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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Distribution Pipelines and Other Pipeline Safety Initiatives

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

PHMSA proposes revisions to the pipeline safety regulations to require operators of gas distribution pipelines to update their distribution integrity management programs (DIMP), emergency response plans, operations and maintenance manuals, and other safety practices. These proposals implement provisions of the Leonel Rondon Pipeline Safety Act--part of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2020--and a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation directed toward preventing catastrophic incidents resulting from overpressurization of low-pressure gas distribution systems similar to that which occurred on a gas distribution pipeline system in Merrimack Valley on September 13, 2018. PHMSA also proposes to codify use of its State Inspection Calculation Tool, which is used to help states determine the base-level amount of time needed for inspections to maintain an adequate pipeline safety program. Further, PHMSA proposes other pipeline safety initiatives for all part 192-regulated pipelines, including gas transmission and gathering pipelines, such as updating emergency response plans and inspection requirements. Finally, PHMSA proposes to apply annual reporting requirements to small, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operators in lieu of DIMP requirements.

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