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Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: Top Policy Issues

PHMSA 1: PHMSA 2021: A New Direction for PHMSA

Issue:

In response to the increase of the number of energy movements in this country and the public's awareness of these movements, as well as input from PHMSA's career professionals, PHMSA is transforming to better align resources and capabilities to more effectively deliver on its safety mission: 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 2021 provides a strategic framework to reflect PHMSA's ambition to be more forward-looking, proactive, innovative, and data-driven.  PHMSA's vision is to become the most innovative transportation safety organization in the world.

Action Needed:

PHMSA's transformation focuses on strategic investments in people and processes and builds upon the three key principles of safety, innovation, and trust.  PHMSA is implementing this transition by aligning resources with safety objectives and improving business processes and internal governance structures to better inform policy and budget decisions.

Background:

  • PHMSA operates in a dynamic and challenging environment where the demand for our work continues to grow.  Advancements in technology, manufacturing, and domestic energy production have impacted transportation safety.  The recent Bakken formation crude oil train derailments, lithium battery-related fires on aircraft, a 2010 pipeline explosion in a San Bruno, California neighborhood, and a natural gas leak lasting four months in Aliso Canyon, California earlier this year have heightened public awareness of, and sensitivity to, safety hazards and environmental consequences. 
  • As the scope and complexity of its safety mission continues to grow, PHMSA has had to fundamentally rethink how it uses data, information, and technology to achieve its goals.  In this context, PHMSA's leadership team updated the agency's strategic framework and plan.  It developed bold new vision and mission statements that better reflect PHMSA's focus on innovation, the idea of safety as a shared responsibility, and how essential PHMSA's safety mission is to the daily lives of Americans. 
  • This vision for PHMSA's pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs will ensure the Agency is responsive and able to address emerging safety risks and other priorities.  It will enable PHMSA to invest in the capabilities and skills necessary to utilize data to provide timely and effective regulations, enforcement, implementation of innovative technology, research and development investments, and public outreach to become a forward-looking, proactive, innovative, and data-driven organization.
  • PHMSA implemented a number of changes to its organizational structure. Specifically, PHMSA established new senior executive positions and a new office.  PHMSA established a career Executive Director/Chief Safety Officer position to ensure consistency and continuity of operations.  Also created were two separate senior executive positions that used to be one position – Chief Financial Officer and an Associate Administrator of Administration – to strengthen financial and human resource management to enable PHMSA to further invest in its team by recruiting and retaining a highly skilled workforce.  
  • A new cross-cutting office, the Office of Planning and Analytics (OPA), was created to enhance planning and project management, data analysis, and rulemaking capabilities.  OPA will: (1) improve PHMSA's ability to develop a regulatory agenda that is forward-looking, innovative, and data driven; (2) enhance market intelligence and data and economic analysis, strengthening strategic planning and performance; and (3) facilitate information sharing and drive consistency in how PHMSA collects and uses data.  Quality data is the key to how the Office of Pipeline Safety  and the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety access and interpret safety risks.  The senior executive leading this effort is the Associate Administrator for Planning and Analytics. 
  • The PHMSA 2021 plan is comprised of the following five long-term strategic goals and objectives.

Goal #1: Promote continuous improvement in the safety performance of regulated communities

1.1: Drive safety through the adoption of Safety Management Systems (SMS) in regulated communities

1.2: Enhance compliance with rules and regulations through data-driven, risk-based inspections and enforcements

1.3: Develop effective and efficient rules and regulations, including best-in-class rulemaking capabilities

1.4: Enhance accident/incident investigation and response programs and outputs

Goal #2: Invest in safety innovation in the pipeline and hazardous materials transportation sectors

2.1: Utilize state-of-the-art science and technology to improve efficiency and enhance safety

2.2: Foster and incentivize safety innovation through partnerships with the private, public and academic sectors

Goal #3: Build greater public and stakeholder trust

3.1: Improve transparency of information and communications with external stakeholders

