Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “change is the only constant in life.” The Oil & Gas industry is no exception. As we start preparing for the new year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on recent changes and prepare for what’s next. Let’s take a look at proposed rulemaking and updates from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) and the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS).
Proposed Rulemaking Changes
PHMSA has proposed rulemaking changes for gas pipelines, asking the question: Does expanding integrity management requirements mitigate the need for class location requirements? Many operators feel that performing integrity management on pipelines would be just as safe and more cost effective than the current requirements of reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe.
While the commenting period has already closed, you can learn more about the proposal and review the public comments from operators here. Do you agree with the comments? Do you think we could safely deregulate around class location requirements or should we consider enhancing 49 CFR 192?
NPMS is also in the process of updating data and they are rolling out new versions of the following layers:
- Drinking Water (DW): Data hasn’t been updated since its original release. Look for changes sometime at the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2019.
- Environmentally/Ecological Sensitive Areas (ECO): Data hasn’t been updated since its original release. Look for changes in 2019.
They have already updated (in 2017, based on the 2010 census) the following layers:
- Commercially Navigable Waterways (CNW): Excludes “non-commercial routes designed as no-traffic, non-navigable, and/or for special vessels such as fishing, power, and recreational boats.”
- Highly Populated Areas (HPA): Urbanized areas with 50,000 or more people, and at least 1,000 people per square mile.
- Other Populated Areas (OPA): Incorporated places lying outside of the HPA boundaries.
These proposals and updates are intended to make the work of an operator both simpler and safer. If you have any questions about these changes, or if you would like to discuss what they could mean for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your New Century account manager or submit a request for more information from our integrity management and compliance experts with Integrity Plus.