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Georgia Public Service Commission - Facilities Protection Unit > News and Notices
News and Notices of interest to Gas Operators

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IMPORTANT NOTICE
Knowledge of laws, rules and bulletins published in the Federal Register resides soley with the persons/entities affected by such publications.
 
The PHMSA Advisory Bulletins provided below are copies of those published in the Federal Register and are provided merely as a courtesy.  The Advisory Bulletins provided below are not meant to be an all inclusive list of every Advisory Bulletin and/or Recommendation issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (“PHMSA”), and the Commission and/or its Staff shall not be liable for the failure of any affected persons or entities to have obtained copies of any of the PHMSA Advisory Bulletins issued, regardless of inclusion or not of said Bulletins in the Advisory Bulletins listed below.  All persons affected by PHMSA Advisory Bulletins are soley responsible for and strongly encouraged to sign up for direct notice of all PHMSA issued Advisory Opinions and should contact:
 
U.S. Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
East Building, 2nd Floor
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4433
202-366-3666 (Fax)
 
"Daily Federal Register" at: http://listserv.access.gpo.gov/
 
If you have questions, please contact your assigned inspector or the Pipeline Safety Office at (404) 463-6526.

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8/28/2013
Recall on Leak Repair Clamps Due to Defective Seal
PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to alert all pipeline operators of a T.D. Williamson, Inc. (TDW) Leak Repair Clamp (LRC) recall issued by TDW on June 17, 2013. The recall covers all TDW LRCs of any pressure class and any size. The LRCs may develop a dangerous leak due to a defective seal. Hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline
operators should verify if they have any TDW LRCs subject to the recall by reviewing their records and equipment for installation of these LRCs. Operators with TDW LRCs should discontinue use immediately and contact TDW for further recall instructions. Operators can obtain recall information
through TDW's Web site at http://lrc.tdwilliamson.com/ or by calling TDW at 888-770-7085.
7/10/2013
PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO ENFORCEMENT LETTERS ISSUED BY THE GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Instructions for Operators on how to respond to enforcement letters was posted to the Shared Documents sections of the Facilities Protection Unit web site. This letter will be sent out with all enforcement actions.
12/21/2012
Pipeline Safety: Reporting of Exceedances of Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure
Summary: PHMSA is issuing this Advisory Bulletin to inform owners and operators of gas transmission pipelines that if the pipeline pressure exceeds maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) plus the build-up allowed for operation of pressure-limiting or control devices, the owner or operator must report the exceedance to PHMSA on or before the fifth day following the date on which the exceedance occurs. If the pipeline is subject to the regulatory authority of one of PHMSA's State Pipeline Safety Partners, the exceedance must also be reported to the applicable state agency.
12/5/2012
Advisory Bulletin - Pipeline Safety: Using Meaningful Metrics in Conducting Integrity
SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of their responsibilities, under Federal integrity management regulations, to perform evaluations of their integrity management programs using meaningful performance metrics.
12/3/2012
DOT 'Recreational' Marijuana Notice
We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40 – does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.
10/15/2012
Pipeline Safety: Communication During Emergency Situations
SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing this Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and liquefied natural gas pipeline facilities that operators should immediately and directly notify the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) that serves the communities and jurisdictions in which those pipelines are located when there are indications of a pipeline facility emergency. Furthermore, operators should have the ability to immediately contact PSAP(s) along their pipeline routes if there is an indication of a pipeline facility emergency to determine if the PSAP has information which may help the operator confirm an emergency or to provide assistance and information to public safety personnel who may be responding to the event.
7/31/2012
Pipeline Safety: Inspection and Protection of Pipeline Facilities
SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing an advisory bulletin to alert all pipeline owners and operators of the circumstances of the Cherry Valley, Illinois derailment and remind them of the importance of assuring that pipeline facilities have not been damaged either during a railroad accident or other event occurring in the right-of-way. Further, the advisory bulletin reminds pipeline owners and operators of the importance of providing pertinent information to rail operators and emergency response officials during an incident. This information should include the presence, depth and location of the pipelines so that the movement of heavy equipment and debris on the right-of-way does not damage or rupture the pipeline or otherwise pose a hazard to people working in, and around, the accident location. The advisory also encourages pipeline owners and operators to inform rail operators and emergency response officials of the benefits of using the 811 ``Call Before You Dig'' program to identify and notify underground utilities that an incident has occurred in the vicinity of their buried facilities.
5/7/2012
Pipeline Safety: Verification of Records
PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to verify their records relating to operating specifications for maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) required by 49 CFR 192.517 and maximum operating pressure (MOP) required by 49 CFR 195.310. This Advisory Bulletin informs gas operators of anticipated changes in annual reporting requirements to document the confirmation of MAOP, how they will be required to report total mileage and mileage with adequate records, when they must report, and what PHMSA considers an adequate record. In
addition, this Advisory Bulletin informs hazardous liquid operators of adequate records for the confirmation of MOP.
3/6/2012
Pipeline Safety: Notice to Operators of Driscopipe[supreg] 8000
PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to alert operators using Driscopipe[supreg] 8000 High Density Polyethylene Pipe (Drisco8000) of the potential for material degradation.
2/2/2011
Distribution Integrity Management
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the final rule establishing integrity management requirements for gas distribution pipeline systems on December 4, 2009 (74 FR 63906). The effective date of the rule is February 12, 2010. Operators are given until August 2, 2011 to write and implement their program.
1/10/2011
PHMSA Advisory Bulletin (ADB-11-01) PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of their responsibilities, under Federal integrity management (IM) regulations, to perform detailed threat and ri
To: Owners and Operators of Hazardous Liquid and Gas Pipeline Systems.Show citation box