3.2: Cultivate and expand risk-based outreach to and engagement of stakeholders

3.3: Be a leading trusted partner and resource for stakeholders and the public

Goal #4: Cultivate organizational excellence and a safety culture for our people

4.1: Attract, advance and invest in a highly skilled and diverse workforce

4.2: Create an environment that encourages and rewards innovation and collaboration

4.3: Implement an internal SMS to drive safety within PHMSA

4.4: Define and facilitate PHMSA culture to drive open communications and a workplace supportive of raising concerns

Goal #5: Pursue operational excellence in our data, processes and systems

5.1: Transform PHMSA's data capabilities to drive better decision-making across all functions

5.2: Streamline and standardize the organization and key processes to use our resources more effectively

5.3: Provide needed resources, technologies and services to conduct our mission effectively

  • These organizational changes and strategic investments lay the foundation for PHMSA to become a more forward-looking, proactive, innovative, and data-driven organization.  These and future changes will transform PHMSA into a next-generation safety agency and enable PHMSA's staff and other stakeholders to advance transportation safety.

SUBMITTED BY:  Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: 11/1/2016

PHMSA 2: Implementation of Authorization Legislation

Issue:

Changes to PHMSA's pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs have historically been made through two separate authorizing statutes.  Most recently, these were the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) for PHMSA's pipeline safety program and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation  Act (FAST Act) for PHMSA's hazardous materials safety programs.  Both programs were reauthorized in the last year.  The legislation contained several mandates to develop safety standards, conduct studies, implement new technologies, and engage with stakeholders concerning the transport of hazardous materials (hazmat) by all modes of transportation, including pipelines.

Action Needed:

To ensure DOT fulfills its statutory obligations under the PIPES Act and FAST Act, PHMSA will need to continue to work towards implementation of provisions in both laws.

Background: 

PIPES Act:

The PIPES Act was signed by the President on June 22, 2016, and contains 19 mandates related to rulemaking, studies, and other actions for pipeline safety.  Significantly, the PIPES Act recognizes the opportunities and challenges associated with the growth of natural gas, and supports the Agency's activities by mandating a rule to develop minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities.  Other key provisions include:

  • Safety Management Systems (SMS). The PIPES Act directs PHMSA to investigate how we can best use new technology in pipeline safety, including tasking PHMSA to develop an information sharing system to improve safety outcomes.  The legislation also authorizes the creation of a national integrated pipeline safety database to better understand how federal and state oversight efforts are contributing to pipeline safety.
  • Enhance the timeliness of PHMSA rulemakings: The PIPES Act requires PHMSA to update Congress every 90 days on outstanding pipeline safety directives, including any reasons for the failure to complete such a directive in a timely manner. This will also increase transparency related to pipeline safety measures. 
  • Improve safety by closing gaps in federal standards: The PIPES Act will close existing gaps in federal safety standards.  It does this by requiring PHMSA to set minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, while allowing states to adopt additional or more stringent safety standards with respect to any intrastate storage facilities.  The Act also provides PHMSA with emergency order authority and ensures pipeline operators receive timely post-inspection information. 
  • Liquefied natural gas:  The PIPES Act requires PHMSA to update regulations for small scale liquefied natural gas facilities and underwater oil pipelines, and improves the protection of coastal areas, marine coastal waters and the Great Lakes by explicitly designating them as unusually environmentally sensitive to pipeline failures.

