Important bulletin from PHMSA to Pipeline Owners & Operators!

Important bulletin from PHMSA to Pipeline Owners & Operators!

Did you know…PHMSA regulations do not recognize an “idle” status for hazardous liquid or gas pipelines. The regulations consider pipelines to be either active and fully subject to all parts of the safety regulations or abandoned. Pipelines that aren’t currently in operation are sometimes informally referred to as “idled,” “inactive,” or “decommissioned.” These pipelines may have been shut down and still contain hazardous liquids or gas.

A previous pipeline failure raised concerns about the need to remind operators about the proper way to purge and clean inactive pipelines in order to protect the environment and communities around them.

In the “Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016,” Congress required PHMSA to issue an advisory bulletin to owners and operators of gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities and Federal and State pipeline safety personnel regarding procedures required to change the status of a pipeline facility from active to abandoned.

Pipelines abandoned after the effective date of the regulations must comply with requirements to purge all combustibles and seal any facilities left in place. The last owner or operator of abandoned offshore facilities and abandoned onshore facilities that cross over, under, or through commercially navigable waterways must file a report with PHMSA. PHMSA regulations define the term “abandoned” to mean permanently removed from service.

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 is considering proposing procedures in a future rulemaking that would address methods owners or operators could use to notify regulators of purged but active pipelines.

For more questions or concerns contact Ms. Linda Daugherty at 816-329-3800 or by email to



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.



Fall 2016 will bring MILLION dollar Hazmat Training Program

On June 10, 2016 the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced $1 million in grant funding for training and outreach programs to help local communities prepare for transportation incidents involving hazardous materials, including crude oil and ethanol.

This is another effort in the climb to safety awareness for communities across the country considering that the production, transportation, and use of hazardous material is a vital part of the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian economies.

Rail transportation of hazardous materials in the United States has been recognized as the safest method of moving large quantities of chemicals over long distances. For all hazardous materials, in the 12 years from 1994 through 2005, hazardous materials released in railroad accidents resulted in a total of 14 fatalities. In the same period, hazardous materials released in highway accidents resulted in a total of 116 fatalities. Continuous sponsored industry and government improvements in rail equipment, tank car and container design and construction, and inspection and maintenance methods have resulted in reducing derailments, spills, leaks, and casualties while the volume of traffic increases but there is still room for improvement.

PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez stated: “Training and education are essential to ensure that local communities have the information they need to prepare for emergencies.”

The $1 million for the Community Safety Grant was authorized by Congress in the FAST Act and is supported with funds appropriated for hazardous materials safety. The anticipated start date for this FY 2016 grant program is September 30, 2016.

Apply for this funding opportunity through by July 1, 2016, 5:00 PM Eastern Time. For further information, contact the PHMSA Hazardous Materials Grants Division at or call (202) 366-1109.

Want to take a glimpse and see what it takes to be a part of rail response training? Check out this video

12 Tips for Staying Smart, Safe, and Sane in a Flood

Floods can happen anywhere and to anyone unexpectedly. Not only is heavy rainfall to blame, but natural disasters such as storm surge and a lack of drainage in urban development can cause water to rise with no place to go. Check out these 12 tips you need to know before a flood reaches your community.

  1. Move to higher ground
    Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US. If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  2. Stay away from dirty water
    Floodwater often contains infectious organisms, including intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella; Hepatitis A Virus; and agents of typhoid, paratyphoid and tetanus.
  3. Be on the lookout for wildlife in stagnant water
    Pools of standing or stagnant water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of encephalitis, West Nile Virus or other mosquito-borne diseases. The presence of wild animals in populated areas increases the risk of diseases caused by animal bites (e.g., rabies) as well as diseases carried by fleas and ticks.
  4. Stock up
    Don’t get caught in the rush to get supplies last minute. Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit beforehand. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, plenty of water, and snacks.
  5. Don’t forget to unplug
    Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  6. Turn it off
    If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
  7. Save your important documents
    Have all of your personal documents together (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies) and bring copies of them if you need to evacuate.flooding-roadclosure_1910201515447
  8. Make a pet plan
    Don’t forget your pets and livestock! Make plans with friends, family, or your vet on where your furry friends can go. Check your local government sites to get info on animal evacuations and shelters. If they’re traveling with you, build a pet emergency kit with an extra collar and leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl, and their favorite toy.
  9. Don’t fight the water
    Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  10. Move all valuables
    Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  11. Turn around, don’t drown!
    If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  12. Check your insurance plan
    Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S.