Subject: Establishing Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure or Maximum Operating Pressure Using Record Evidence, and Integrity Management Risk Identification, Assessment, Prevention, and Mitigation.Show citation box

Advisory: To further enhance the Department's safety efforts and implement the NTSB's January 3, 2011, recommendation to PHMSA [P-10-1], PHMSA is issuing this Advisory Bulletin concerning establishing MAOP and MOP using record evidence and integrity management; threat and risk identification; risk assessment; risk information collection, accuracy and integration, and identification and implementation of preventive and mitigative measures.
11/18/2010
PHMSA (PAP) Effectiveness Inspection Form
PHMSA has published an inspection checklist for the evaluation of Public Awareness Program Effectiveness.
11/3/2010
PHMSA-2010-0307: Pipeline Safety: Emergency Preparedness Communications
PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities that they must make their pipeline emergency response plans available to local emergency response officials. PHMSA recommends that operators provide their emergency response plans to officials through their required liaison and public awareness activities. PHMSA intends to evaluate the extent to which operators have provided their emergency plans to local emergency officials when PHMSA performs future inspections for compliance with liaison and public awareness code requirements.
9/10/2010
New DOT Final Rule on Drug and Alcohol Program Requirements
On August 16, 2010, DOT published a final rule which will be effective October 1, 2010.  Below is a summary of the rule:

1) The Department is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act (Omnibus Act) to follow the HHS requirements for the testing procedures/protocols and drugs for which we test.

2) Primary laboratory requirements in this final rule include:

            - Testing for MDMA (aka. Ecstasy);
            - Lowering cutoff levels for cocaine and amphetamines;
            - Conducting mandatory initial testing for heroin;

3) The Department brought several testing definitions in-line with those of HHS.

4) Each Medical Review Officer (MRO) will need to be re-qualified – including passing an examination given by an MRO training organization - every five years.  The Final Rule eliminated the requirement for each MRO to take 12 hours of continuing education every three years.

5) An MRO will not need to be trained by an HHS-approved MRO training organization as long as the MRO meets DOT’s qualification and requalification training requirements.

6) MRO recordkeeping requirements did not change from the five years for non-negatives and one year for negatives.

7) The Final Rule does not allow the use of HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITFs) to conduct initial drug testing because the Omnibus Act requires laboratories to be able to perform both initial and confirmation testing but IITFs cannot conduct confirmation testing.

8) The Final Rule is effective October 1, 2010.
  
