Several Congressional deadlines for PHMSA, under the Pipeline Safety Act amendments (PSA), effective on Jan. 3, 2012, are due.  By July 3, 2013, PHMSA was directed to:

(1) evaluate whether to expand integrity management requirements beyond high consequence areas (HCAs) and whether this may mitigate the need for class location requirements for gas transmission lines (Section 5 of PSA); (2) issue guidance to operators on how to provide information about their systems to local emergency response authorities (Section 6 of PSA); (3) revise existing release reporting regulations at Part 195.52 (liquid lines) and Part 191.5 (gas lines), to address timeliness of reporting (Section 9 of PSA); (4) complete a review of the risks of transporting diluted bitumen, and conclude whether existing regulations are sufficient (Section 16 of PSA); and (5) issue regulations for the testing of natural gas transmission lines in HCAs that are operated at > 30% SMYS (Section 23 of PSA).Continue Reading Statutory Deadlines for PHMSA Action

As required under the Pipeline Safety Act amendments that became effective on January 3, 2012, PHMSA commissioned the National Research Council to study whether shipments of diluted bitumen differ sufficiently from shipments of other crude oils in such a way as to increase the likelihood of releases from transmission pipelines.  Significantly, the Committee’s final report,