Do you have something to say about Pipeline Safety?!

Pipeline Safety: Gaseous Carbon Dioxide Pipelines

PHMSA has released a report titled “Background for Regulating the Transportation of Carbon Dioxide in a Gaseous State,” and is seeking comments from you! This is all part of PHMSA’s effort to develop minimum requirements for safely transporting CO2.

Since PHMSA’s ability to reach out and locate potentially affected operators has been limited, as it does not currently regulate these pipelines, it is welcoming views and updates on the necessity for and approach to regulations for gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines per section 15 of the Act. Some areas of interest include:

  1. Comments and suggestions with respect to the information included within the report, including comments on gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines and their regulation in general, as well as any conclusions readers can draw from the information presented.
  1. Identifying gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines or pipeline operators not already identified in the report that would potentially be subject to regulation if they are regulated as outlined in the report per the requirements of section 15 of the Act. Include details, if available, such as pipeline location and length.
  1. Identifying and discussing likely locations for the future construction of gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines not already discussed in the report that would potentially be subject to regulation if regulated as outlined in the report per the requirements of section 15 of the Act.
  1. Comments on the two potential options for regulating gaseous carbon dioxide outlined in the report. These options would:
  • Regulate the transport of gaseous CO2 entirely under part 192, or
  • Regulate the transport under part 192, where appropriate, with reference to applicable sections of part 195.
    PHMSA would like to know which approach you think is more appropriate or preferable, if neither approach would be, or if both would be considered appropriate. They ask that when commenting, you provide supporting examples and reasons for your opinion.


  1. Please discuss the industry projections for carbon dioxide pipeline need and growth as identified in the report, and whether these projections are consistent and accurate with current data. If they have changed, please discuss how they have changed.
  1. Please comment on any technical standards addressing gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines that PHMSA could consider incorporating into any potential regulations.
  1. If PHMSA pursues one of the regulatory scenarios presented within the report, and as stated in Area #4 above, would a simpler approach be adequate and responsible at this time? Could PHMSA make a change to the scope of part 192 to include gaseous carbon dioxide without any further technical differentiations within the regulations or without referencing the regulations for carbon dioxide in the supercritical state per existing part 195 regulations?

You can go to the Federal Register to submit any comments or the site. There you can also view the full report. Comments submitted will be posted without edits to, including any personal information provided. You can also Kenneth Lee, Director, Engineering and Research Division, at 202-366-2694 or


Be aware that the public comment period for this notice ends July 27, 2016.

Find more info at

Download the report here.


Obama signs 2016 pipeline safety re-authorization bill into law

June 21– US President Barack Obama signed S. 2276, the 2016 pipeline safety reauthorization bill. The bill became law more than a week after the US Senate approved a version with House amendments and sent it to the White House.

June 13– The US Senate unanimously approved an amended federal pipeline safety bill it received days earlier from the House of Representatives, sending it to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

June 8- The US House unanimously approved an amended federal pipeline safety bill that included changes from bills two of its committees approved in late April and sent the reworked measure back to the Senate for further consideration.

April 27- The US House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed HR 5050, the pipeline safety reauthorization bill. The action followed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s approval of its own pipeline safety bill, HR 4937, a week earlier.

March 16- A US House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee unanimously approved pipeline safety legislation and sent the measure to the full committee for consideration.

March 3- The US Senate unanimously passed S. 2276, which would reauthorize the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through fiscal 2019 while requiring the US Department of Transportation agency to finishing implementing mandates from the 2011 reauthorization bill.

Pipeline Safety Bill

Pipeline Safety Bill

API Executive Vice-Pres. Lewis Finkel said, “The bill will enhance safety, improve transparency of PHMSA’s rulemaking process, shorten inspection reporting time, and improve workforce management.”

Meanwhile, AOPL Pres. Andrew J. Black noted that the PIPES Act:

  • Ensures pipeline operators receive timely post-inspection information from the government to allow them to maintain and improve their safety efforts.
  • Increases inspection requirements for certain underwater oil pipelines to enhance safety.
  • Ensures that product composition information is quickly provided to first responders after an incident.
  • Improves protection of coastal areas, marine coastal waters, and the Great Lakes by explicitly designating them as unusually environmentally sensitive to pipeline failures.

The Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, or PIPES Act, reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through 2019, with a few new mandates for the agency.

“Every day, American families and businesses depend on safe and efficient energy transportation,” they said. “The PIPES Act will ensure that our nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipelines continue to provide critical access to energy, and we are proud of the bipartisan work that made this effort a success.”

The law gives the secretary of Transportation, who oversees PHMSA, the power to quickly issue emergency orders for the pipeline industry, for example, if an incident exposes a widespread problem.

It also requires that PHMSA develop national regulations for the construction and operation of underground natural gas storage facilities. That provision is in response to the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak in southern California, which lasted from October 2015 to February 2016 and leaked about 97,000 tons of gas into the atmosphere.

Beyond those mandates, the bill instructs PHMSA to continue to work on a large set of mandates from the 2011 pipeline safety law, many of which the agency has not completed.