Citing concerns that intrastate and small gas transmission pipeline operators may not be accurately identifying high consequence areas (HCAs) as part of their integrity management programs (IMP), PHMSA issued yet another advisory to the industry on December 12, 2016.  In its seventh advisory issued this year, PHMSA explains the need for further guidance on the methodology based on recent inspections as well as a Safety Recommendation issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2015 (NTSB Recommendation P-15-06, issued in conjunction with the Board’s Safety Study of implementation of gas transmission integrity management rules).
Continue Reading Concerns about HCA Identification Methods Prompts Advisory

As required by Section 5 of the amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act, PHMSA is seeking public comment on whether application of integrity management (IM) requirements beyond high consequence areas would mitigate the need for class location requirements for gas transmission pipelines.  78 F.R. 46560 (August 1, 2013).  PHMSA notes that the IM program provides

On December 13, 2012, pursuant to an OMB information collection, PHMSA published a Federal Register notice soliciting comments from operators of hazardous liquid pipelines in HCAs regarding the information-collection requirements relative to the IMP provisions of 49 C.F.R. Part 195.452. Comments were invited on: (a) The need for the proposed collection of information for the

In the wake of last month’s incident in Sissonville, West Virginia, Senator Rockefeller hosted a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia to review pipeline safety. The witnesses included: (1) Sissonville resident Sue Bonham who lost her home; (2) NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman; (3) PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman; (4) Susan Fleming of GAO;

As required by the 2012 amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report examining the ability of transmission pipeline operators to respond to releases in high consequence areas (HCAs). The report titled, “Better Data and Guidance Needed to Improve Pipeline Operator Incident Response,” concludes that (1) DOT should improve

In response to NTSB recommendations issued as a result of the San Bruno incident, PHMSA issued guidance on what it considers to be an effective integrity management (IM) performance evaluation process and program for measuring program effectiveness.  In addition, PHMSA IM inspections will emphasize review of operator IM performance metric methodology and confirm that operators

On November 8, 2012, PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman addressed the AOPL- API Leadership meeting in Washington, DC. Notably, Ms. Quarterman mentioned the following PHMSA priorities, among others, (1) draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for hazardous liquid pipelines (expected later this month); (2) review of leak detection and valve studies required by the 2012 amendments to

PHMSA will host a public meeting on the use of pipeline data in operator IMP programs on October 29 and 30, 2012 in Washington DC, which will also be available by webcast. Speakers at the meeting include Mark Rosekind of the NTSB, as well as representatives from PHMSA, NAPSR and the Pipeline Safety Trust. Click

In response to industry requests for an extension of the comment period for PHMSA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the safety of natural gas transmission lines, the Agency has extended the comment period from December 2, 2011 to January 20, 2012. Click here to view the Federal Register Notice published November 16, 2011.  Click