Friday, November 13, 2020
PHMSA Points Draft FAQs Addressing Regulatory Oversight at Midstream Processing Services
On November 4, the Pipeline and Hazardous Supplies Security Administration (PHMSA) issued a Discover and Request for Feedback (Discover) on draft ceaselessly requested query (FAQs) offering steerage on how the PHMSA and the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) delineate their inspection and enforcement tasks at “midstream processing amenities” when the authorities of the 2 businesses overlap. Feedback on the draft FAQs are due January 4, 2021.
What’s a “midstream processing facility”? The time period “midstream processing facility” isn’t outlined within the Pipeline Security Legal guidelines or the laws of PHMSA or OSHA. The Discover states that, for functions of the draft FAQs, a midstream processing facility “receives merchandise being transported by PHMSA-jurisdictional pipelines and re-injects these merchandise for continued transportation by pipeline. In different phrases, a midstream processing facility is a processing facility with piping or storage that’s engaged within the transportation of gasoline or hazardous liquids by pipeline, and is due to this fact a pipeline facility topic to PHMSA jurisdiction.”
The Discover states additional that, for functions of the draft FAQs, “processing” is “the therapy of merchandise together with, however not restricted to dehydration, elimination of contaminants by separation or filtration, mixing with different merchandise, and heating or cooling models that separate or purify merchandise and take away condensates by distillation.” Processing wouldn’t embrace amenities used for the “chemical conversion of crude oil into refined petroleum merchandise,” which the draft FAQs state are refining amenities. The draft FAQs would outline a “processing facility” as a number of particular person models that carry out a processing operation and meet the factors laid out in OSHA’s course of security administration (PSM) laws (29 C.F.R. § 1910.119).
What’s the objective of the draft FAQs? The Discover states that, relying on the aim and configuration of a midstream processing facility, the pipeline methods inside or related to such a facility could also be topic to regulation by a number of federal company. In accordance with the Discover, the transportation-related pipeline methods related to a midstream processing facility are topic to Elements 190-199 of PHMSA’s laws and OSHA regulates security inside the facility beneath its PSM laws. The Discover explains, nonetheless, that uncertainty exists concerning the start and finish of every company’s authority, leading to confusion and duplication of regulatory efforts.
To enhance security, improve readability, and eradicate pointless gaps and overlap in federal security oversight, the Fuel Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) and Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC), that are advisory committees created beneath the Pipeline Security Act to advise PHMSA on proposed pipeline security requirements, established a Working Group in 2014. The Working Group, which included representatives of PHMSA, OSHA and the business, was directed to guage the equivalency of PHMSA and OSHA security necessities for midstream processing amenities, establish a technique of delineating regulatory oversight tasks between the 2 businesses, and handle the oversight of midstream processing amenities containing pass-through, bypass, and storage configurations, together with storage-related piping.
The Working Group concluded that the laws of PHMSA and OSHA present equal security at midstream processing amenities, however that enforcement of each units of laws created pointless contradictions and confusion probably detrimental to security. As defined at an August 26, 2015 Joint GPAC/LPAC assembly, the Working Group proposed seven FAQs to make clear the delineation of regulatory oversight tasks of the 2 businesses.
What do the draft FAQs do? The Discover states that the draft FAQs replicate settlement between PHMSA and OSHA to delineate the place they’ll train their regulatory oversight actions at midstream processing amenities with out modifying every company’s statutory authority over such amenities. Draft FAQ #1 proposes definitions of the phrases “processing” and “processing facility.”
Different FAQs (reproduced beneath) describe how PHMSA and OSHA will regulate amenities in bypass configurations, at advanced amenities with a number of processing models, and at gasoline storage methods and establish upstream and downstream demarcation factors between PHMSA-regulated pipeline transportation amenities and OSHA-regulated processing amenities.
FAQ #2: How does one delineate the boundary between pipeline transportation and a processing facility? PHMSA coverage signifies that, in deference to OSHA’s train of its authority, it is not going to conduct inspection and enforcement actions (“regulatory oversight actions”) beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 and 195 for pipelines downstream of the primary stress management machine coming into a processing facility, and upstream of the final stress management machine leaving that processing facility, besides as described in provisions of FAQ 4.
FAQ #3: How does PHMSA’s coverage apply to regulatory oversight of a pipeline coming into a processing facility that bypasses a stress management machine? A pipeline that predominantly (greater than 50% of the time through the previous calendar yr) bypasses a stress management machine might be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195. Additional, if a pipeline bypasses a stress management machine that’s completely now not in service, the pipeline might be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195.
