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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: Control Room Management/Human Factors

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

PHMSA proposes to revise the Federal pipeline safety regulations to address human factors and other components of control room management. The proposed rules would require operators of hazardous liquid pipelines, gas pipelines, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to amend their existing written operations and maintenance procedures, operator qualification (OQ) programs, and emergency plans to assure controllers and control room management practices and procedures used maintain pipeline safety and integrity. This proposed rule results from a PHMSA study of controllers and controller performance issues known as the Controller Certification Project (CCERT), a National Transportation Safety Board study, safety- related condition reports, operator visits and inspections, and inquiries. This rule would improve opportunities to reduce risk through more effective control of pipelines and require the human factors management plan mandated by the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES Act). These regulations would enhance pipeline safety by coupling strengthened control room management, including automated control systems, with improved controller training and qualifications and fatigue management. PHMSA expects these regulations will complement efforts already underway in the pipeline industry to address human factors and control room management, such as the development of new national consensus standards, including an American Petroleum Institute (API) recommended practices on roles and responsibilities, shift operations, management of change, fatigue management, alarm management and SCADA display standard, as well as comparable business practices at some pipeline companies.

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