Search

PHMSA Proposes Bolstered Hazmat Pipeline Requirements

Posted on 10/12/2015 by Roger Marks

In the October 12, 2015 Federal Register, the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed changes to the regulations for pipelines that carry liquid hazardous materials.

Among the changes for hazmat pipelines, EPA proposes to:
  • Expand the reporting requirements for all hazardous liquid gravity and gathering lines;
  • Require inspections of pipelines in areas affected by extreme weather and natural disasters;
  • Require periodic inline integrity assessments of hazardous liquid pipelines locate outside of High-Consequence Areas (HCAs);
  • Require use of leak detection systems on hazardous liquid pipelines in all locations;
  • Modify provisions for pipeline repairs;
  • Require that all pipelines subject to the Integrity Management (IM) requirements be capable of accommodating inline inspection tools within 20 years, except in certain situations; and
  • Issue other “clarifying” amendments.
The proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register, here.

Hazmat pipeline regulated by PHMSA

What Are Gravity and Gathering Lines?

Gravity lines are pipelines that carry product by means of gravity. These lines are usually short and within “tank farms” or other facilities. However, some gravity lines are longer and can build up large amounts of pressure. PHMSA is proposing to add a requirement for operators of all gravity lines to comply with the requirements for submitting annual, safety-related condition and incident reports.

Pipeline “gathering lines” are lines that transport gases or liquids from the source to a processing facility, refinery, or other pipeline. Most gathering lines are found in sparsely populated rural areas and therefore were left unregulated by previous hazmat laws. The new proposed rule will require operators of all gathering lines (onshore, offshore, regulated, or unregulated) to comply with requirements for annual, safety-related condition and incident reports.

Requiring Inspections After Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters

Extreme weather—flooding, hurricanes, and more—have been shown to contribute to pipeline failures and releases. For example, in 2011, after extensive flooding near Laurel, Montana, a pipeline failed and released crude oil into the Yellowstone River.

PHMSA is proposing to require operators to perform an additional inspection within 72 hours of the end of an extreme weather event, or as soon as the area can be safely accessed. If an issue is discovered while performing this inspection, the operator must take actions to remedy the situation and inform the public of any threat.

For a full description of the other elements in PHMSA’s proposed hazmat pipeline rulemaking, read the proposal in the Federal Register here.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

This course went above my expectations from the moment I walked in the door. The instructor led us through two days packed with useful compliance information.

Rachel Stewart

Environmental Manager

I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!

George Chatman

Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician

The exercises in the DOT hazardous materials management course are especially helpful in evaluating your understanding of course information.

Morgan Bliss

Principal Industrial Hygienist

Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!

Paul Harbison

Hazardous Waste Professional

I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.

Rebecca Saxena

Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist

I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

More thorough than a class I attended last year through another company.

Troy Yonkers

HSES Representative

As always, Lion never disappoints

Paul Resley

Environmental Coordinator

Lion was very extensive. There was a lot of things that were covered that were actually pertaining to what I do and work with. Great Job. I will be coming back in three years!

Tony Petrik

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor was very patient and engaging - willing to answer and help explain subject matter.

Misty Filipp

Material Control Superintendent

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Your hazmat paperwork is the first thing a DOT inspector will ask for during an inspection. From hazmat training records to special permits, make sure your hazmat documents are in order.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.