Department of Transportation - GovInfo

Page created by Manuel Garza
                                                                                            December 15, 2003

                                                                                            Part II

                                                                                            Department of
                                                                                            Research and Special Programs

                                                                                            49 CFR Part 192
                                                                                            Pipeline Safety: Pipeline Integrity
                                                                                            Management in High Consequence Areas
                                                                                            (Gas Transmission Pipelines); Final Rule

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69778           Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations

      DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION                            search. Once you access this address,                 detail the history of the proposed rule
                                                              type in the last four digits of the docket            and how the proposal addressed
      Research and Special Programs                           number shown at the beginning of this                 statutory mandates, National
      Administration                                          notice (7666), and click on search. You               Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
                                                              will then be able to read and download                recommendations, and safety
      49 CFR Part 192                                         comments and other documents related                  conclusions drawn from accident
      [Docket No. RSPA–00–7666; Amendment
                                                              to this final rule.                                   analyses. RSPA/OPS had finalized the
      192–95]                                                 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:                      definition of HCAs for gas transmission
                                                              Mike Israni by phone at (202) 366–4571,               pipelines in a prior rulemaking on
      RIN 2137–AD54                                           by fax at (202) 366–4566, or by e-mail                August 6, 2002 (67 FR 50824).
      Pipeline Safety: Pipeline Integrity                     at, regarding                   The American Gas Association (AGA),
                                                              the subject matter of this final rule.                the American Public Gas Association
      Management in High Consequence
                                                              General information about the RSPA/                   (APGA), the Interstate Natural Gas
      Areas (Gas Transmission Pipelines)
                                                              OPS programs may be obtained by                       Association of America (INGAA), and
      AGENCY: Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS),                accessing RSPA’s Internet page at                     the New York Gas Group (NYGAS) filed
      Research and Special Programs                                                   a petition for reconsideration of the
      Administration (RSPA), DOT.                             SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RSPA/                      HCA final rule. Issues raised in the
      ACTION: Final rule.                                     OPS believes it can ensure the integrity              petition are discussed in the section
                                                              of gas transmission pipelines by                      titled, Petition for Reconsideration of
      SUMMARY: This final rule requires                       requiring each operator to: (a) Develop               the final rule on the definition of High
      operators to develop integrity                          and implement a comprehensive                         Consequence Areas. RSPA/OPS
      management programs for gas                             integrity management program for                      addressed certain aspects of the petition
      transmission pipelines located where a                  pipeline segments where a failure                     in the published notice of proposed
      leak or rupture could do the most harm,                 would have the greatest impact on the                 rulemaking on gas transmission pipeline
      i.e., could impact high consequence                     public or property; (b) identify and                  integrity management program
      areas (HCAs). The rule requires gas                     characterize applicable threats to                    requirements (68 FR 4278; January 28,
      transmission pipeline operators to                      pipeline segments that could impact a                 2003). The remaining issues were
      perform ongoing assessments of                          high consequence area; (c) conduct a                  addressed in two notices published on
      pipeline integrity, to improve data                     baseline assessment and periodic                      July 17, 2003—Response to Petition for
      collection, integration, and analysis, to               reassessments of these pipeline                       Reconsideration (68 FR 42456) and
      repair and remediate the pipeline as                    segments; (d) mitigate significant defects            Issuance of Advisory Bulletin (68 FR
      necessary, and to implement preventive                  discovered from the assessment; and (e)               42458).
      and mitigative actions. RSPA/OPS has                    continually monitor the effectiveness of
      also modified the definition of HCAs in                 its integrity program and modify the                  Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of
      response to a petition for                              program as needed to improve its                      2002
      reconsideration from industry                           effectiveness. This final rule does not                  On November 15, 2002, Congress
      associations. This final rule                           apply to gas gathering or to gas                      passed the Pipeline Safety Improvement
      comprehensively addresses statutory                     distribution pipelines.                               Act of 2002, which was signed into law
      mandates, safety recommendations, and                      This final rule satisfies Congressional            on December 17, 2002, and codified at
      conclusions from accident analyses, all                 mandates that require RSPA/OPS to                     49 U.S.C. 60109. This law requires
      of which indicate that coordinated risk                 prescribe standards that establish                    RSPA/OPS to ‘‘issue regulations
      control measures are needed to improve                  criteria for identifying each gas pipeline            prescribing standards to direct an
      pipeline safety.                                        facility located in a high-density                    operator’s conduct of a risk analysis and
      DATES: This final rule takes effect                     population area and to prescribe                      adoption and implementation of an
      January 14, 2004. The incorporation by                  standards requiring the periodic                      integrity management program’’ no later
      reference of certain publications in this               inspection of pipelines located in these              than 12 months after December 17,
      rule is approved by the Director of the                 areas, including the circumstances                    2002. The statute sets forth minimum
      Federal Register as of January 14, 2004.                under which an inspection can be                      requirements for integrity management
         Privacy Act Information: You may                     conducted using an instrumented                       programs for gas pipelines located in
      review DOT’s complete Privacy Act                       internal inspection device (smart pig) or             HCAs. These requirements have been
      Statement in the Federal Register                       an equally effective alternative                      incorporated into this final rule.
      published on April 11, 2000 (Volume                     inspection method. The final rule also                Statutory requirements for an integrity
      65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you                   incorporates the required elements for                program include conducting baseline
      may visit the Dockets Management                        gas integrity management programs                     and reassessment testing of each
      System (DMS) Web site at http://                        mandated in the Pipeline Safety                       covered transmission pipeline segment You may search the                         Improvement Act of 2002, which was                    at specified intervals, conducting an
      electronic form of all comments                         signed into law on December 17, 2002,                 integrated data analysis on a continuing
      received into any of our dockets by the                 and codified at 49 U.S.C. 60109.                      basis, taking actions to address integrity
      name of the individual submitting the                   Background                                            concerns, addressing issues raised by
      comment (or signing the comment, if                                                                           RSPA/OPS and by state and local
      submitted on behalf of an association,                  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking                         authorities under an interstate agent
      business, labor union, etc.).                             On January 28, 2003, RSPA/OPS                       agreement, conducting testing in an
         General Information: You may contact                 published a Notice of Proposed                        environmentally appropriate manner,
      the Dockets Facility by phone at (202)                  Rulemaking (68 FR 4278) that proposed                 providing notification of changes to a
      366–9329 for copies of this final rule or               pipeline integrity management                         program, and permitting a State
      other material in the docket. All                       requirements for gas transmission                     interstate agent access to the risk
      materials in this docket may be accessed                pipelines. In the preamble to that                    analysis and integrity management
      electronically at                   Notice, RSPA/OPS explained in great                   program.

