Pipeline Safety Act Reauthorization

Congress has approved amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act (PSA), reauthorizing PHMSA’s pipeline safety program through 2019. The bill is expected to reach the President’s desk soon to be signed into law. S. 2276 was approved in the House of Representatives by voice vote in the first week of June, representing a compromise between two House committees on several topics. The Senate took up the bill and approved it by unanimous vote on June 13, 2016.
Continue Reading Pipeline Safety Legislation Headed for the President’s Signature

PHMSA and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) recently announced a one-day public workshop on Class Location Methodology to be held on April 16, 2014.  79 Fed. Reg. 16421 (March 25, 2014).  The purpose of the workshop is to discuss whether applying the gas pipeline integrity management (IM) requirements beyond high consequence areas would mitigate the need for class location requirements, an issue that the 2012 amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act directed PHMSA to evaluate and report on to Congress by January 4, 2014 (no report has yet been issued).  PHMSA invited public comment on this in 2011 (in conjunction with an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on natural gas IM) and again in 2013.   The workshop will feature an overview of the comments received to date, as well as presentations from PHMSA, state regulators, and other stakeholders on both IM methodology and the use of class locations to identify areas of higher risk along pipelines.
Continue Reading PHMSA to Host Workshop on Class Location Methodology

In response to the 2012 amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act, PHMSA issued a proposal to amend the pipeline safety regulations to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards that are available to the public on the internet.  78 Fed. Reg. 49996 (August 16, 2013).  In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, PHMSA proposes to incorporate new standards and new editions of standards that are already incorporated by reference under 49 C.F.R. Parts 192, 195, 193 and 199.  Specifically, in response to petitions for rulemaking from several natural gas industry groups, PHMSA recommends incorporating a new standard by reference specific to polyethylene gas piping (ASTM D 2513-09a Standard Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Gas Pressure Pipe, Tubing and Fittings, excluding the section on rework materials).
Continue Reading PHMSA Issues NPRM on Incorporation by Reference

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

PHMSA has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) including numerous proposed amendments to 49 C.F.R. Part 190 with regard to PHMSA enforcement and administrative procedures in order to conform the Agency’s regulations with various requirements of the Pipeline Safety Act Reauthorization amendments that were signed into law on January 3, 2012, as well as

President Obama signed H.R. 2845, the “Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011” into law on January 3, 2012. Among other pipeline safety requirements, this bill doubles the maximum civil fine for all safety violations; requires operators to confirm, through records or testing, the MAOP of certain untested gas pipelines in populated

The House passed an amended version of H.R. 2845, “Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011” on December 12, 2011 and the next day the Senate approved that bill by unanimous consent. The House bill was largely patterned after an earlier Senate version (S. 275), and reconciled slightly different versions from both

On December 7, 2011, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, working with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate, reached an agreement regarding an amendment to HR 2845, “The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.” Most notably, the amendment would require verification of MAOP for all transmission lines located

The Senate passed S. 275 by unanimous consent as amended by Senator Rand Paul who previously opposed the bill and blocked its consideration on the Senate floor for several months. S. Amdt.784 amended S. 275 to require DOT to issue regulations within 18 months of enactment of the bill that require testing to confirm the