PHMSA has issued a preliminary notice and a call for abstracts in connection with a public workshop planned for September 9-10, 2015 on risk modeling methodologies for pipelines and non-pipeline systems.  80 Fed. Reg. 38266 (July 2, 2015).  Although industry has developed a variety of approaches to risk analysis since enactment of the integrity management regulations (which require operators to analyze threats to their pipelines in order to reduce the likelihood and consequences of a release, see 49 C.F.R. Parts 192.916 and 195.452), PHMSA suggests that many of these lack an investigative-oriented approach that identifies specific ways to reduce risk.  80 Fed. Reg. at 38627.  According to the notice, the purpose of the workshop is for industry representatives, regulators, the public, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and experience on risk modeling within the pipeline industry and other fields, and to discuss practical ways in which operators may adapt pipeline risk models to the analyses of their systems. The notice solicits abstracts on engineering and technical modeling considerations relevant to advancing pipeline risk models, as well as risk modeling methodologies used in non-pipeline applications.  It also encourages any input from other industries on risk modeling that may be applicable to pipelines.

The risk modeling workshop will be held in the Washington, DC metro area, although a specific location is still to be determined.  To be considered for presentation at the workshop, abstracts must be submitted by July 15, 2015.  Members of the public are also invited to submit written comments either before or after the workshop.  Instructions for abstract and comment submittal are included in the notice.