Revised Public Awareness Recommended Practice Nearing Completion

By John Erickson posted 18 days ago

  
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is in the process of updating its Recommended Practice (RP) 1162 on Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators. A working group met in Denver this January 6-9 to continue reviewing comments received on the draft third version of RP 1162.

The original RP 1162 was issued in 2003; and in 2005, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) incorporated RP 1162 by reference in its pipeline safety regulations, making RP 1162 mandatory for public awareness programs. Operators were required to develop and implement public awareness programs meeting the requirements of RP 1162 no later than 2006. APGA developed a model public awareness plan for public natural gas systems and conducted a series of workshops across the country to familiarize members with RP 1162 and the APGA model plan. In 2006, APGA began the APGA Gas Overall Awareness Level (GOAL) program to address the requirement of the RP that operators periodically assess the effectiveness of their public awareness programs in getting safety messages out to customers and non-customers living near gas lines. Nearly 200 APGA members use GOAL for their effectiveness assessments. Results from 2018 surveys will be sent to GOAL participants soon. For information on GOAL, go to www.apga.org/programs/goal.

RP 1162 was updated in 2011, however PHMSA never incorporated the second edition into its regulations, therefore operators must still follow the original 2003 RP. This document can be read online for free at www.api.org/products-and-services/standards/rights-and-usage-policy#tab-ibr-reading-room.

For the past three years, a working group has been updating RP 1162. Bill DeFoor, Erin Kurilla and John Erickson represents public natural gas on the API working group. In late October, API released the draft revision for public comment. The APGA Operations and Safety Committee reviewed the document on behalf of APGA, and APGA submitted 146 recommended changes for consideration. Many, but not all, of APGA’s comments were accepted by the working group and will appear in the final draft. API plans to submit the proposed revision for final public comment and ballot in February, providing APGA and its members another opportunity for review and comment. The working group will then reconvene to consider comments. API plans to issue the third revision in late Spring 2020. Operators will still have to follow the first edition until PHMSA amends its regulations to incorporate by reference the third edition of RP 1162.

For questions on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834 or by email at jerickson@apga.org.
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