PHMSA Issues FINAL RULE, Amends Pipeline Safety Regulations

March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

On March 11, 2015, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Final Rule that amends several Part 195 and 192 regulations. This final rule is the culmination of rulemaking that began with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in 2011. The regulatory provisions impacted include but are not limited to post-construction inspections, welding, gas component pressure testing requirements, and calculating pressure reductions for immediate repairs on liquid pipelines.  In total 16 rules were proposed in 2011. The notice and comment period included significant comments from stakeholders, including industry, resulting in 7 of the proposed rules being modified, and 3 withdrawn for further consideration and study. 6 of the proposed rules were codified as written.

The most controversial of the proposed rules involved post-construction compliance inspections. PHMSA had originally proposed that third party inspectors, independent from the construction contractors, were required to perform post-construction inspection. The codified version clarifies that personnel involved in different construction project tasks may also perform inspections of other construction tasks, so long as they do not inspect the specific tasks they performed during construction.

The complete Final Rule was published in the Federal Register, and can be viewed online.

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