PHMSA has again released an advisory to pipeline operators on the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding, as well as actions operators should consider taking to ensure the integrity of pipelines in the event of flooding, river scour, and river channel migration.  The advisory is essentially identical to advisories PHMSA has issued on the same topic in July 2013 and April 2015 (see previous posts on these advisories from 2013 and 2015), reflecting a tendency of the Agency to issue such guidance cyclically.
Continue Reading Advisory Regarding Damage to Pipeline from Flooding Re-Issued

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

Nationwide permitting for linear projects, relied upon by pipeline operators for construction and maintenance projects, recently survived a challenge from environmental groups. On December 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled against the Sierra Club and other environmental groups in their challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) use of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) for linear utility line projects.
Continue Reading Federal Court Upholds Issuance of Nationwide Permits for Pipeline Construction

PHMSA issued an Advisory Bulletin to operators of both oil and gas pipelines regarding the potential damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding.  78 Fed. Reg. 41991 (July 12, 2013).  The Agency has issued several prior Advisory Bulletins on this subject, each of which followed an event that involved severe flooding that affected

PHMSA released its report to Congress regarding liquid pipeline incidents at certain inland water crossings, finding that 16 of 20 release incidents occurring since 1991 in pipeline water crossings greater than 100 feet in width were associated with flooding or stream overflow.  The Report concludes that “depletion of cover” and “the dynamic and unique nature