Pipeline Safety: Requirement of Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards
PHMSA is revising the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to most newly constructed and entirely replaced onshore gas transmission, Type A gas gathering, and hazardous liquid pipelines with diameters of 6 inches or greater. In the revised regulations, PHMSA requires operators of these lines to install rupture-mitigation valves (i.e., remote-control or automatic shut-off valves) or alternative equivalent technologies, and establishes minimum performance standards for those valves' operation to prevent or mitigate the public safety and environmental consequences of pipeline ruptures. This final rule establishes requirements for rupture-mitigation valve spacing, maintenance and inspection, and risk analysis. The final rule also requires operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines to contact 9- 1-1 emergency call centers immediately upon notification of a potential rupture and conduct post-rupture investigations and reviews. Operators must also incorporate lessons learned from such investigations and reviews into operators' personnel training and qualifications programs, and in design, construction, testing, maintenance, operations, and emergency procedure manuals and specifications. PHMSA is promulgating these regulations in response to congressional directives following major pipeline incidents where there were significant environmental consequences or losses of human life. The revisions are intended to achieve better rupture identification, response, and mitigation of safety, greenhouse gas, and environmental justice impacts.
87 FR 20940