You can find the full text of the new rule at:  http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-20095.pdf
8/11/2010
Pipeline Safety: Periodic Updates of Regulatory References to Technical Standards and Miscellaneous Edits
SUMMARY: PHMSA is amending the Federal pipeline safety regulations to incorporate by reference all or parts of 40 new editions of voluntary consensus technical standards. This action allows pipeline operators to use current technologies, improved materials, and updated industry and management practices. Additionally, PHMSA is clarifying certain regulatory provisions and making several editorial corrections. These amendments do not require pipeline operators to take on any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.
8/3/2010
Pipeline Safety: Personal Electronic Device Related Distractions
PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of the risks associated with the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) by individuals performing operations and maintenance activities on a pipeline facility.
7/23/2010
Revisions of the Emergency Response Guidebook
SUMMARY: This notice advises interested persons that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is soliciting comments on the development of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2012), particularly from those who have experience using the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).
7/16/2010
Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information
collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).
7/7/2010
Current List of Laboratories Which Meet Minimum Standards ToEngage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies
SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notifies Federal agencies of the laboratories currently certified to meet the standards of Subpart C of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines).
6/26/2010
ACTION: Request for public comments and OMB approval of modifications
SUMMARY: As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register on December 4, 2009, under Docket No. PHMSA-2004-19854 of its intent to revise the agency's Gas Distribution System Annual Report Form (PHMSA F 7100.1-1).
4/29/2010
Pipeline Safety: Implementation of Electronic Filing for Recently Revised Incident/Accident Report Forms for Distribution Systems, Gas Transmission and Gathering Systems, and Hazardous Liquid Systems
SUMMARY: This notice advises owners and operators of gas pipeline facilities and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities that the new incident/accident report forms for their pipeline systems are now available for electronic filing.
1/19/2010
Reporting Drug and Alcohol Test Results for Contractors and Multiple Operator Identification Numbers.
Advisory: Beginning with MIS reports due by March 15, 2010, OPS will begin collecting annual drug and alcohol testing data for contractor employees.
12/7/2009
Operator Qualification Programs.
Advisory: This Advisory Bulletin informs pipeline operators about the standardized notification process for operator qualification (OQ) plan transmittal from the operator to PHMSA. This Advisory Bulletin also informs operators about the addition to PHMSA's glossary of definitions of the terms ``Observation of on-the-job performance'' as applicable to determining employee qualification and ``Significant'' as applicable to OQ program modifications requiring notification. Finally, it makes other miscellaneous clarifications regarding OQ programs.
6/5/2008
This document advises operators of gas distribution pipeline systems of a statutory requirement for installation of excess flow valves in certain gas service lines.
The Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-468) mandates that PHMSA require operators of natural gas distribution systems to install excess flow valves (EFV) on certain gas service lines. The statute directs that installation of EFVs will be required on single family residence service lines:

· That are installed or entirely replaced after June 1, 2008;

· That operate continuously throughout the year at a pressure not less than 10 psi gauge;

· That are not connected to a gas stream with respect to which the operator has had prior experience with contaminants the presence of which could interfere with the operation of an EFV, and

· For which an excess flow valve meeting the performance standards of 49 CFR 192.381 is commercially available.
3/4/2008
Identifying Issues with Mechanical Coupling That Could Lead to Failure.
Advisory: Due to variables related to age of couplings, specific
procedures and installation practices, and conditions specific to
certain regions of the country, it is difficult to cite common criteria affecting all failures that operators should address. However, PHMSA advises operators of gas distribution pipelines using mechanical couplings to do the following to ensure compliance with 49 CFR part 192:

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7/28/1995
NTSB Recommendation on Prescription Drug use
SR-95-073

Date: July 28, 1995

Reply to Attn of: Jim Swart X63784

Subject: Action:  NTSB Recommendation

From: Albert Alvarez, Director, Office of Drug Enforcement and Program Compliance

To: Drug & Alcohol Program Managers

As a result of a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation to the Department regarding the on-duty use of medication by safety-sensitive employees in the transportation industries, operating administrations are asked to provide the widest dissemination possible for the following statement:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reminds all transportation industries of the potential threat to public safety caused by the on-duty use of some over-the-counter and prescription medications by persons performing safety-sensitive duties.  As a result, we strongly urge all transportation industry employers to include in their employee training materials appropriate information to address this issue.  We also encourage employers to reiterate with their employees the need to report use of such medications when required by applicable DOT rules or by company policies.

Your efforts to make this statement available throughout your regulated industry are appreciated.