FAST Act:

On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law the Fixing America's Surface Transportation  Act (FAST Act)  P.L. 114-94.  The FAST Act reauthorized the Hazardous Materials Safety Programs of PHMSA until FY 2020 and directs PHMSA to issue eight (8) rulemakings and various other provisions that emphasize safety of communities and first responders before and during incidents associated with crude oil or other energy products.  The FAST Act mandates have very strict timelines. The regulatory focus areas include:

  • Sampling and Testing of Crude Oil: The FAST Act mandated that the Secretary of Energy submit a report to Congress, in cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation, containing the results of the comprehensive Crude Oil Characteristics Research Sampling, Analysis, and Experiment Plan study which is being conducted by Sandia National Laboratories and is commonly referred to as the "Sandia Study." PHMSA may issue new regulations based on recommendations arising out of the Sandia Study to improve the safe transport of crude oil.   
  • Oil Spill Response Planning and Information Sharing: On July 29, 2016, PHMSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFTs), to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil.  In accordance with § 7302 of the FAST Act, the NPRM proposes to require railroads to share information about high-hazard flammable train operations with state and tribal emergency response commissions.  The comment period for the NPRM closed on September 27, 2016, and PHMSA is evaluating the comments received. The NPRM can be accessed here.  Under the FAST Act, Congress directed PHMSA to provide periodic status reports until a final rule is issued.
  • Real-Time Train Consist Information: Section 7302 of the FAST Act mandated PHMSA to issue regulations to require a Class I railroad transporting hazmat to generate accurate, real-time, and electronic train consist information (the location and content of each of the cars in a train) and to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with each applicable fusion center to provide them with the electronic train consist information.  
  • Reporting Requirements for DOT-117 Tank Cars Information Collection Request (ICR): Section 7308 of the FAST Act directs DOT to monitor and report on industry-wide progress toward meeting the phase-out schedule in § 7304 by December 4, 2016.  PHMSA is working with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to collect the information and provide the report.

SUBMITTED BY:  Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED:  November 1, 2016

PHMSA 3: Crude Oil By Rail

Issue:

PHMSA has considered numerous regulatory amendments that would enhance safety, and revise and clarify the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.  The actions respond to many petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community and multiple NTSB recommendations that are associated with the petitions.  The actions also respond to congressional mandates under the FAST Act.

Action Needed:

Continue to promote the proper classification and the safe transportation of energy products.

Background:

HM-251D - Volatility ANPRM

This ANPRM is in response to a petition for rulemaking (P-1669) submitted by the Attorney General of the State of New York (NYAG) regarding vapor pressure standards on December 1, 2015.  The NYAG petition requests that PHMSA implement a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limit less than 9.0 pounds per square inch (psi) for crude oil transported by rail.  PHMSA is considering revising the HMR to establish vapor pressure limits for unrefined petroleum-based products and potentially all Class 3 materials.  The Agency seeks comment on a range of vapor pressure thresholds, and will evaluate the potential safety benefits of utilizing vapor pressure thresholds within the hazardous materials classification process for unrefined petroleum-based products and Class 3 material liquids.  

HM-251E - Sampling and Testing NPRM

This rulemaking proposes to revise sampling and testing requirements and require particular sampling methods, test methods, and criteria for vapor pressure tests conducted on unrefined petroleum-based products, such as petroleum crude oil.  Specifically, this rulemaking proposes that persons who offer unrefined petroleum-based products for transportation, regardless of mode of transportation, apply particular methods for conducting vapor pressure testing when vapor pressure testing is a component of a written testing program.  A key driver of this rulemaking action is described below:

