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

Amazing instructor; real-life examples. Lion training gets better every year!

Frank Papandrea

Environmental Manager

Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.

Michele Irmen

Sr. Environmental Engineer

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

Best instructor ever! I was going to take my DOT training w/a different provider, but based on this presentation, I will also be doing my DOT training w/Lion!

Donna Moot

Hazardous Waste Professional

I have attended other training providers, but Lion is best. Lion is king of the hazmat jungle!!!

Henry Watkins

Hazardous Waste Technician

Very well structured, comprehensive, and comparable to live training seminars I've participated in previously. I will recommend the online course to other colleagues with training requirement needs.

Neil Luciano

EHS Manager

You blew the doors off the competition!

Stephen Bieschke

Facilities Manager

My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.

Robert Roose

Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation

These are the best commercial course references I have seen (10+ years). Great job!

Ed Grzybowski

EHS & Facility Engineer

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

What to do before, during, and after a RCRA hazardous waste inspection to defend your site from rising State and Federal penalties.

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.