FAQ # 4: How does PHMSA’s coverage apply to regulatory oversight of piping that bypasses processing downstream of the primary stress management machine? Piping that’s downstream of the primary stress management machine that’s not predominately (greater than 50% of the time through the earlier calendar yr) used to bypass processing might be topic to regulatory oversight actions by OSHA beneath its’s course of security administration laws. Piping that’s downstream of the primary stress management machine that’s predominantly (greater than 50% of the time through the earlier calendar yr) used to bypass processing might be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195.
FAQ #5: What if a given part of piping situated on the grounds of a processing facility served by PHMSA-regulated pipelines connects two processing models or is in any other case used for a processing operate? If the piping is situated downstream of the primary stress management machine coming into the ability and upstream of the final stress management machine leaving the ability, it will be topic to regulatory oversight actions by OSHA beneath its course of security administration laws. PHMSA coverage signifies that in deference to OSHA’s train of its authority, this part of piping wouldn’t be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195.
FAQ #6. How is underground storage and related piping situated on the grounds of a processing facility regulated? Piping related to underground storage used for the ‘‘objective of managing processing facility stock’’ might be topic to regulatory oversight actions by OSHA beneath its course of security administration laws. Piping related to storage caverns used for transportation might be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195. Moreover, underground pure gasoline storage amenities, as outlined in §192.3, should adjust to the relevant reporting necessities in 49 C.F.R. half 191 and underground pure gasoline storage security necessities in §192.12.
FAQ #7. How are pipelines connecting storage or processing amenities regulated when traversing public or non-public lands (outdoors the grounds of storage or processing amenities)? Pipelines exiting a stress management machine of storage or processing amenities and traversing public or non-public lands outdoors the grounds of storage or processing amenities might be topic to PHMSA regulatory oversight actions beneath 49 C.F.R. half 192 or 195.
The Discover states that, to ensure that the FAQs to use to a facility, an operator is predicted to make data and documentation demonstrating the predominate use of a facility obtainable to PHMSA and OSHA for overview and verification.
Will the FAQs be enforceable? As a steerage doc, the draft FAQS don’t have the drive and impact of legislation and won’t be codified within the laws of both PHMSA or OSHA. The draft FAQs as a substitute are meant to assist operators perceive methods to adjust to the laws. However, the Discover states that operators who can reveal compliance with the FAQs are probably to have the ability to reveal compliance with laws. An operator that adopts a distinct plan of action should be capable to reveal compliance with the laws.
Standing of PHMSA Rulemakings
The chart beneath exhibits the standing of PHMSA’s pending pipeline security rulemakings as mirrored in (1) the Division of Transportation’s (DOT) February Vital Rulemaking Report, (2) PHMSA’s standing Chart of legislatively mandated actions (up to date August 18), and (3) the Workplace of Administration & Price range’s (OMB) Workplace of Data and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions
Pending Last Guidelines
DOT Estimated Publication
OIRA Estimated Publication
Fuel Pipeline Regulatory Reform
Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform
Security of Fuel Transmission Pipelines, Restore Standards, Integrity Administration Enhancements, Cathodic Safety, Administration of Change, and Different Associated Amendments
July 24, 2020
November 9, 2020
Security of Fuel Gathering Pipelines
July 24, 2020
November 9, 2020
Valve Set up and Minimal Rupture Detection Requirements
Pending Notices of Proposed Rulemakings
DOT Estimated Publication
OIRA Estimated Publication
Amendments to LNG Services
March 17, 2020
Class Location Necessities
Printed October 14, 2020
Periodic Requirements Replace Rule
Periodic Requirements Replace II
Restore Standards for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines
June 26, 2020
Pending Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemakings
DOT Estimated Publication
OIRA Estimated Publication
Coastal Ecological Unusually Delicate Areas
February 20, 2020
November 3, 2020
Different Updates from PHMSA
PHMSA points keep of enforcement for pipeline and LNG operators following Hurricane Delta. On October 9, PHMSA revealed a Discover staying sure enforcement actions for operators of interstate gasoline and unsafe liquid pipelines and liquefied pure gasoline (LNG) amenities affected by Hurricane Delta. The Discover advises that PHMSA doesn’t intend to take enforcement motion referring to noncompliance with operator qualification necessities, personnel coaching necessities, or pre-employment and random drug testing necessities. The keep applies solely to operators with restricted sources due to using personnel for pipeline actions associated to response and restoration. PHMSA instructs any operator that can’t adjust to the above necessities to inform the PHMSA Nationwide Security Coordinator by telephone or e-mail. The keep is efficient till November 23, except prolonged or rescinded.