Sandia Study

In 2014, DOT and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) commissioned a review of available crude oil chemical and physical property data literature to better understand and mitigate the risks associated with large volume rail transport of conventional and tight crude oil.  This review was conducted by Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) and focused on crude oil potential for ignition, combustion, and explosion.  A partial list of properties surveyed includes density (expressed as API gravity), vapor pressure, initial boiling point, boiling point distribution, flash point, gas–oil ratio, "light ends" (dissolved gases—including nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, ethane, and propane—and butanes and other volatile liquids) composition, and flash gas composition.  Although the review yielded a large database encompassing a wide variety of crude oils and their properties, it also illustrated the difficulty in utilizing available data as the basis for accurately defining and meaningfully comparing crude oils.  An important outcome of the review was formal recognition of the wide-ranging variability in crude oil sample type, sampling method, and analytical method, as well as the acknowledgement that this variability limits the adequacy of the available crude oil property data set as the basis for establishing effective and affordable safe transport guidelines.  In recognition of the need for improved understanding of crude oil, and especially tight crude oil properties, the Sandia Study was designed to characterize tight and conventional crudes based on key chemical and physical properties and to identify properties that may contribute to increased likelihood and/or severity of combustion events that could arise during handling and transport.  The proposed work scope represents a phased approach, in that knowledge gained from completing each task will inform the execution of subsequent tasks to maximize efficiency in achieving overall plan objectives.  Through four tasks (out of six tasks), the Sampling, Analysis, and Experiment (SAE) Plan, is designed to characterize tight and conventional crudes based on identified key chemical and physical qualities and identify properties that may contribute to increased likelihood and/or severity of combustion events that could arise during handling and transport.  This project is currently in Task 2, which is designed to determine what methods of sampling and analysis are suitable for characterizing the physical and chemical properties of crude oils with vastly differing chemical and physical compositions.

SUBMITTED BY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

LAST UPDATEDNovember 1, 2016

PHMSA 4: Safe Transport of Lithium Batteries by Air

Issue:

The safe transport of lithium batteries by air is an ongoing concern for PHMSA, FAA, and DOT.  Lithium batteries pose unique challenges because, unlike other hazardous materials, they contain a chemical and an electrical hazard.  Lithium batteries can overheat and ignite under certain conditions and, once ignited, can be especially difficult to extinguish.  The presence of lithium batteries can also increase the severity of a fire originating from another source.

Action Needed:

Complete OMB review process and issue the IFR and continue to advance the safe transportation of lithium batteries.

Background:

  • Lithium batteries have been suspected as a cause or contributor to several high profile aviation incidents and accidents.  In April 28, 1999, there was a fire at Los Angeles International Airport involving two pallets containing 120,000 lithium metal batteries.  The fire was preceded by mishandling that damaged the batteries. On February 7, 2006, there was an incident at the Philadelphia International Airport in which a fire – suspected to have been caused by lithium batteries – destroyed a cargo aircraft and much of its cargo.  On September 3, 2010, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a 747-400 cargo aircraft crashed while attempting to land at the Dubai airport after a fire was discovered.  Both pilots were killed, and the aircraft and its cargo, which included lithium batteries, were destroyed.
  • Air transport of lithium batteries poses a particular risk because fires involving lithium ion batteries can exceed the fire suppression capabilities of the aircraft. A fundamental concern highlighted by the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center's (FAA Tech Center) research is that the cargo compartment fire protection standards were not designed to address the unique hazards associated with the transport of lithium batteries.
  • Specific safety concerns include: (1) Lithium batteries pose both a chemical and electrical hazard – under certain conditions they can overheat and ignite and, once ignited, can be especially difficult to extinguish; (2) the potential for propagation of thermal runaway between cells or batteries in a package and between adjacent packages of batteries; (3) the potential for uncontrolled lithium battery fires to overwhelm the capability of existing aircraft cargo fire protection systems, leading to a catastrophic failure of the airframe; and (4) the potential for venting of combustible gases from lithium ion cells in thermal runaway, which could collect in an enclosed environment and cause an explosion even in the presence of a suppression agent.
  • In cooperation with FAA and other external stakeholders, PHMSA continues to progress a multifaceted approach to improving the safe transport of lithium batteries by all modes of transportation.  These efforts include:
    • An interim final rule to adopt amendments into the HMR to address immediate safety concerns on the transport of lithium ion batteries by air and ensure that the HMR reflect the most recent amendments adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  The interim final rule is under review at OMB.
    • Work with the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to assess new battery technologies, improve and modernize battery testing provisions, and strengthen packaging provisions for damaged batteries and recycling and disposal of batteries.
    • Work with ICAO to develop enhanced packaging standards and segregation provisions for air transport.
    • Leading a multi-agency working group on lithium battery compliance and enforcement.
    • Working directly with Transport Canada on shared safety initiatives.
    • Research efforts to better characterize risk.

