Thursday, September 12, 2019

OMB Approves PHMSA Pipeline Safety Rule – 09-11-19

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had approved a final rule from the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) that would expand certain pipeline safety requirements for gas transmission pipelines. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this rule was published in April 2016.

According to the abstract for this rulemaking published in the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda:

“This rulemaking amends the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.”

There is no telling how long it will take PHMSA to publish this final rule in the Federal Register. Agencies in the Trump Administration have been taking longer than the historical norm to publish regulations.

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