Amid considerable controversy, the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) issued a Final Rule on May 27, 2015, re-defining and expanding the definition of jurisdictional “waters of the U.S.” under the federal Clean Water Act.
Continue Reading How Will EPA’s New Definition of “Waters of the U.S.” Affect Oil & Gas Pipelines?

After briefing the industry on the initiative in November 2014, PHMSA initiated a rulemaking docket to consider establishing an Integrity Verification Process (IVP) for hazardous liquid pipelines.
Continue Reading PHMSA Considering Integrity Verification Process for Liquid Pipelines & Report on Repair/Replace of Pre-Code Pipelines

PHMSA issued an updated advisory regarding the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding. Presumably prompted by the January 2015 release to the Yellowstone river in Glendive, Montana, associated with an area of exposed pipeline on the river bottom, the Agency reiterated the nine (9) actions it has set forth in prior advisories to prevent and mitigate damage to pipelines impacted by flooding.
Continue Reading Advisory Regarding Damage to Pipelines from Flooding

PHMSA issued a Final Rule that amends various Part 195 and 192 regulations relating to post-construction inspections, welding, gas component pressure testing requirements, and calculating pressure reductions for immediate repairs on liquid pipelines, among other changes.
Continue Reading PHMSA Final Rule Amends Numerous Pipeline Safety Regulations

PHMSA has issued an Advisory Bulletin to alert hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipeline operators of the impacts associated with flow reversals, product changes, and conversions to service.  The Advisory, issued in conjunction with newly-published Agency Guidance on these issues, recommends that operators consult existing conversion of service requirements for flow reversals and product

PHMSA and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) announced a public workshop to be held on August 5, 2014, to discuss challenges associated with detecting and characterizing crack-like defects in oil and gas pipelines (e.g., environmentally assisted cracks and cracks associated with corrosion).
Continue Reading Pipeline Crack Detection and R&D Public Workshops Announced

As part of a 2014 industry initiative, the Association of Oil Pipelines and the American Petroleum Institute prepared its first “Annual Liquid Pipeline Safety Performance Report” (the Report).  Despite several high profile pipeline incidents in the past few years and increased PHMSA enforcement activity, these statistics reflect that PHMSA pipeline safety regulations and industry efforts over the past ten years have been successful in improving pipeline safety.

  • The number of releases from liquid pipelines decreased 62% over the last ten years (based on three year averages).
  • While the volume of barrels of crude or petroleum product transported has increased, the amount released over the last ten years decreased by 47% (based on three year averages).
  • Releases caused by corrosion decreased by 79%, third party damage by 78% and those caused by material defects, seam and weld failures decreased by 31% (based on three year averages).


Continue Reading Industry Performance Statistics Illustrate Improvements in Pipeline Safety