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Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations                                        69779

      Petition for Reconsideration of the Final               NPRM, and advice from the Technical                   integrity management rule and the
      Rule on the Definition of High                          Pipeline Safety Standards Committee                   recommend changes.
      Consequence Areas                                       (TPSSC or Committee), the statutory gas                  On April 25, 2003, RSPA/OPS held
                                                              pipeline advisory committee, indicated                another public meeting to discuss
         RSPA/OPS issued a final rule defining
                                                              the need for greater clarification of how             possible courses of action on issues that
      HCAs for gas transmission pipelines on
                                                              operators are to implement the                        had been raised during the previous
      August 6, 2002 (67 FR 50824). On
                                                              ‘‘identified sites’’ aspect of the HCA                meetings. Participants included State
      September 5, 2002, the American Gas
                                                              definition. The advisory bulletin                     pipeline safety representatives, industry
      Association (AGA), the American Public
                                                              published on July 17, 2003 (68 FR                     representatives, and the general public.
      Gas Association (APGA), the Interstate                                                                           The comments at the public meetings
      Natural Gas Association of America                      42456) provides guidance to gas
                                                              transmission operators on the steps                   closely tracked the comments received
      (INGAA), and the New York Gas Group                                                                           to the docket and the discussions by the
      (NYGAS) filed a petition for the                        RSPA/OPS expects them to take to
                                                              determine ‘‘identified sites’’ along their            TPSSC at its May 2003 meeting. These
      reconsideration of the final rule defining                                                                    issues and the advisory committee’s
      HCAs for gas transmission pipelines.                    pipelines. ‘‘Identified sites’’ include
                                                              buildings housing people who are                      recommendations are discussed in the
      This petition is in the docket. The                                                                           section titled, Gas Advisory Committee
      petition raised the following issues:                   confined and of limited mobility who
                                                              would be difficult to evacuate, and                   Considerations. The 12 issues addressed
         (1) The splitting of the gas integrity                                                                     in the comments to the docket are
      rule into two rulemakings—the                           outside areas and buildings where
                                                              people gather. The guidance allows                    discussed below in Comments to NPRM.
      definition and the integrity
      requirements—causes confusion,                          operators to identify these sites for                 Gas Advisory Committee Considerations
      particularly, since the Potential Impact                purposes of planning integrity
                                                              management programs. RSPA has                            The Technical Pipeline Safety
      Zone concept was not included in the                                                                          Standards Committee is the Federal
      definition.                                             agreed that the intent of the regulation
                                                              will be satisfied if an operator follows              advisory committee charged with
         (2) The high consequence area                                                                              responsibility for advising on the
      definition should clarify that it applies               the guidance. The guidance has been
                                                              incorporated into this final rule.                    technical feasibility, reasonableness,
      to gas transmission pipelines that have                                                                       cost-effectiveness, and practicability of
      the potential to impact high population                 Public Meetings Following the NPRM                    proposed gas pipeline safety standards.
      density areas and does not apply to                                                                           The 15-member Committee is comprised
      distribution pipelines.                                    On January 28, 2003 (68 FR 4278),
                                                              RSPA/OPS proposed integrity                           of individuals from industry,
         (3) The ‘‘identified site’’ component of                                                                   government, and the general public.
      the definition (buildings and outside                   management program requirements for
                                                                                                                       On May 28–30, 2003, the TPSSC met
      areas) is overly broad. The definition                  gas transmission pipelines in HCAs. The
                                                                                                                    to review the proposed gas pipeline
