Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PHMSA Sends Gas Pipeline Safety NPRM to OMB

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced that it had received from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for proposed revisions to the pipeline safety regulations (PSR) concerning gas transmission pipelines. The ANPRM for this rulemaking was published on August 25th, 2011.

It is interesting to note that the Unified Agenda entry for this rulemaking indicates that it is being driven by congressional requirements included in the 2011 Pipeline Reauthorization Act. Since this act was passed in December of 2011, after the ANPRM comment period was closed, there is no telling what changes have been made to this proposed rule. I expect that they are extensive.

Topics that are supposed to be addressed in the rulemaking include:

∙ The definition of an HCA (including the concept of a potential impact radius);
∙ The repair criteria for both HCA and non-HCA areas;
∙ Requiring the use of automatic and remote-controlled shut off valves;
∙ Valve spacing; and

∙ Whether applying the integrity management program requirements to additional areas would mitigate the need for class location requirements.

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