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Interpretation Response #PI-91-008 ([Conoco Inc.] [Amy Ng])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Conoco Inc.

Individual Name: Amy Ng

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Ms. Amy Ng

Attorney, Legal Department

Conoco Inc.

600 North Dairy Ashford

Houston, TX 77079

Dear Ms. Ng:

I am responding to your letter of December 13, 1990, regarding the extent to which refinery pipelines are subject to the safety regulations in 49 CFR Part 195. The following discussion of how we apply the regulations should resolve your concern.

With a few exceptions, Part 195 applies to pipeline facilities that transport a hazardous liquid in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Among the exceptions is transportation through onshore production, refining, or manufacturing facilities, or storage or in-plant piping systems associated with such facilities (§195.1(b)(6)).

Part 195 does not define refining facilities, but we identify them by the function implicit in the term. If a facility is involved in one of the processes of a refinery, we consider it a refining facility.

Likewise, Part 195 does not define in-plant piping systems associated with refining facilities. Yet these systems, too, can be distinguished by their implicit function. They are piping systems on the grounds of a refinery that are used in the operation of the refinery. Their relation to refining sets them apart from a pipeline that transports a hazardous liquid to or from the refinery. In-plant piping systems included pipe, pumps, valves, meters, and other devices that transfer a hazardous liquid between the various refining facilities. Such systems also include piping that transfers a hazardous liquid between a refining facility or an associated storage tank and a pipeline that transports the liquid between a refining facility or an associated storage tank and a pipeline that transports the liquid to or from the refinery.

Part 195 requires each pipeline operator to provide adequate controls and equipment to control the pipeline's pressure within set limits (§195.406(b)). So for transfers of hazardous liquid from a refinery to a regulated pipeline, in-plant piping ends and the regulated pipeline begins at the inlet of each pressure control device on refinery grounds that us necessary for the operator to control pressure in the pipeline outside the refinery grounds. Any lateral line that feeds the pipeline upstream from that pressure control device is part of on-plant piping. If the operator has adequate alternative means to control pressure in the pipeline outside the refinery, then we consider the in-plant piping to end and the regulated pipeline to begin at the boundary of the refinery grounds, which usually is marked by a fence.

A similar demarcation applies to the transfer of hazardous liquid from a regulated pipeline to a refinery. The regulated pipeline ends and the in-plant piping begins at the outlet of each pressure control device on refinery grounds that is necessary for the operator to control pressure in the pipeline outside the refinery grounds. If the operator has adequate alternative means to control pressure in the pipeline outside the refinery grounds, then we consider the regulated pipeline to end at the boundary of the refinery grounds.

In some cases the operator of a regulated pipeline may not own the device on a refiner's grounds that is necessary to control nonetheless, is responsible for compliance with Part 195 standards governing that device, because the operator is using or relying on the device to operate its pipeline according to §195.406(b).

Thank you for your inquiry. Please let me know if you need any further assistance regarding our pipeline safety regulations.

Sincerely,

George W. Tenley, Jr.

Associate Administrator for

Pipeline Safety

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
195.1 Which pipelines are covered by this Part?