PHMSA Advisory: Implementing the Gas Transmission and Hazardous Liquid Final Rules

On February 26 and 27, 2020, PHMSA will be hosting a public meeting in Houston to discuss the implementation of the gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline final rules that were published in October 2019.

The purpose of the public meeting is to review draft FAQs that PHMSA put together to explain how to implement the final rules.

The meeting will also include a discussion of the benefits of pipeline operators developing an effective safety culture, including Pipeline Safety Management Systems (Pipeline SMS).

PHMSA is opening the meeting to pipeline safety officials, personnel involved in pipeline safety for their operation, and pipeline safety stakeholders (including the general public).

What is the Purpose of the FAQs on the PHMSA Final Rules?

PHMSA developed a draft of the FAQs to provide clarification, guidance, information sources, and affirmation of the new regulations.

The FAQs are intended to assist in the implementation of the final rules as operators strive for compliance with the new safety regulations.

During the public meeting in Houston, PHMSA will review the FAQs with attendees to gather additional information on how pipeline operators can effectively implement the new rules in their operations.

PHMSA intends for the public comments to “help identify key areas where additional clarifying information is necessary for operators and the general public and to prioritize addressing those areas.”

Agenda for the PHMSA Pipeline Safety Meeting

Prior to the public meeting on Feb. 26-27, PHMSA will be hosting an Operators Meeting on Tuesday, February 25.

Operators Meeting Agenda (Feb. 25)

  • Risk Ranking Index Model
  • Integrated Inspection Process
  • How Inspections Are Conducted
  • Inspector Training
  • Enforcement Process
  • Regulatory Update
  • Accident Lessons Learned
  • Emergency Response Coordination
  • State Relationships
  • NTSB Recommendations

PHMSA will then open the meeting to the public on Feb. 26 and 27 to discuss the new final rules.

Liquid Rule Public Meeting (Feb. 26)

  • Reporting Requirements
  • Inline Inspection (ILI) in non-High-Consequence Areas (HCAs)
  • Leak Detection
  • New Integrity Management (IM) Requirements
  • Approach to Oversight
  • Pipeline SMS and Safety Culture (afternoon session)

Gas Rule Public Meeting (Feb. 27)

  • FAQ Topics in Development
  • Solicitation of new FAQ topics
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Training Strategy for PHMSA and State Inspectors
  • Inspection Strategy and Initial Focus Areas
  • How PHMSA will select companies to inspect (afternoon session)

What’s Next to Be Involved in the Public Meeting?

Parties that are interested in attending the PHMSA meeting should register in advance through the PHMSA website.

We also recommend reviewing the FAQ drafts that PHMSA made public and prepare any questions to ask during the meetings.

Have questions about what’s contained in the draft FAQs? Contact EnerSys Corporation today to discuss. We look forward to participating in the meetings this month in Houston.