PHMSA Clarifies New Rules On Pipeline Abandonment
On 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
If an in-active pipeline may be used in the future for
the transportation of hazardous liquid or gas, it is considered as an
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.