      should instead use the current language                 comment period for this proposal was
                                                                                                                    integrity management rule and the
      in § 192.5 for Class 3 outside areas.                   scheduled to close on March 31, 2003,
                                                                                                                    associated cost-benefit analysis. The
         When this petition was received,                     but RSPA/OPS extended this comment
                                                                                                                    Committee voted unanimously to accept
      RSPA/OPS was in the final stages of                     period to April 30, 2003. Because the
                                                                                                                    the proposed integrity management rule
      developing the NPRM on pipeline                         proposal was complex, a series of public
                                                                                                                    as technically reasonable, feasible, and
      integrity management for gas                            meetings were held to educate the
                                                                                                                    practicable, subject to the recommended
      transmission pipelines in HCAs. In                      industry and public about the proposed
                                                                                                                    changes identified during committee
      addition to the proposed substantive                    requirements and to listen to comments
                                                                                                                    discussion. The Committee decided that
      requirements, the NPRM proposed an                      and concerns.
                                                                                                                    before it could vote to accept the cost-
      expanded definition of HCAs and                            On February 20–21, 2003, RSPA/OPS                  benefit analysis, RSPA/OPS must revise
      proposed to include a definition of a                   participated in a public workshop                     it in compliance with the
      Potential Impact Zone, the area likely to               sponsored by the INGAA and AGA in                     recommendations at the May 28–30
      be affected by a failure. In the NPRM,                  Houston, and on February 26, 2003, in                 meeting. RSPA/OPS sent a revised cost-
      RSPA/OPS discussed the issues raised                    an audio conference jointly sponsored                 benefit analysis to the committee. On
      in the petition for reconsideration and                 by AGA, APGA, and other pipeline                      July 31, 2003, the Committee voted to
      its belief that the proposal, and the final             trade associations, to give an overview               accept the revised cost-benefit analysis.
      rule to follow, would address the more                  of the proposed rule and clarify certain              The transcripts from both meetings are
      significant of the issues (68 FR 4278,                  proposed requirements. On March 19,                   in the docket.
      4295–4296; January 28, 2003). RSPA/                     2003, RSPA/OPS held a public meeting
      OPS requested comments on several                       in Washington, DC, to address issues                  Discussion on the HCA Definition and
      aspects of the final definition,                        raised at the INGAA/AGA workshop                      Proposed Rule
      particularly with respect to the                        and to better explain the proposed rule.                 The TPSSC made the following
      ‘‘identified sites’’ component. In two                  Participants included representatives                 recommendations during the May 28–30
      notices published on July 17, 2003—                     from the National Association of                      meeting with respect to the HCA
      Response to Petition for Reconsideration                Pipeline Safety Representatives                       definition and the language in the
      (68 FR 42458) and Issuance of Advisory                  (NAPSR), INGAA, AGA, APGA, and                        proposed integrity management program
      Bulletin (68 FR 42456)—RSPA/OPS                         other Federal government agencies.                    rule. RSPA/OPS discusses how it
      addressed the remainder of issues raised                Summaries of these meetings are in the                addressed each recommendation in the
      by the petitioners, and provided                        docket.                                               final rule.
      guidance to operators of gas                               On March 25, 2003, RSPA/OPS                           The Committee discussed how to best
      transmission pipelines on how to                        briefed the TPSSC members about                       identify those segments of a pipeline
      identify HCAs.                                          issues raised in the public meetings and              that present the greatest potential
         Comments received in response to the                 heard additional briefings on integrity               hazard to people so that operators could
      NPRM on integrity management                            management issues, including the HCA                  focus integrity management efforts on
      programs, comments at the public                        definition. On May 28–29, 2003, the                   those segments. The Committee
      meetings following issuance of the                      TPSSC met to vote on the proposed gas                 considered the bifurcated approach

