These documents outline the submittal guidelines and documents for PHMSA to consider operator special permit requests for class location changes in accordance with 49 CFR § 192.611 to confirm or revise the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of a natural gas pipeline after a change in class location has occurred. If granted, a class location waiver would allow a pipeline operator to perform alternative risk control activities based on the principles and requirements of the Integrity Management Program in lieu of pipe replacement or pressure reduction.
Special permit requests should be submitted to PHMSA a minimum of fifteen (15) months prior to pipe replacement or lowering of maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) for the class location change requirements in § 192.611. Timing of special permit applications is outlined in FAQ 32.
The operator should review the documents in this section. The operator special permit request should follow the guidelines outlined in this section as follows:
- 69 FR 38948, dated June 29, 2004: Docket No. RSPA-2004-17401 - Pipeline Safety: Development of Class Location Change Waiver (Special Permit) Criteria -
(Information and guidance to pipeline operators concerning the specific pipe design and operating parameters within which OPS is likely to consider a class location waiver application to be consistent with pipeline safety. Note: This document does not address environmental information needed for PHMSA to develop an environmental assessment. See item #5, below, for guidance on environmental information that needs to be submitted with an application for a special permit.)
- Detailed Guidance Addressing the Criteria for Class Location Waiver (Special Permit) Requests
(Guidance on How PHMSA will Evaluate Applications Using the Class Location Change Waiver (Special Permit) Criteria)
- Southern Gas Association (SGA) Presentation: Special Permit Process – 04/07/09
(Overview of the special permit process)
- 74 FR 19264, dated April 28, 2009: Federal Register Notice Applications for Special Permits
(When all completed operator information for a special permit has been received by PHMSA including data integration as outlined in Condition 24(e) of the “typical conditions – May 12, 2011”, a notice of the special permit request will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. At the conclusion of the 30-day comment period, PHMSA will evaluate the request and determine whether to grant or deny a special permit.)
- Guidance for Special Permit Applicants on Providing Environmental Information
(PHMSA will need this information included with the special permit request for the review process to start with notice in the Federal Register.)
- Class Location Special Permit – Typical Conditions – 09/01/12
(These are example special permit conditions for a class location request. PHMSA will use conditions similar to these conditions when preparing special permits. Condition 24 is set-up to request additional integrity management requirements based upon the unique situation of the pipe and location being considered.)