PHMSA Clarifies New Rules On Pipeline Abandonment

paps_newsrelease.pngOn August 15th, PHMSA posted an advisory bulletin that defines new rules relating to pipeline operational status, which tightens controls on pipeline operators.

PHMSA is clarifying new rules that focus on abandon pipelines that once carried hazardous liquid, carbon dioxide, and gas. In a statement from PHMSA, the owner or operator must "purge all combustibles and seal any facilities left in place," prior to abandoning a pipeline. PHMSA defines "abandoned" as permanently removed from service.

If an in-active pipeline may be used in the future for the transportation of hazardous liquid or gas, it is considered as an active pipeline.

Effective immediately, "owners and operators of pipelines that are not operating but contain hazardous liquids and gas must comply with all applicable safety requirements, including periodic maintenance, integrity management assessments, damage prevention programs, response planning, and public awareness programs."

PHMSA may propose procedures in the future that would address methods operators could use to notify regulators of purged but active pipelines.

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