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69780           Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations

      INGAA had presented in its comments.                    12-month period (the days and weeks                      RSPA revised the final rule to require
      The Committee discussed whether rural                   need not be consecutive).                             additional preventive and mitigative
      buildings, such as rural churches,                         RSPA accepted this recommendation                  measures for plastic transmission
      should be designated as Moderate Risk                   and modified the ‘‘identified site’’                  pipelines.
      Areas. Much of the meeting was spent                    component of the HCA area definition.                    The Committee discussed the
      on the industry’s petition for                          This revision is consistent with the                  assessment methods and intervals that
      reconsideration. The Committee held an                  Class 3 definition of outside area in                 should be required for low-stress
      extensive discussion on the ‘‘identified                § 192.5.                                              pipelines and then voted for RSPA/OPS
      sites’’ component of the HCA definition,                   The Committee discussed whether the                to:
      focusing on places where people                         criterion for determining the population                 Use the approach suggested by AGA
      congregate and on buildings containing                  density component of a high                           as described on pages 6 and 7 of its
      persons of limited mobility. The TPSSC                  consequence area should be 10 or 20                   April 30, 2003 letter, ‘‘Amendment to
      made the following recommendations                      buildings intended for human                          Low-Stress Pipeline Requirements.’’
      with respect to the definition of and                   occupancy within the impact circle. The                  RSPA adopted this recommendation
      identification of HCAs:                                 Committee recommended that RSPA/                      and created a new section in the gas rule
         Allow a bifurcated option for building               OPS:                                                  (§ 192.941) on low-stress reassessment
      count as part of the definition of HCAs.                   Use 20 buildings intended for human                for pipelines operating below 30% of
         RSPA adopted this recommendation                     occupancy occurring within a Potential                specified minimum yield strength
      into the final rule and modified                        Impact Circle as a criterion for                      (SMYS). This recommendation provides
      § 192.903 to allow two methods of                       determining high consequence areas.                   for additional analysis focused on third-
      identifying HCAs. This is discussed                        RSPA adopted this recommendation                   party damage and increases the
      below in section 3 of Comments to                       and modified the definition of HCA.                   frequency of leak surveys as an
      NPRM.                                                      The TPSSC discussed whether an                     alternative form of reassessment. This is
         Address rural buildings in the same                  additional safety margin should be                    discussed below in section 7 of
      manner as any HCA.                                      applied to the Potential Impact Circle                Comments to NPRM.
                                                                                                                       The TPSSC discussed whether a
         RSPA has adopted this                                radius calculated using the C–FER
                                                                                                                    requirement to pressure test a pipeline
      recommendation by modifying the                         model and recommended that:
                                                                                                                    to verify its integrity against material
      ‘‘identified sites’’ component of the                      To define an HCA use the C–FER
                                                                                                                    and construction defects be limited to
      HCA definition as it relates to outside                 radius without additional safety margin
                                                                                                                    pipeline segments for which
      areas where people gather. The                          to define the Potential Impact Circle,
                                                                                                                    information suggests a potential
      definition now differentiates between                   and extend by one additional radius on
                                                                                                                    vulnerability. The Committee
      outside areas, open structures, and rural               either side of the segment that could
                                                                                                                    recommended that RSPA/OPS:
      buildings, which provide more                           potentially impact an HCA.                               Incorporate into the rule the concepts
      protection. This is discussed below in                     RSPA adopted this recommendation                   of B31.8S pertaining to material and
      Comments to NPRM.                                       and modified the definition of HCA to                 construction defects and increased
         In the HCA definition, substitute                    incorporate this additional length of                 operating pressure.
      ‘‘public safety officials, emergency                    pipeline.                                                RSPA has incorporated ASME/ANSI
