Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
In response to public input received as part of the rulemaking process, PHMSA is proposing to revise the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations to amend the requirements for gas transmission pipeline segments that experience a change in class location. Under the existing regulations, pipeline segments located in areas where the population density has significantly increased must perform one of the following actions: Reduce the pressure of the pipeline segment, pressure test the pipeline segment to higher standards, or replace the pipeline segment. This proposed rule would add an alternative set of requirements operators could use, based on implementing integrity management principles and pipe eligibility criteria, to manage certain pipeline segments where the class location has changed from a Class 1 location to a Class 3 location. Through required periodic assessments, repair criteria, and other extra preventive and mitigative measures, PHMSA expects this alternative approach would provide long-term safety benefits consistent with the current natural gas pipeline safety rules while also providing cost savings for pipeline operators.