Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PHMSA Publishes Pipeline Registrations Advisory Notice

Today the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration published an advisory notice in the Federal Register (77 FR 16471-16472) concerning its plan for implementing the national registry of pipeline and liquefied natural gas operators. This notice updates information provided by PHMSA in a similar notice published on January 13, 2012 (77 FR 2126).

Operator Identification (OPID) Numbers

Starting on January 27th of this year the Online Data Reporting System (ODES) is being used by affected entities to obtain OPID numbers. Before that date PHMSA had collected the required registration information on .PDF forms and is currently in the process of using that form data to complete the online database and plans on notifying those entities that completed those forms of their OPID Number.

In accordance with 49 CFR §191.11b operators of master meter systems or petroleum gas systems that serve fewer than 100 customers from a single source are not required to file annual reports. Those systems in existence on or before December 31, 2011 will have OPID Numbers issued based upon information already in the possession of PHMSA. Covered operators should be notified of their OPID Number by May 1, 2012. An operation established since December 31st, 2011 will be required to apply for an OPID Number once the ODES is modified on May 1st.

OPID Validation

As of March 27th, 2012 the OPID validation process will be completed using the ODES. PHMSA is providing notification in this advisory that all OPIDs issued prior to January 1st, 2012 should be validated using the ODES. PHMSA notes that “master meter and small LPG operators in existence prior to December 31, 2011, are not required to complete the validation process” (77 FR 16472). Because of the delays in getting the ODES operational the regulatory deadline for validation is being changed from June 30th, 2012 to September 30th, 2012. PHMSA is recommending that 2011 annual reports be filed at least 5 working days before the validation process is completed.

Section 191.22(c) and Section 195.64(c) Notifications

Since January 1st, 2012 PHMSA has been collecting Notification information on a .PDF version of Form F 1000.2. Starting on March 27, 2012 such notifications will be made using the ODES. PHMSA will be responsible for transferring the previous .PDF submitted data to the ODES.

This advisory notifies hazardous liquid pipeline operators to “disregard the notification requirement in §195.64(c)(1)(iii)” (77 FR 16472) as “PHMSA only wants notification of hazardous liquid pipeline facility construction projects with a cost of $10 million or more and plans to remove §195.64(c)(1)(iii) in a future rulemaking”.

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