On March 31, 2022, PHMSA announced a new Final Rule has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication. This rule will help improve pipeline safety, reduce super-polluting methane emissions, and protect the public by requiring the installation of remotely controlled or automatic shut-off valves on any new and replaced onshore natural gas, CO2, or hazardous liquids pipelines.
Once published, an effective date will be set at which time these requirements will apply to all new or replaced onshore pipelines six inches in diameter or greater. Operators installing valves on these lines will be required to comply with new performance standards, that mandate the following:
- Closure of valve to isolate a rupture must occur no longer than 30 minutes after identifying a rupture has occurred;
- Operators must ensure their emergency response plans contain written procedures for timely identification and mitigation of pipeline ruptures and must include procedures to engage public safety officials on these shut down procedures.
This rule addresses congressional mandates from the Pipeline Safety Act of 2011, and recommendations from both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and studies conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). It is expected to reduce threats to the environment – including those posed by the unintended release of greenhouse gases – and improve safety by allowing faster access to emergency responders.
PAPS can help your organization understand the impact of this rule change and is ready to support you in ensuring compliance and pipeline safety requirements are met! Call us at (281) 379-1130 or contact us via email by clicking HERE.
PHMSA’s rulemaking announcement can be viewed in its entirety at the link below: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsa-announces-requirements-pipeline-shut-valves-strengthen-safety-improve-response-efforts