PHMSA issues pipeline status advisory bulletin

The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued an advisory bulletin about procedures for changing a pipeline’s status from active to abandoned for pipeline owners and operators, and federal and state pipeline safety personnel.

A 2014 pipeline failure which let 1,200 gal of crude oil to seep into a residential neighborhood near Los Angeles raised concerns about the need to remind pipeline operators about the proper way to purge and clean inactive pipelines, the US Department of Transportation agency said.

The Aug. 16 action makes it clear that federal regulations consider pipelines to either be active and fully subject to all parts of the safety regulations or abandoned, it said.

PHMSA said it is working hard to implement the 2016 federal pipeline safety reauthorization law, which Congress passed and US President Barack Obama signed early this summer (OGJ Online, June 14, 2016).

The advisory bulletin fulfills a requirement from Section 23 of the law that mandates that DOT issue an advisory bulletin to the pipeline industry regarding procedures to change the status of a pipeline facility from active to abandoned, the agency said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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