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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Advisory Bulletins
PHMSA uses advisory bulletins to inform affected pipeline operators and Federal and state pipeline safety personnel of matters that have the potential of becoming safety or environmental risks. A complete list of Advisory Bulletins can be found at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs/advisory-bulletin.
Integrity Management - Distribution Systems
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the final rule establishing integrity management requirements for gas distribution pipeline systems - DIMP Final Rule on December 4, 2009 (74 FR 63906). The effective date of the rule is February 12, 2010. Operators are given until August 2, 2011 to write and implement their program.
The regulation requires operators, such as natural gas distribution companies to develop, write, and implement a natural gas distribution system integrity management program with the following elements:
PHMSA has developed and continues to enhance guidance to help the public and the affected industry understand the requirements of the final rule in the form of FAQs. Additional information can be found at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/imp
Integrity Management - Transmission Systems
The Gas IM Rule specifies how pipeline operators must identify, prioritize, assess, evaluate, repair and validate the integrity of gas transmission pipelines that could, in the event of a leak or failure, affect High Consequence Areas (HCAs) within the United States. HCAs include certain populated and occupied areas.
For an overview of the progress being made under the Gas IM Rule, please see the PHMSA Performance Measures page. There you will find graphs and charts, which depict progress and other aspects of rule implementation. You will also find a link to the tabulated semi-annual submissions provided by pipeline operators in accordance with this rule.
Additional information, including an operator IM process flowchart and a fact sheet that summarizes key requirements of the Gas IM Rule; details of the Gas IM Rule itself; FAQs; and other information useful in more fully understanding the Gas IM Rule can be found at http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/gasimp
PHMSA Data and statistics http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/resources/data-stats
A list of Accident Reports and Studies by the NTSB are available at www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/P_Acc.htm
Safety Recommendation Letters can be found at www.ntsb.gov/Recs/letters/letters.htm
Advisory Bulletins can be found at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs/advisory-bulletin
Natural Gas Gathering Pipelines
On July 17th the PUC presented a Continuing Education update on gas pipeline safety regulations to the Staff of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The presentation titled “ Who Regulates Pipelines? ” | PDF version is being made available for training use to the general public and the pipeline industry in Colorado.
Public Awareness Program
The finalized public awareness documents (such as the inspection form, enforcement guidance and FAQs) can be found by visiting the PHMSA Stakeholder Communication website at: https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/PublicAwareness/PublicAwareness.htm.
All the documents are listed in the left hand menu.
Operator Qualification - Update
The Office of Pipeline Safety has posted the OQ Protocols being discussed in public meetings. All updates and contact information concerning OQ can be found at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/tq/oq
Effected plans should be reviewed and modified if necessary to follow the protocols as posted.
Drugs and Alcohol
As proposed in April, 2001, several DOT agencies have amended their drug and alcohol testing rules covering transportation workers in safety-sensitive jobs. The revised rules and the response to comments are available at the DOT's drug and alcohol testing web site, www.dot.gov/ost/dapc . Additional information is also available at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/drug
Additional Resources: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/tq/resources