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  • Ryan Crider

PHMSA's “Mega Rule” on Pipeline Safety Regulations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a division of the U.S Department of Transportation that is dedicated to protecting both people and the environment by improving the safe transport of energy as well as other hazardous materials that are essential to people’s everyday lives. PHMSA works alongside State and local regulators, first responders, and industry to ensure that dangerous products are safely transferred without incident.

Recently, PHMSA has revisited Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations in order to better improve the safety of onshore gas transmission pipelines. This final rule is known as the “Mega Rule” and it addresses pipeline integrity management as well as other safety requirements. The “Mega Rule” requires the operators of gas transmission pipelines, constructed before the year 1970, to verify the material strength of their lines by reconfirming the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP). In addition, this new rule updates reporting and records retention standards for gas transmission pipelines.

The “Mega Rule” includes the following safety requirements:

  • Specific operator measures taken to reconfirm the MAOP of previously untested natural gas transmission pipelines and pipelines lacking a(n) certain material or operational records.

  • Periodic assessments of pipelines in populated areas that are not designated as “high consequence areas.”

  • Reporting of exceedances of MAOP.

  • Consideration of seismicity as a risk factor in IM.

  • Safety features on in-line inspection launchers and receivers.

  • 6-month grace period for 7-calendar-year integrity management reassessment intervals.

  • Related record-keeping provisions.

The effective date of this final “Mega Rule” is July 1, 2020.

Complying with the Mega Rule requirements will necessitate Owner/Operators to team up with service companies that understand the unique nuances of integrity management. The DEAN TEAM provides the synergistic services of various disciplines to address the needs associated with the Mega Rule.

As a value-added supplier of technical services, DEAN provides our customers with the rapid deployment of a well-positioned suite of specialized equipment; knowledgeable personnel with extensive pipeline and remediation experiences in high consequence areas; and solution driven processes and applications to alleviate the risks associated with pipeline assets in a safe, environmentally sound and cost-effective manner ensuring effective execution, timely flow assurance and maximum up-time.

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