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Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Program for Gas Distribution Pipelines

Final rule.
PHMSA is amending 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 this rule are similar to those required for gas transmission pipelines, but tailored to reflect the differences in and among distribution pipelines. Based on the required risk assessments and enhanced controls, the rule also allows for 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 rule establishes simpler requirements for master meter and small liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operators, reflecting the relatively lower risk of these small pipelines. In accordance with Federal law, the rule also requires operators to install excess flow valves on new and replaced residential service lines, subject to feasibility criteria outlined in the rule. This final rule addresses statutory mandates and recommendations from the DOT's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and stakeholder groups.
74 FR 63906