Dec 5, 2018 Joint Comments to PHMSA on the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in 2016 proposed several changes to the existing regulations applicable to gathering lines in rural areas as part of its larger natural gas pipeline rulemaking. Those proposed changes have elicited fairly consistent comments from the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA). As PHMSA prepares to present its proposed response to comments in the pending rulemaking to the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC), IPAA and TPA suggest a path forward as described herein. The proposed path forward would ensure rural, larger diameter, high-pressure gas gathering lines for which PHMSA has expressed concern would meet certain, minimum requirements going forward. It would provide an initial step in addressing the risk of rural gathering pipelines by expanding the scope of regulated gathering while also providing additional information on gathering pipelines to assist future regulatory initiatives.