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Rules Proposed to Reduce Methane Emissions from Pipelines, Equipment

Posted on 5/19/2023 by Nick Waldron

US DOT PHMSA proposed a rule on May 18 that aims to reduce methane emissions from pipelines and storage facilities by bolstering requirements for leak detection, mitigation, repair, and reporting.

The proposed rule would require pipeline operators to patrol and survey equipment for leaks more frequently and would introduce a grading rubric for leaks that includes mandatory repair timelines. PHMSA says that the proposed amendments to the pipeline regulations (49 CFR Parts 190 to 199) will reduce both "fugitive emissions" that result from leaks and equipment failure and "vented emissions" (also called "intentional emissions"). 

Rules Proposed to Reduce Methane Emissions from Pipelines, Equipment

The rule also adds performance standards for advanced leak detection programs, requirements for mitigating emissions from blowdowns, and standards for design and maintenance of pressure relief devices. Last, the rule expands the reporting requirements for all operators of gas pipeline facilities within DOT's jurisdiction. 

PHMSA proposed this rule in response to statutory requirements in the PIPES Act of 2020 and policy goals in the current administration's "Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan.

Methane (CH4) is the primary component in natural gas and is one of the most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by concentration. 

In the United States, more than 2 million miles of pipeline transport hazardous materials including crude oil, refined petroleum products, highly volatile liquids (e.g., natural gas liquids), and compressed natural gases like methane, butane, ethane, and propane.


Find a Lion Workshop Near You

Attend a Lion workshop this year for the engaging, lively classroom-style training experience that only Lion instructors deliver. Catch these DOT, IATA, and RCRA hazardous waste workshops in a city near you—check the schedule on each page for what's coming up next. 

Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT)
Hazmat Air Shipper Certification (IATA) 

RCRA Hazardous Waste Management 
(In Texas Only) Texas Hazardous & Industrial Waste Management 

Tags: hazardous materials, methane, PHMSA, pipelines

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