Pipeline regulatory updates are back! For updates on the below topics and other state and federal regulatory initiatives, follow Elemental Compliance on LinkedIn, or watch for our blogs at www.ElementalCompliance.com .
There’s a lot going in the regulatory arena currently, including an advisory bulletin, open comment periods on current regulations, development of new regulations, and the beginning of the pipeline reauthorization process in Congress. Below we’ve highlighted some of the regulatory changes, updates, and information operators need to know.
Advisory Bulletin (ADB) Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by River Flooding, River Scour, and River Channel Migration, Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0047: While we have seen other ADBs from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regarding river flooding, this ADB prescribes fifteen action items PHMSA expects operators to undertake to ensure the integrity of pipelines at river crossings. Also included is a reference to American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1133, Managing Hydrotechnical Hazards for Pipelines Located Onshore or Within Coastal Zone Areas, for further guidance on river crossing best management practices. The full ADB can be found here.
National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Rulemaking Comment Request, Docket No. PHMSA-2014-0092: PHMSA has been working on this proposed rule update since 2014. Therefore, it has been through
a couple of rounds of proposed language and comments. PHMSA has issued the latest round of proposed data collection requirements addressing security concerns raised in the previous rounds of comments. PHMSA is requesting comments be submitted by May 13, 2019. The detailed text can be found here.
Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) Meeting, Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0136: The GPAC meeting (originally scheduled for January) has been rescheduled for June 25th and 26th in Washington D.C. The focus of this meeting will be on the gas gathering portion of the originally proposed “Gas Mega Rule” published on April 8, 2016. Remote and in-person registration is open to the public. The Federal Register notice can be found here. Registration is on PHMSA’s website under meeting registration.
Farm Tap Enforcement Discretion, Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0086: Given recent debate regarding farm
tap regulation, PHMSA issued an announcement stating that the agency will not take enforcement action against operators who exercise either the requirements issued in March 2017 under 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 192.740, Pressure regulating, limiting, and overpressure protection—Individual service lines directly connected to production, gathering, or transmission pipelines, or continue to manage farm taps under the 49 CFR 192 Subpart P, Gas Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), requirements. The text of this notice can be found here.
Information Collection Activities Comment Request for Gas and Liquid Pipelines, Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0001: PHMSA is renewing its existing information collection requests, which gives PHMSA the authority to collect data from pipeline operators, with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the following regulations:
• Gas Transmission Integrity Management (49 CFR 192, Subpart O)
• Gas Distribution Integrity Management (49 CFR 192, Subpart P)
• Control Room Management Human Factors (49 CFR 192.631 and 195.446)
• Oil Spill Response Plans (49 CFR 194)
These requirements are open for public comment until May 20, 2019. For further details click here.
Pipeline Reauthorization: Every four years Congress reviews and reauthorizes PHMSA’s regulatory authority over hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines. The reauthorization process can lead to new bills requiring PHMSA to implement additional regulations. 2019 is reauthorization year and hearings in Washington D.C. have begun. To follow hearing proceedings, click here.
Elemental Compliance is a pipeline regulatory compliance consulting team committed to assisting hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline operators create and implement compliant and practical pipeline safety programs. Contact us here to schedule a call.