Friday, September 21, 2012

PHMSA Publishes Pipeline Safety ICR 30-Day Notice

Today the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a 30-day notice in the Federal Register (77 FR 58616-58622) of their intent to revise certain pipeline safety reporting requirements. This is a follow-up to the earlier 60-day information collection request (ICR) notice and includes responses to the unusual number of public comments on the proposed changes.

Public Comments

Typically ICR notices do not receive much in the way of public comments. This proposal however received 12 such comments. Copies of the public comments can be reviewed on the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # PHMSA-2012-0024). Commentors included:

• SCANA Corporation;

• Jack Wilson;

• American Gas Association (AGA);

• American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Oil Pipelines Association (AOPL);

• Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA);

• Texas Pipeline Association;

Of the remaining comments two were supportive of the  INGAA comments and four were supportive of the AGA.

The Comments

The individual comments and responses are really too numerous to mention in a blog posting (this does take up 6 pages of the Federal Register). I will list the separate reports covered and the total number of comments received on each

• Annual Report for Gas Transmission and Gathering Systems – 26

• Gas Transmission Pipeline and Gathering Systems Incident Report – 4

• Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems Accident Report – 10

PHMSA agreed with some of the comments and made appropriate revisions on the forms. Some comments they disagreed with, but made clarifying changes to the forms or instructions anyway. And still others they disagreed with and let the forms stand as proposed.

Administrative Change

I noted in my earlier blog post that PHMSA was not requesting an extension of the expiration of the current ICR; just revising the forms. That statement can be found at. That may have changed; the new wording is not as clear as that in the original notice.

The original notice said:

“PHMSA is only requesting approval of the information collection changes addressed in this notice. The information collection for hazardous liquid accident reports (OMB control number 2137-0047) is scheduled to expire December 31, 2013, and the information collection that covers gas transmission annual reports and incident reports (OMB control number 2137-0522) is scheduled to expire January 31, 2014. In 2013 [emphasis added], PHMSA will solicit comments on all aspects of these information collections, including the forms, in accordance with the standard PRA renewal process.” (77 FR 22389).

This notice states:

“The following information is provided for each revised information collection: (1) Title of the information collection; (2) OMB control number; (3) Type of request; (4) Abstract of the information collection activity; (5) Description of affected public; (6) Estimate of total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden; and (7) Frequency of collection. PHMSA will request a three-year term of approval for each information collection activity. PHMSA is only focusing on the revisions detailed in this notice and will request revisions to the following information collection activities.” (77 FR 58622)

This will be made more clear when the actual request is made to OMB, but that may be too late for any additional comments on the general renewal of the ICR to be made.

Public Comments

Public comments on the revisions (or non-revisions) can be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comments may be submitted by email ( and must be submitted by October 22nd, 2012.

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