Pipeline Regulations

Legislation and regulations regarding pipeline issues are always pending at the federal and state levels of government. The U.S. Congress most recently specified new national guidance and requirements for pipelines by enacting the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-90). This Law requires more than 30 new rule makings or other action by PHMSA, virtually all of which are now in development. The issue of pipeline safety and regulation is likely to again be revisited by Congress and TSO/TLLP will be involved as this effort gains momentum.

Collectively, the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NASPR) represents state agency pipeline safety directors, managers, inspectors, and technical personnel, who support, encourage, develop, and enhance pipeline safety at the state level. To learn more about their activities, please visit http://napsr.org/.

Ongoing PHMSA Rulemakings

AgencyShort NameFormal Name, NumberDescriptionStatus
PHMSALiquid pipelines NPRMSafety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ( PHMSA-2010-0229 )Multi-component rulemaking with proposals to increase reporting of gathering and gravity lines, require inspections after extreme weather events, periodic inspection of non-high consequence area line segments, additional criteria for repairing anomalies found during inspections, universal leak detection, and in-line inspection capability.ANPRM published 10/2010. API AOPL filed comments 02/2011. DOT issued NPRM 09/2015. API and AOPL filed comments on 01/08/2016, in conjunction with members to detail specific concerns with the proposal. The PHMSA Pipeline Advisory Committee will met on 2/1/16 to provide feedback to the agency on whether it should move forward with the regulatory process. PHMSA expects to finalize by end of year.
PHMSAOQ, Cost Recovery, Incident Notification, and Other Changes NPRMOperator Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Proposed Changes ( PHMSA-2013-0163 )Implements 2011 reauthorization mandate to report incidents within 1 hour of confirmed discovery. Also proposes additional qualification requirements for operator personnel.DOT issued the NPRM 07/2015. API and AOPL filed comments on 09/08/2015.
PHMSAHL IVPHazardous Liquid Integrity Verification Process
( Docket ID: PHMSA-2014-0150)
Expands upon 2011 reauthorization mandate on gas lines to confirm maximum operating pressure. Considering additional requirements to demonstrate pipe properties. Could involve extensive hydrotesting of lines.PHMSA held liquids IVP workshop 8/27/2015 with API-AOPL presentation. PHMSA hosted a briefing for API/AOPL members with a draft process 11/18/2014. API/AOPL sent a response letter in 02/2015. 2011 pipeline safety reauthorization mandated PHMSA issue a natural gas pipeline IVP, but not a liquids IVP. It is not in the hazardous liquids NPRM issued 09/2015, so future regulation may be promulgated for liquids IVP.
PHMSAValves and leak detection NPRMValve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
( PHMSA-2013-0255 )
Expected to respond to 2011 reauthorization mandate to review valve capabilities and placement. May propose minimum requirements for valve spacing and rupture detection capabilities.Proposal may include new requirements on valve types and spacing. PHMSA has created a docket, commissioned and received studies from contractors, and publicly discussed plans to issue a proposal. API and AOPL filed comments on studies in 07/2013 and responded to questions from PHMSA’s engineering staff in 02/2014. NPRM expected this spring.
PHMSA NPMS changesNational Pipeline Mapping System proposed changes (PHMSA–2014–0092 )Proposes additional data for inclusion in NPMS program, such as pipe properties and infrastructure location.Revised proposed information collection published 8/27/15 and was the subject of a 9/10/15 workshop. Joint comments submitted by API and AOPL on 11/25/15 after an extension from the original 10/26/15 deadline. PHMSA held a workshop on 11/18/15.



Regulatory Structure of Gas Pipelines

Where TSO and TLLP Have Operational Facilities

AgencyInterstate Gas Intrastate Gas Interstate Hazardous Liquid Intrastate Hazardous Liquid 
AlaskaAll OPS-regulatedX X X X 
CaliforniaCalifornia Office of the State Fire MarshalX  X X X
ColoradoGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
IdahoGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
MontanaGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
North DakotaTesting and Safety Division, PSCX  XX X 
OregonGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
UtahGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
WashingtonWashington Utilities and Transportation Commission X X X X
WyomingGas Pipeline Safety Division, PUCX  XX X 
Source: *Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), PHMSA Pipeline Safety Program (Washington, D.C.: US DOT); 
US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Program, Stakeholder Communications, Inspection;  
March 2011 -   http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/state-gas-pipelines-federal-and-state-responsibili.aspx#Pipeline_Regulation_Table
Source: *Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), PHMSA Pipeline Safety Program (Washington, D.C.: US DOT);
US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Program, Stakeholder Communications, Inspection;
March 2011 – http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/state-gas-pipelines-federal-and-state-responsibili.aspx#Pipeline_Regulation_Table