For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at



Buckle Up! Now this includes everyone in large commercial trucks

“Seat belts save lives – period,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Whether you’re a driver or passenger, in a personal vehicle or large truck, the simple act of wearing a safety belt significantly reduces the risk of fatality in a crash.”

Beginning August 8, 2016, passengers riding in large commercial trucks will be required to use seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce.

Seat belt History

Back in 1984 when the first seat belt use laws went into effect; many drivers were angry about, what they thought, was an unnecessary burden. But let’s check out the facts. Once these laws were put in place, highway deaths dropped dramatically as seat belt usage went up by 50 percent.

ti-trucksHowever, large commercial trucks haven’t been required to abide by these seat belt safety laws. In 2014, 37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Of this number, approximately one-third were ejected from the truck cab.

Solving the Problem

The final rule, released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, requires that every passenger in a property-carrying CMV use a seat belt, if one is installed. The only real cost of the final rule are the few seconds of a person’s time it takes to buckle the seat belt, which is negligible. The benefits of this rule are plain to see: a reduction in injuries and fatalities are likely to occur with just the click of a belt.

“Using a seat belt is one of the safest, easiest, and smartest choices drivers and passengers can make before starting out on any road trip,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling.  “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”


Could Millions Be Lost On The New FMCSA Safety Advisors?!

Turns out…no!

The US Department of Transportation released a FMCSA Safety Advisory announcement on May 11. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is providing this notice to owners and operators of TYTAL cargo tank motor vehicles (CTMVs) with a capacity of 8,400, 8,717 and 10,500 gallons and primarily used for the transportation of Petroleum Crude Oil, UN1267. If you own or operate one of these CTMVs be aware that they are NOT in compliance with the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and do NOT meet the DOT 407.

CTMVs with capacities of 8,400 and 8,717 have been found to have inadequate accident damage protection pursuant to 49 CFR 178.345-8(c)(1). Even the big guys are not in the clear. The cargo tanks motor vehicles with a capacity of 10,500 gallons have been found to have inadequate venting capacity of pressure relief systems pursuant to 49 CFR 178.345-10(e); and inadequate accident damage protection pursuant to 49 CFR 178.345-8(c)(1).


But have no fear! TYTAL representative are communicating to their known customers that these repairs will be made FREE-OF-CHARGE. If you haven’t been contacted, TYTAL is encouraging distributors, owners, and operators to reach out for overseeing and/or coordinating these repairs.

However, until these repairs are made on your CTMVs, continuing to use these vehicles in hazardous materials service is not authorized and you could be subject to enforcement and fines. Because of the nature, severity and extent of these deficiencies, all repairs and retests must be completed on tanks that will continue to be used in hazardous materials service, regardless of the TYTAL CTMV’s last test and inspection dates. So be sure you have everything in order by June 1. Effective that date, FMCSA will initiate enforcement actions on owners and operators of these TYTAL CTMVs that have not had the repairs made and are transporting hazardous materials.

If instead you decide to discontinue the use of these tanks, you must immediately remove, obliterate, or cover the specification plate that identifies the CTMV as a 2 DOT specification cargo tank. The specification plate must remain out-of-sight until the necessary repairs are completed.

You can find the full list of the date of manufacture and manufacturer’s serial number of the known TYTAL cargo tank motor vehicles that are in violation here.