Updates

Pipeline Safety Update - Issue No. 146

March 7, 2019

PHMSA Extends Deadlines for Complying with New Plastic Pipeline Regulations 

On March 1, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) granted the request of the American Gas Association (AGA) to extend compliance deadlines established in the recently adopted final rule amending design, construction and maintenance requirements applicable to plastic piping. 

As summarized in the table below, PHMSA granted an additional 90 days to implement training and operator qualification programs for the new requirements and to work with equipment suppliers.  PHMSA granted an additional six months to comply with provisions requiring the development of new programs.  PHMSA also delayed until January 22, 2020 the deadline for using Category 1 fittings on plastic to metallic connections of pipe 4 inches or more in diameter.  PHMSA did not adopt AGA’s request to limit the requirement to use Category 1 fittings to connections of plastic to plastic pipe with diameters of less than 4 inches.  

 

Topic

Sections of 49 C.F.R.

New Compliance Deadline

Joining plastic pipe with mechanical couplings

§§192.281(e)(3), 192.281(e)(4), 192.283, and 192.285

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Installing service lines with compression couplings

§192.367

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Implementing corrosion control for electrically isolated metallic fittings

§192.455

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Maintaining equipment used to join plastic pipe

§192.756

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Requirement for devices and components to withstand anticipated loads and meet listed specifications

§§192.143, 192.313, 192.145, 192.149, 192.375, 192.281(e)(3), 192.283, 192.285, 192.376

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Cathodic protection design for isolated metallic fittings

§192.455

April 22, 2019 (90 days)

Develop and implement programs for using weak links

§192.329

July 22, 2019 (6 months)

Develop and implement programs for storing and handling plastic pipe

§192.67

July 22, 2019 (6 months)

Develop programs for maintaining joining equipment

§192.756

July 22, 2019 (6 months)

Use of Category 1 fittings on pipe 4” or more in diameter

§192.281(e)(4)

January 22, 2020

PHMSA will publish a formal response to AGA in the Federal Register. 

PHMSA Reschedules Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss Proposed Rule on Gas Gathering Pipelines

PHMSA has announced that the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) will meet on June 25-26 to consider the gathering line component of the notice of proposed rulemaking PHMSA issued in April 2016 to significantly revise PHMSA’s regulations applicable to gas transmission and gathering pipelines.  The Committee is expected to address reporting requirements, safety regulations for Class 1 gathering lines, and definitions related to gas gathering.  PHMSA has not announced a new date for the postponed meeting of the Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee. 

Senate Committee Leadership Urges PHMSA to Issue Final Rule for Gas Transmission Pipelines

On March 6, leadership of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee sent a letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao and PHMSA Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott urging PHMSA to complete the pending final rule applicable for gas transmission pipelines that was required under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.  Industry stakeholders submitted a similar letter to Secretary Chao in February. 

PHMSA Rulemakings Update.  The chart below shows the status of PHMSA’ pending pipeline safety rulemaking initiatives as reflected in DOT’s February Significant Rulemaking Report, PHMSA’s recently updated Chart summarizing the status of legislatively mandated actions, and the Office of Management & Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which appears in two principal parts, Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions and Current Long Term Actions.  Updates appear in bold.