SUBMITTED BY:  Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED:  November 1, 2016

PHMSA 5: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

Issue:

In response to NTSB and PHMSA accident investigation findings, incident report data and trends, congressional mandates, and stakeholder input, PHMSA published an NPRM on October 13, 2015. In this rulemaking action, PHMSA is amending the pipeline safety regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensure that operators increase the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions and mitigate the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.  The final rule is under review at OMB.

Action Needed:

Complete OMB review process and publish the final rule.

Background:

  • Expanding petroleum production in North America and the controversies surrounding new pipeline projects such as the proposed Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline have focused national attention to liquid pipeline safety matters.  Additionally, in recent years, there have been significant hazardous liquid pipeline accidents, most notably the 2010 crude oil spill near Marshall, Michigan, in which almost one million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Kalamazoo River and the 2015 Refugio oil spill near Santa Barbara, California.
  • Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, that included several provisions that are relevant to the regulation of hazardous liquid pipelines.  P.L. 112-90.  The proposed rule addresses these mandates by revising the integrity management repair criteria, mandating the use of inline-inspection, expanding the scope of leak detection requirements, requiring operators to consider seismic risks, and clarifying that biofuels are hazardous liquids.
  • In response to the Marshall, Michigan incident the NTSB issued recommendations to PHMSA to strengthen integrity management requirements related to the detection and remediation of cracking risks and preventing delays in the detection of actionable conditions following integrity assessments. Finally the Government Accountability Office issued its  GAO-12-388 recommendation on March 22, 2012, which directs PHMSA to collect data from operators of currently unregulated onshore gathering lines.

SUBMITTED BY: Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

LAST UPDATEDNovember 1, 2016

PHMSA 6: Underground Natural Gas Storage

Issue:

Following the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage leak, the largest natural gas release in U.S. history, and subsequent congressional mandates, PHMSA is working to issue an interim final rule (IFR) to require operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum Federal safety standards. PHMSA, along with six states, served on a working group that produced the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage.  PHMSA is considering adopting the non-mandatory provisions of the RPs in a manner that would make them mandatory. The interim final rule is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Action Needed:

Complete OMB review process and issue the IFR.

Background:

  • Beginning in October 23, 2015, a blowout at the Aliso Canyon storage field near Porter Ranch, California resulted in a 4-month long, uncontrolled release of natural gas, one of the largest in US history.  The California Air Resources Board's final estimate determined that the operator of the storage field, SoCalGas, released between 90,350 to 109,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas.  According to the EPA, methane has a high global warming potential of 28-36 times that of CO2 over a 100-year period.
  • Following the Aliso Canyon release, Congress passed the PIPES Act of 2016, P.L. 114-183, mandating that PHMSA "issue minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities."  PHMSA has safety authority over the underground storage facilities used in natural gas pipeline transportation but currently has no safety regulations that apply to down-hole underground storage reservoirs for natural gas.
  • In response to the Aliso Canyon incident and in accordance with the PIPES Act, PHMSA has co-chaired, along with the DOE, an Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety.  In October, 2016, the Task Force issued its final report, Ensuring Safe and Reliable Underground Natural Gas Storage which includes 44 recommendations that will be considered by PHMSA and other agencies after the IFR is issued.

SUBMITTED BY:  Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

LAST UPDATEDNovember 1, 2016

PHMSA 7: Safety of Natural Gas Transmission and Gas Gathering Pipelines

Issue:

PHMSA issued the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines NPRM on April 8, 2016. In this rule, PHMSA is revisiting the requirements addressing integrity management principles for gas transmission pipelines.  This rule responds to NTSB recommendations and congressional mandates issued in response to a number of high profile incidents.  PHMSA is currently reviewing the comments and preparing for meetings with the Gas Pipeline Technical Advisory Committee.