PHMSA publicizes practically $eight million in analysis and improvement awards. On October 5, PHMSA introduced awards totaling $7,810,213 to fund 10 pipeline security analysis and improvement (R&D) tasks. The tasks will help pipeline security priorities together with Injury/Menace Prevention, Leak Detection, Anomaly Detection/Characterization, LNG, and Improved Supplies. The tasks have been chosen by the Advantage Evaluate Panel, which consists of 28 members from PHMSA, the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC), and members of the pipeline and LNG business.
Updates from Trade
Pipeline Security Belief releases annual State Pipeline Security Transparency Research. On October 28, the Pipeline Security Belief launched its annual State Pipeline Security Transparency Research which analyzes the pipeline security web site of every state and the District of Columbia to find out how a lot info is publicly obtainable and accessible to the general public.
Frequent Floor Alliance releases 2019 DIRT Report. On October 14, the Frequent Floor Alliance launched its 2019 Injury Data Reporting Instrument (DIRT) Report. The 2019 DIRT Report states that damages to underground amenities elevated by 4.5% over the earlier yr, reflecting an all-time excessive. The DIRT Report states that failure to inform the one-call middle stays the biggest particular person harm root trigger, however that the basis causes are equally unfold amongst excavation points, finding points, and invalidate makes use of of find requests, suggesting that enhancements are wanted all through the excavation course of to reverse the upward harm pattern. The DIRT Report comprises various suggestions to cut back harm to buried utilities, together with a number of suggestions addressing the recognized key root causes.
Updates from Different Federal Companies
GAO recommends FERC begin assessing reliability of pure gasoline transmission service. On September 23, the Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) revealed a report on the reliability of pure gasoline transmission service. Utilizing stories submitted to the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC), GAO discovered that interruptions in pure gasoline service with out advance discover to prospects occurred a mean of 28 instances a yr from 2015-2019. GAO discovered that pure gasoline transportation was typically dependable and that interruptions in service have been restricted in frequency and scope, however warned that elevated utilization of interstate pure gasoline pipelines may result in extra service interruptions sooner or later.
GAO additionally discovered that though FERC collects stories on severe interruptions of service, FERC doesn’t manage the stories for simple entry, or analyze the stories to establish traits or potential dangers, and that consequently, FERC isn’t effectively positioned to take motion to make sure dependable pure gasoline transportation. GAO additional famous that sharing info on service interruptions may enhance the Division of Vitality’s and PHMSA’s efforts to know the frequency of service interruptions and their results. In response to GAO’s suggestions, FERC plans to determine a course of to include severe interruption of service stories into its ongoing efforts to observe and handle the reliability of the interstate pure gasoline pipeline grid.
Updates from Choose States
California adopts new laws for hazardous liquid pipelines. On October 1, California’s Workplace of the State Hearth Marshal (OSFM) adopted new laws requiring that hazardous liquid pipelines (together with present pipelines) situated close to environmentally and ecologically delicate areas within the coastal zone use finest obtainable expertise (BAT), together with leak detection expertise, computerized shutoff methods, remote-controlled sectionalized block valves or any mixture of those applied sciences, primarily based on a danger evaluation to cut back the quantity of oil launched in an oil spill. Operators of present pipelines should put together a danger evaluation, a danger evaluation evaluation, and an implementation plan by October 1, 2021, and full retrofits by April 1, 2023.
Oklahoma adopts federal pipeline security laws. Efficient October 1, the Oklahoma Company Fee (OCC) up to date its pipeline security laws for gasoline and unsafe liquid pipelines to incorporate the federal laws as they existed on January 1, 2020. The OCC additionally adopted the entire provisions of Elements 191, 192, and 199 associated to underground pure gasoline storage amenities and drug and alcohol testing.
Washington enacts new reporting necessities for gasoline pipelines. Starting March 15, 2021, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Fee (WUTC) would require that gasoline pipeline firms submit an annual report that displays the entire variety of recognized leaks in company-owned pipelines, the entire variety of hazardous and non-hazardous leaks repaired within the prior yr, and the entire variety of leaks scheduled for restore within the following yr. Below the new legislation, the WUTC can have discretion to find out the knowledge necessities for the annual stories. The brand new legislation additionally requires the WUTC to yearly publish combination knowledge in regards to the volumes and causes of leaks on its web site and transmit the knowledge to the state division of ecology.