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Industry Submits Comments on Gas Regulatory Reform Rule

By Erin Kurilla posted 11-12-2020 10:56 AM

  
On October 7, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) held a Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) meeting on the Gas Regulatory Reform Rulemaking. APGA is represented on this advisory committee by Rich Worsinger from Wilson Energy in North Carolina. There are 10 proposals in the rule:

1. Provide flexibility in the inspection requirements for farm taps;
2. Repeal distribution integrity management program (DIMP) requirements for master meter operators;
3. Repeal submission requirements for the mechanical fitting failure (MFF) reports;
4. Adjust the monetary damage threshold for reporting incidents for inflation;
5. Allow remote monitoring of rectifier stations;
6. Revise the inspection interval for monitoring atmospheric corrosion on gas distribution service pipelines;
7. Update the design standard for polyethylene (PE) pipe and raise the maximum diameter limit;
8. Revise test requirements for pressure vessels consistent with American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME BPVC);
9. Revise welder requalification requirements to provide scheduling flexibility; and,
10. Extend the allowance for pre-tested short segments of pipe and fabricated units to pipelines operating at a hoop stress less than 30 percent of the specified minimum yield strength (SMYS) and above 100 pounds per square inch (psi).

While the GPAC voted to approve the industry’s recommendations for several of PHMSA’s proposals, there were a few areas that total consensus was not achieved, including the proposals on Atmospheric Corrosion and Mechanical Fitting Failure Reports.

It has become customary after these meetings for industry to submit comments that aim to clarify any outstanding questions from the GPAC discussion and translate the GPAC’s discussion into actual changes in the regulatory text. APGA understands that the finalization of this rulemaking is a high priority for PHMSA and may be published before the end of the year.

The comments can be found here

For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org.
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