Beveridge & Diamond
 

Pipeline Safety Resource Center


In light of heightened scrutiny and the quickly evolving pipeline safety regulations and practices, Beveridge & Diamond has assembled the resources below to help our clients stay educated and adapt to these important changes. Our Pipeline Practice Group provides strategic, business-focused legal services to pipeline companies, helping them proactively navigate a changing regulatory environment, update and upgrade compliance programs, and avoid and respond to federal and state enforcement actions.  We invite you to explore these resources and to contact any of the leaders of our Pipeline Practice—Maddie Kadas, John Cossa, Jayni Lanham, and Pete Anderson—for more information.

BackgroundPipelines at sunset

Pipelines are a vital and often overlooked component of America’s infrastructure. Although the industry’s overall safety record is excellent, recent high-profile accidents in California, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere have brought heightened public, congressional, and regulatory scrutiny to the aging, 2.6 million-mile U.S. pipeline system.  This expanded scrutiny has inspired both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to act.

In 2012, Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, and on June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act. Both laws enhanced federal regulatory authority over the operation of pipeline infrastructure. Additionally, PHMSA’s years-long effort to overhaul the federal gas and hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations is nearly complete. The agency is currently finalizing the gas pipeline safety regulations it proposed in April 2016, and has already finalized - but not yet promulgated – new hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations.[1]

Legislation and Regulations

PHMSA Guidance and Advisory Materials

Ongoing PHMSA Regulatory Efforts and Schedule

The tables below summarize the status of PHMSA’s pipeline safety-related rulemakings, as reflected in DOT’s October 2017 Significant Rulemaking Report and OMB’s Fall Unified Regulatory Agenda.  The Report and Agenda are not binding, and anticipated publication dates are frequently missed.  For example, although DOT anticipated publishing by January 2018 the Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures contemplated by the PIPES Act and the final Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities regulations, neither have appeared in the Federal Register yet

Notably, PHMSA plans to finalize both proposed major overhauls of the hazardous liquids and gas pipeline safety regulations by August 2018, despite that the administration is apparently reconsidering the content of the draft regulations, which may potentially necessitate re-proposal prior to finalization.

Pending Final Rules

RULE

DOT Estimated Submission to OMB

DOT Estimated Publication

OIRA Estimated Publication

Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

n/a

n/a

January 2018

Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines

May 10, 2018

August 22, 2018

August 2018

Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

January 24, 2018

April 27, 2018

August 2018

Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities

n/a

n/a

January 2018

Pending Notices of Proposed Rulemaking & Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (ANPRM)

RULE

DOT Estimated Submission to OMB

DOT Estimated Publication

OIRA Estimated Publication

Class Location Requirements (ANPRM)

December 26, 2017

April 9, 2018

April 2018

Standards Update Rule – 2015 and Beyond

n/a

n/a

June 2018

Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

n/a

n/a

April 2018

Resources

Presentations

News, Incidents, and Enforcement

Pipeline Safety Group

KadasLI

Maddie Kadas

 CossaLI John Cossa
 LanhamLI Jayni Lanham
  Pete Anderson

[1] Although the PHMSA Administrator signed the final version of the hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations on Jan. 13, 2017, on Jan 20, 2017, the incoming administration delayed publication in the Federal Register pending additional review.