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Accident/Incident Reporting Time; Cost Recovery; Operator Qualification; Plastic Pipe Among Topics to be Discussed at Upcoming Pipeline Safety Advisory Committee Meetings

Thursday, May 12, 2016

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration today announced that it will hold meetings with its Pipeline Advisory Committees from June 1-3, 2016 to consider and vote on proposed rulemakings that, if implemented, would strengthen federal pipeline safety programs.  The meetings will be held in the Washington, DC area and will be open to the public.

The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (2011 Act) placed a number of new and important mandates on PHMSA to enhance federal pipeline safety regulations and thoroughly strengthened the agency’s ability to enforce them.  PHMSA continues to make steady and consistent progress in completing the mandates of the 2011 Act by finalizing new rulemaking actions and publishing reports related to pipeline safety.  To further these efforts, in June, members of PHMSA’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) and Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC) will meet jointly to discuss the agency’s July 10, 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking to address sections 9 and 13 of the 2011 Act, including:

  • Requiring pipeline operators to report accidents or incidents within one hour of discovery;
  • Allowing PHMSA to recover costs for pipeline design review work;
  • Amending operator qualification regulations; and
  • Providing a renewal procedure for expiring special permits.

Additionally, the GPAC and LPAC will meet separately to discuss the agency’s May 21, 2015 proposed rulemaking which seeks to amend natural gas pipeline safety regulations related to plastic piping systems used in gas services.  The proposed amendments are intended to correct errors, address inconsistencies, and respond to petitions for rulemaking. 

PHMSA’s Gas Pipeline Safety Advisory Committee and Liquid Pipeline Safety Advisory Committee are both statutorily mandated and advise PHMSA on proposed safety standards, risk assessments, and safety policies for the nation’s natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.  Each advisory committee is comprised of 15 subject matter experts chosen from federal and state government, industry, and the public. The committees advise PHMSA on the technical feasibility, practicability, and cost-effectiveness of each proposed pipeline safety standard.  PHMSA encourages public participation in the rulemaking process, and invites the public to attend and make a statement during the advisory committee meetings.  A location for the June advisory committee meetings has not been established at this time, but PHMSA will publish the meeting location, agenda, instructions on how to make a statement, and any additional information on its pipeline advisory committee meeting and registration page.

Comments on this notice can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at  All comments must include the agency name and docket number PHMSA-2016-0032 at the beginning of the comment.  There is no deadline for submitting comments.

Presentation materials will be available on the meeting website and posted in the eRulemaking Portal under docket number PHMSA-2016-0032 within 30 days after the meeting.


The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.  PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Please visit or for more information.