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Interpretation Response #PI-08-0003 ([Equistar Chemicals, LP] [Mr. Franklin Stagg])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Equistar Chemicals, LP

Individual Name: Mr. Franklin Stagg

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 6, 2009

Mr. Franklin Stagg

Integrity Management Program Coordinator

Equistar Chemicals, LP

P.O. Box 1847

Alvin, TX 77512 

Ref. No.: PI-08-0003

Dear Mr. Stagg:

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dated May 27, 2008, you requested an interpretation of 49 CFR 195.1 of the Federal pipeline safety regulations.  You explained that the pipeline had been disconnected and purged with nitrogen and stated your belief that as a result, the line "does not carry any regulatory burdens""

Pursuant to Chapter 601, Title 49, United States Code, PHMSA administers a national safety regulatory program for hazardous liquid pipelines and has responsibility for protecting against risks to life, property, and the environment posed by pipelines.  In carrying out its responsibilities, PHMSA has established design, construction, operation, and maintenance standards and regulations for hazardous liquid pipelines and has responsibility for enforcing these requirements. 

Our responses to your requests for interpretation are as follows:

  • Question - Must 49 CFR Part 195, § 195.1 applicability be satisfied before any subsequent Part 195 rule is applied?
  • Answer - Yes.  Only pipelines that meet the applicability provisions in § 195.1 are subject to Part 195.
  • Question - What criteria stated in § 195.1 would apply for an idle pipeline that is physically disconnected from any hazardous liquid and purged with nitrogen for several years? 


Answer - PHMSA regulations do not recognize an "idle" status for a hazardous liquid pipeline.  The pipeline in the specified scenario does not meet the applicability provisions of § 195.1 and would not be subject to Part 195.  However, you should be aware that ceasing normal operation of a pipeline does not remove the pipeline from PHMSA"s jurisdiction.  If you have abandoned a Part 195 jurisdictional pipeline according to 195.402(c)(10), the requirements no longer apply.  The abandoned pipeline may not be returned to service unless the pipeline was maintained according to Part 195 requirements while it was abandoned, or meets the requirements of a newly designed and constructed pipeline.

I hope that this information is helpful to you.  If I can be of further assistance, please contact me at (202)366-3015.


Signed/JAG/April 6, 2009


John A. Gale

Director, Office of Regulations

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
195.1 Which pipelines are covered by this Part?