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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

Interpretation Response #PI-12-0007 ([City of Bangor] [Mr. Paul Nicklas])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: City of Bangor

Individual Name: Mr. Paul Nicklas

Location State: ME Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mr. Paul Nicklas
Assistant City Solicitor
City of Bangor
73 Harlow Street
Bangor, Maine  04401

Dear Mr. Nicklas:

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dated August 17, 2012, you requested an interpretation of the applicability of the Federal pipeline safety regulations at 49 CFR Part 195 to a jet fuel pipeline operated by the City of Bangor. Specifically, you asked whether the exemption in § 195.1(b)(3)(ii) for certain pipelines that serve terminal facilities excludes your hazardous liquid pipeline from Part 195 requirements.

You state that the City of Bangor owns and operates the Bangor International Airport. As part of this operation, the City uses a pipeline to transfer jet fuel from a tank facility located approximately one mile away to a hydrant system at the airport. Slightly less than one mile of the pipeline falls on land accessible to the general public. The pipeline does not cross an offshore area or a waterway used for commercial navigation. You also state that the line is not a low-stress pipeline, but could be converted into a low-stress pipeline by performing modifications to the line and its equipment. You believe that whether an airport can be considered a vessel terminal facility would determine if your pipeline is regulated under Part 195.

Based on the information provided in your request and information you provided to the PHMSA Eastern Region Office, this intrastate pipeline starts from the tank facility, where the tank receives the product by truck. The length of the pipeline beyond the last pressure controlling device inside the tank facility fence line to the first pressure controlling device inside the airport fence line is less than one mile long. The pipeline traverses public roads to supply the airport. The pipeline is located within the Bangor city limits. The pipeline operates at a stress level above 20 percent of the specified minimum yield strength (SMYS) of the line pipe.

Section 195.1(b)(3)(ii) states:

(b) Excepted. This Part does not apply to any of the following:

(3) Transportation of a hazardous liquid through any of the following low-stress pipelines:

(ii) A pipeline that serves refining, manufacturing, or truck, rail, or vessel terminal facilities, if the pipeline is less than one mile long (measured outside facility grounds) and does not cross an offshore area or a waterway currently used for commercial navigation;

Because the pipeline is not a low-stress pipeline and operates above 20 percent SMYS, this exemption does not apply to this pipeline. The pipeline in its current configuration operating above 20 percent SMYS is regulated by PHMSA. Therefore, the threshold condition in the exemption of being a low-stress pipeline has not been met.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Tewabe Asebe of my staff at 202-366-5523.



John A. Gale
Director, Office of Standards and Rulemaking

T:/PHP-30:Interps:Open:City of Bangor:PI-12-0007:08/23/12

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety provides written clarifications of the Regulations (49 CFR Parts 190-199) in the form of interpretation letters. These letters reflect the agency's current application of the regulations to the specific facts presented by the person requesting the clarification. Interpretations do not create legally-enforceable rights or obligations and are provided to help the public understand how to comply with the regulations.

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
195.1 Which pipelines are covered by this Part?