Action Needed:

Develop and publish the final rule after an analysis of public comments and input from the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee.

Background:

  • The proposed rule responds to congressional mandates from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.  P.L. 112-90. These include: (1) considering integrity assessments outside of high-consequence areas (HCA); (2) requiring pressure testing or equivalent assessment for certain previously untested, grandfathered pipe; (3) resolving issues with operators having insufficient records to substantiate maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP); and (4) requiring operators to address seismicity risks.
  • The rule also addresses NTSB recommendations issued in response to an NTSB safety study on integrity management and investigations of the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California that killed 8 people and destroyed 38 homes and the 2014 rupture in Sissonville, West Virginia, that destroyed 3 homes and closed Interstate 77 for 19 hours. The NTSB identified issues related to grandfathered pipe, seam defects, and impacts to other modes, and recommended a number of proposed improvements to integrity management regulations.
  • In response to these concerns the NPRM addresses:  repair criteria for both HCAs and non-HCAs, assessment methods, validating and integrating pipeline data, risk assessments, knowledge gained through the IM program, corrosion control, management of change, gathering lines, and safety features on launchers and receivers.
  • PHMSA expects to host at least three advisory committee meetings on this topic. The first meeting will take place on December 7-8, 2016, while subsequent meetings are scheduled for February 7-9, and Feb 28 - March 2, 2017.

SUBMITTED BY: Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

LAST UPDATED:  October 25, 2016

PHMSA 8: Valves and Rupture Detection

Issue:

In response to the large uncontrolled release incidents at Marshall, Michigan, and San Bruno, California, as well as the congressional mandates and recommendations from the NTSB and GAO issued in the wake of these incidents, PHMSA is proposing mandatory installation of automatic shutoff valves (ASV), remote-controlled valves (RCV), or equivalent technology on hazardous liquid lines in HCAs and natural gas transmission lines in HCAs and Class 3 and 4 locations. .  The overall intent of the rule is to integrate rupture detection metrics with automatic shut-off valve and remote control valve placement to improve overall incident response.  Rupture response metrics would focus on mitigating large, unsafe, uncontrolled release events that have greater potential consequences.

Action Needed:

Develop NPRM to address these issues. 

Background:

  • This NPRM would propose mandatory installation of automatic shutoff valves (ASV), remote-controlled valves (RCV), or equivalent technology on hazardous liquid lines in HCAs and natural gas transmission lines in HCAs and Class 3 and 4 locations.  The overall intent of the rule is to integrate rupture detection metrics with automatic shut-off valve and remote control valve placement to improve overall incident response. Rupture response metrics would focus on mitigating large, unsafe, uncontrolled release events that have greater potential consequences, such as the Marshall, Michigan, and San Bruno, California, incidents.
  • The proposed rule would respond to congressional mandates from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.  P.L. 112-90.  These mandates: (1) require the installation of automatic or remote-controlled shut-off valves, or equivalent technology, if appropriate, on new and fully replaced transmission pipeline facilities; and (2) require operators of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to use leak detection systems where practicable and establish feasible standards for the capability of such systems to detect leaks.
  • The proposed rule also would address a GAO recommendation and NTSB recommendations (P-11-9 through P-11-11) issued in response to the NTSB investigation of the San Bruno, CA, incident.  The GAO recommended that PHMSA evaluate whether to implement a performance-based framework for incident response times (GAO-13-168).  The NTSB issued recommendations regarding the immediate and direct notification of local 911 centers following incidents, the equipping and spacing of leak detection tools on supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and requiring ASVs and RCVs in HCAs and Class 3 and 4 locations be installed and spaced considering population factors in the regulations.

SUBMITTED BY:    Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

LAST UPDATED:   October 25, 2016

Updated: Monday, February 6, 2017
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