PHMSA Notice of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Interim Final Rule for Pipeline Safety: Unusually Sensitive Areas for the Great Lakes, Coastal Beaches, and Certain Coastal Waters
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is providing notice that it will not take enforcement action against regulated entities for alleged violations of obligations under 49 CFR 195.11 or 195.12 in connection with hazardous liquid pipeline facilities that are or will become subject to regulation as “regulated rural gathering lines” pursuant to § 195.11, or as categories 1 or 2 “rural low stress lines” pursuant to § 195.12(b)(1)-(2) and (c)(1)-(2), as a result of the amendments to § 195.6(b)(6), (7), and (c) codified by the IFR. PHMSA will continue to enforce the IFR's expanded definition of “unusually sensitive area” when identifying “high consequence areas” subject to the integrity management requirements. PHMSA will exercise its discretion to refrain from taking enforcement action until § 195.6 is finalized and the rule becomes effective.
Nothing in this Notice relieves operators from compliance with any other applicable provisions of the Federal pipeline safety regulations or other law, and PHMSA reserves the right to exercise all of its other authorities.