

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 134

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 133

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 132

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 131

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 130

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 129

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 128

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 127

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 126

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 125

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

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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