Pending Final Rules

Proceeding

DOT Estimated Publication

OIRA Estimated Publication

PHMSA’s Chart

Emergency Order Procedures

March 20, 2019

October 2018

April 22, 2019

Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

July 2, 2019

March 2019

July 2, 2019

Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

December 20, 2019

December 2019

Not Listed

Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

December 20, 2019

December 2019

Not Listed

Safety of Onshore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

May 27, 2019

December 2018

May 27, 2019

Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities

July 2, 2019

December 2018

July 2, 2019

Pending Notices of Proposed Rulemakings

Proceeding

DOT Estimated Publication

OIRA Estimated Publication

PHMSA’s Chart

Class Location Requirements

Not Specified

September 2019

Not Listed

Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

August 14, 2019

May 2019

Not Listed

Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform

Not Listed

Feb. 2019

Not Listed

Periodic Standards Update

Not Listed

April 2020

Not Listed

Repair Criteria for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

Not Specified

Next Action Undetermined

Not Listed

Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

August 7, 2019

January 2019

August 7, 2019

Pending Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemakings

Proceeding

DOT Estimated Publication

OIRA Estimated Publication

PHMSA’s Chart

Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas

Not Listed

April 2020

Not Specified

Other PHMSA Updates

PHMSA releases updated civil penalty summary.  On March 5, PHMSA posted an updated “Civil Penalty Summary” providing an overview of how PHMSA calculates proposed civil penalties when issuing notices of probable violation.  The updated summary adjusts several civil penalty ranges, in part to reflect higher, inflation-adjusted civil penalty limits, and revises descriptions of conduct that may affect the level of a proposed penalty. 

Updates from Industry

API releases third edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 1160.  On February 27, the American Petroleum Institute (API) released the third edition of RP 1160, “Managing System Integrity for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines,” which describes a process for establishing safe pipeline operations, including performing risk assessments and establishing systems to manage systems during day-to-day operations.

Pipeline Association for Public Awareness releases Excavation Safety Guide and Directory.  The Pipeline Association for Public Awareness released the Pipeline Edition of its Excavation Safety Guide and Directory which sets forth guidelines for preventing pipeline emergencies.  Among other things, the Guide contains a pre-excavation checklist, explains the basics of locate requests, and describes locating and marking best practices.

 

To download a full text PDF, which includes Dates of Interest, upcoming PHMSA State Seminars, and State Specific Association Meetings, please click here.















Update Authors

Susan A. Olenchuk
Washington D.C.
Email »
Bryn S. Karaus
Washington D.C.
Email »
Marco Bracamonte
Washington D.C.
Email »

Related Services & Industries

Oil, Gas, & LNG

Natural Gas & Oil Pipelines

Dates of Interest

August 2019
12 Comments due on RRC Informal Working Draft
20-21 Western Regional Gas Conference, Tempe, AZ
23 Comments Due on DOE Request for Information
28 Comments due on PaPUC ANPRM
September 2019
3 Comments due on TSA Information Collection Renewal
9-13 NAPSR National Meeting, South Portland, ME
11-12 NGA LNG/LP Safety and Emergency Response Training, Stow, MA
17-20 AOPL Annual Business Conference, San Antonio, TX
25 PAPA Annual Membership Meeting, Denver, CO
28 Comments due on PHMSA Information Collection
October 2019
16-17 API 2019 International Pipeline Security Forum, Chicago, IL
17-18 NGA Fall Operations Conference, Hartford, CT
21-23 GPA Midstream Fall Technical Conference, Oklahoma City, OK
21-23 North American Gas Forum, Washington, DC
29-31 APGA Operations Conference, Huntsville, AL
November 2019
6-7 PLC Pipeline Leadership Conference, Houston, TX
7-8 Pipeline Safety Trust Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA
12-13 API 14th Annual Cybersecurity Conference for the Oil & Natural Gas Industry, Woodlands, TX
17-20 NARUC 2019 Annual Meeting, Antonio, TX
December 2019
3-5 APGA Pipeline Safety and Operations Seminar, Montgomery, AL

State-Specific Association Meetings

August 2019
12-14

TGA Safety Summit, Burns, TN

20-21 RRC Regulatory Conference: Oil & Gas and Pipeline Safety, Austin, TX
28-29

Gas Pipeline Safety for Small Operators, Conference, Marion, IL

September 2019
16-20

Operators of natural Gas and Liquid Pipeline Facilities, Cooperstown, NY

October 2019
3-5 ANGA/AL PSC Pipeline Safety & Operations Seminar, Montgomery, AL
8-9 South Carolina Pipeline Safety Seminar, Columbia, SC