Effective October 1, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will allow interstate natural gas pipelines to seek to recover certain capital expenditures involving changes to pipeline system infrastructure that enhance system reliability, safety and regulatory compliance.
Continue Reading FERC Implements New Cost Recovery Policy for Gas Facility Modifications

Additional proposed revisions to natural gas reporting forms signal that PHMSA continues to rely on this data to analyze operator performance metrics and inform future rulemakings.  By notice issued on November 27, 2013, the Agency responded to comments on revisions to several natural gas reporting forms that it proposed in June (see prior posting

To comply with Pipeline Safety Act requirements to confirm the operating pressure limits of certain natural gas transmission pipelines, PHMSA held a public workshop on its proposed ‘Integrity Verification Process’ (IVP) on August 7, 2013.  In response to feedback from stakeholders received after the workshop, the Agency announced on September 12, 2013 a revised IVP

To meet Congressional mandates with regard to confirming the operating pressure limits of certain natural gas transmission pipelines, PHMSA will conduct a workshop on the concept of Integrity Verification Process (IVP) on August 7, 2013.  78 Fed. Reg. 32010 (May 28, 2013). In addition, PHMSA released an initial draft approach for IVP in the

EPA has established new deadlines and caps on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from storage tanks used in oil and natural gas production and transmission that have the potential to emit more than 6 tons of VOCs per year. The pre-publication version of the new rule, to be codified as amendments to 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart 0000, can be accessed here, and will be effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. The rule generally applies to tanks involved in temporary storage along the oil and natural gas production and transmission process, before the liquids are moved to a pipeline, sold or disposed.

Continue Reading EPA Issues New Oil Tank Emission Standards and Deadlines

A Final Order issued by PHMSA clarifies how operators of natural gas pipelines should apply the Class Location rule that includes within the definition of a Class 3 area certain “frequently used buildings or well defined outside areas.” Design, construction, testing and operating pressure standards for natural gas pipelines vary by Class Location, with criteria ranging from Class 1 through Class 4 criteria. Generally, a Class Location increases with increased density of buildings intended for human occupancy, as measured 220 yards to either side of, and along, the pipeline (a “Class Location Unit”). A Class 3 area is defined as “any Class Location Unit that has 46 or more buildings intended for human occupancy,” or any area where the pipeline lies within 100 yards of “a well-defined outside area” (such as a playground, recreation area or other place of public assembly), “that is occupied by 20 or more persons on at least 5 days a week for 10 weeks in any 12 month period.” 49 C.F.R. Part 192.5(b)(3)(ii). The intent of this rule was to include certain frequently used areas, even if not densely populated, within the scope of protection assigned to more urban areas.

Continue Reading PHMSA Clarifies Application of “Outside Areas” for Class 3 Locations along Gas Pipelines

On February 13, 2013, PHMSA published a notice of its intent to revise the gas distribution annual report (PHMSA F7100.1–1). PHMSA received comments in response to that notice from the American Gas Association and the American Public Gas Association.  In today’s notice, PHMSA responds to the comments by: (a) revising Part A, Section 7 of

Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) introduced HR 1900, to provide for timely consideration of licenses, permits, and approvals with respect to the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects. The bill would amend the Natural Gas Act by requiring FERC to approve or deny a certificate of public convenience or necessity no

The EPA Inspector General issued an audit report on February 21, 2013, analyzing oil and gas production emissions data contained in the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. The IG drew several conclusions from its review, including that the data is limited and incomplete for several key air pollutants, and that there are data gaps for some