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Posted: 25 Jan, 2017

Final Rule from PHMSA for Pipeline Safety Regulations

The final rule amending of the Part 195 regulations for hazardous liquid pipelines was released on Friday. The revised regulations will become effective 6 months after publication in the Federal Register.  The amendments to Part 195 include:

Non-HCA pipelines must have leak detection systems

  • Onshore, non-HCA, hazardous liquid pipelines transporting liquid in a single phase must implement effective leak detection systems (LDS), except for regulated rural gathering pipelines
  • Operators must evaluate the capability of its LDS to protect the public, property, and the environment
  • Computational pipeline monitoring LDS must comply with API 1130
  • Existing pipelines must comply within 5 years
  • Pipelines that become operational after the rule becomes effective must comply within 1 year

Operators must assess onshore, piggable non-HCA pipelines at least once every 10 years

  • Pipelines that can accommodate in-line-inspection (ILI) tools must be inspected using an ILI tool appropriate to the threats relevant to that pipeline segment
  • If using an ILI is operationally impractical the operator must use a pressure test, external corrosion direct assessment, or other technology
  • Data from an assessment must be analyzed by a person with qualified by knowledge, training, and experience
  • Discovery of a potential threat to a pipeline’s integrity must occur within 180 days
  • Initial assessments must be completed by 31 December 2017

New repair criteria for integrity management pipelines

  • The following conditions require immediate repair:
    • Metal loss greater than 80% of the nominal wall
    • Metal loss defect with a predicted failure pressure of less than 1.1 x maximum operating pressure
    • Any dent with indication of metal loss, cracking, or stress riser
    • A topside dent with depth greater than 6%
    • Significant stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
    • Selective seam weld corrosion (SSWC)
  • The final rule also identifies conditions that must be evaluated and remediated within 270 days of discovery, eliminating the existing 60 and 180 day repair categories

Pipelines must be inspected after natural disasters or extreme weather conditions within 72 hours

  • The operator must inspect all potentially affected pipeline facilities
  • Remedial action must be taken promptly

This final rule is a response to issues raised by recent pipeline incidents, implements new provisions in the Pipeline Safety Laws, addresses the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Government Accountability Office, and responds to comments submitted in PHMSA’s 2010 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

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