New PHMSA rule requires faster pipeline accident notification

The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule laying out a specific timeframe for electronic or telephone notifications of pipeline accidents.

Specifically, it will require operators to report an incident or accident within 1 hr of its discovery, and revision or confirmation within 48 hr of the confirmed discovery. Quicker reporting will benefit the public and the environment, and limit property damages, the US Department of Transportation agency said in a Jan. 23 Federal Register notice.

The rule also amends drug and alcohol testing requirements and incorporates consensus standards by reference for in-line inspection and stress corrosion cracking direct assessment, it indicated.

The final rule is effective Mar. 24. It also adds provisions for cost recovery for design reviews of certain new projects and for the renewal of expiring special permits, and sets out the process for requesting protection of confidential commercial information, PHMSA said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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