November 23, 2021
Earlier this month, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a rule that expands Federal pipeline safety oversight to all onshore gas-gathering pipelines. It applies regulations to thousands of miles of unregulated gas-gathering pipelines.
This is one of the latest regulation changes in an industry subject to increased safety guidelines. The rule expands the definition of ‘regulated’ gas-gathering pipelines more than 50 years old. For the first time, Operators are required to report safety information for all gas-gathering lines. This amounts to more than 400,000 additional federally reported miles.
The rules create new designations for gas-gathering pipelines with specific characteristics. This may also require companies to report problems with pipelines more frequently.
“This rule will improve safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and result in more jobs for pipeline workers that are needed to help upgrade the safety and operations of these lines,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Historically, numerous incidents occur along unregulated lines. Often, these incidents lead to dangerous emissions, tragic injuries and even fatalities. One rupture from a large pipeline can release over 1,000 metric tons of methane.
"After years in development, these new regulations represent a major step to enhance and modernize pipeline safety and environmental standards," said Secretary Buttigieg.
Federal regulation requires Operators to submit safety information to the DOT. Then, the DOT collects data to create a baseline for evaluating programs, increasing safety awareness and targeting public education programs.
One piece of information required by Operators is their annual drug and alcohol testing data (MIS report). PHMSA regulations in 49 CFR Part 199 require operators of pipelines, liquefied natural gas plants, and underground natural gas storage facilities to submit data to the DOT DAMIS. Consequently, Operators with 50 or more employees must submit reports annually. Covered employees include both Operator and contractor employees.
TPS Alert supports PHMSA Operators in collecting contractor drug & alcohol testing data and reporting this information to DAMIS on their behalf. TPS Alert’s user-friendly system allows contractors to electronically enter their statistical data, saving time and resources for Operator clients.
Contact us today to learn more about how TPS Alert can help your business in satisfying these new regulations.