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Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Program for Gas Distribution Pipelines

Notice of proposed rulemaking.
PHMSA proposes to amend the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations to require operators of gas distribution pipelines to develop and implement integrity management (IM) programs. The purpose of these programs is to enhance safety by identifying and reducing pipeline integrity risks. The IM programs required by the proposed rule would be similar to those currently required for gas transmission pipelines, but tailored to reflect the differences in and among distribution systems. In accordance with Federal law, the proposed rule would require operators to install excess flow valves on certain new and replaced residential service lines, subject to feasibility criteria outlined in the rule. Based on the required risk assessments and enhanced controls, the proposed rule also would establish procedures and standards permitting risk-based adjustment of prescribed intervals for leak detection surveys and other fixed-interval requirements in the agency's existing regulations for gas distribution pipelines. To further minimize regulatory burdens, the proposed rule would establish simpler requirements for master meter and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operators, reflecting the relatively lower risk of these small pipeline systems. This proposal also addresses statutory mandates and recommendations from the DOT's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and stakeholder groups.
73 FR 36015


Closed on 09/23/2008