Thursday, September 7, 2023

Review - PHMSA Publishes Gas Distribution Pipeline Safety NPRM

Today, DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (88 FR 61746-61804) for “Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Distribution Pipelines and Other Pipeline Safety Initiative”. This rulemaking was submitted to OMB on March 17th and approved on August 16th, 2023. This rulemaking responds to several mandates from title II of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2020 (PIPES Act of 2020 [Division R of PL 116-260]).

According to the Summary of today’s action, the NPRM would:

• Require operators of gas distribution pipelines to update their distribution integrity management programs (DIMP), emergency response plans, operations and maintenance manuals, and other safety practices,

• Address a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation directed toward preventing catastrophic incidents resulting from overpressurization of low-pressure gas distribution systems similar to that which occurred on a gas distribution pipeline system in Merrimack Valley on September 13, 2018,

• Other pipeline safety initiatives for all part 192-regulated pipelines, including gas transmission and gathering pipelines, such as updating emergency response plans and inspection requirements, and

• Apply annual reporting requirements to small, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operators in lieu of DIMP requirements.

Public Comments

PHMSA is soliciting public comments on this proposed rule. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # PHMSA-2021-0046). Comments should be submitted by November 6th, 2023.


For more details about the provisions of this rulemaking, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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