Thursday, June 16, 2011

PHMSA Pipeline Control Room Management Final Rule

Today the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration published their final rule on pipeline control room management in the Federal Register (76 FR 35130-35136). As I noted in a blog post this weekend, this rule changes the effective dates of the previous rule on this topic published on December 9th, 2009 (74 FR 63301) and corrected on February 3rd, 2010 (75 FR 5536).

Revised Effective Dates

The following new dates apply:

October 1st, 2011 (Establish procedures by August 1st, implement October 1st):

• §192.631(b) Roles and responsibilities
• §192.631(c)(5) Shift change
• §192.631(d)((2)-(3) Fatigue mitigation education and training
• §192.631(f) Change management
• §192.631(g) Operating experience
August 1, 2012:

• §192.631 (c)(1)-(4) Adequate information
• §192.631 (d)(1) Shift length
• §192.631 (d)(4) Maximum hours-of-service
• §192.631 (e) Alarm management
Rule Status Confusion

I noted in my earlier blog that, based on the OMB web site data, there was some confusion about if this would be an NPRM or a direct final rule. Well, it turns out that there was even more reason for the confusion. The OMB’s regulatory agenda web page noted that the NPRM for this rule had been scheduled for December 2010, but had not yet been published. According to the preamble to this rule the NPRM had actually been published on September 17th, 2010 (75 FR 56972). So, there is no ‘direct final rule’ involved here.

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