      response officials, or local emergency                     The TPSSC discussed whether the                    B31.8S–2001, Managing System
      planning committees’’ for ‘‘local                       rule should allow an operator to use                  Integrity of Gas Pipelines, into the
      officials.’’                                            data regarding the number of buildings                regulation.
         RSPA accepted this recommendation                    within 660 feet of the pipeline (available               The TPSSC discussed the proposed
      and modified the ‘‘identified sites’’                   now to operators because of the existing              direct assessment requirements and
      component of the high consequence                       definition of Class Locations at § 192.5)             ways to ensure that the method provides
      area definition to incorporate this                     to extrapolate the building density in                an understanding of pipeline integrity
      change.                                                 Potential Impact Circles larger than 660              comparable to that provided by other
         Define an identified site as any of the              feet, and what the interim period should              assessment methods. In particular the
      following within a Potential Impact                     be for operator to collect the additional             discussion focused on whether it should
      Circle:                                                 data on buildings beyond 660 feet. The                be allowed as a primary assessment
         1. A facility housing persons of                     Committee voted that the rule should:                 method only to address certain threats,
      limited mobility that is known to public                   Allow a three-year period for                      and whether the assessment intervals
      safety officials, emergency response                    operators to use existing house count                 should be the same as those allowed for
      officials, or local emergency planning                  data out to 660 feet to infer the number              the other assessment methods. The
      committee, and which meets one of the                   of houses in impact circles exceeding                 TPSSC recommended that the rule:
      following three criteria: (a) Is visibly                660 feet in radius.                                      Allow direct assessment as a primary
      marked, (b) is licensed or registered by                   RSPA accepted this recommendation                  assessment method contingent only on
      a Federal, state, or local agency, or (c)               and intends to allow operators three                  applicability to the threats and have
      is listed on a map maintained by or                     years to collect actual data and to revise            assessment intervals the same as those
      available from a Federal, State, or local               the HCA to reflect this data.                         for other methods, subject to
      agency, or                                                 The Committee discussed what                       clarification on how confirmatory direct
         2. An outdoor area where people                      assessment requirements should be                     assessment fits into the process and
      congregate that is known to public                      applicable to plastic transmission                    relates to the NACE Recommended
      safety officials, emergency response                    pipelines and recommended that the                    Practice.
      officials or local emergency planning                   rule should:                                             RSPA/OPS has accepted this
      committee and which is occupied by 20                      Allow operators to conduct a                       recommendation and revised the final
      or more people on at least 50 days per                  reliability analysis as a baseline                    rule to allow direct assessment as a
      year, or                                                assessment for plastic pipeline, and                  primary assessment method for certain
         3. A building occupied by 20 or more                 require appropriate preventive and                    threats and to have the same assessment
      people 5 days per week, 10 weeks in any                 mitigative measures.                                  intervals as the other assessment

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Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations                                         69781

      methods. This is discussed below in                        The TPSSC discussed at what                        billion savings represents a benefit of
      section 4 of Comments to NPRM.                          frequency and by what means operators                 the rule, since the requirements of the
         The Committee discussed some of the                  should report performance measures.                   law would have to be implemented in
      proposed requirements for remediation                   The recommendation was to:                            the absence of regulatory action. RSPA/
      of anomalies found during an                               Require operators to submit                        OPS informed the Committee that:
      assessment, including whether repair                    performance measures electronically                      • Changes in the definition of HCAs
      criteria for dents located on the bottom                (instead of merely maintaining the                    focuses pipeline operator resources on
      of the pipeline should be different from                information) on a semi-annual                         areas of high consequence. Class 3 areas
      those for top dents and whether the                     frequency.                                            that are sparsely populated have been
      presence of stress risers or metal loss                    RSPA revised § 192.945 to incorporate              deleted.
      should affect this decision. The                        this recommendation.                                     • Confirmatory direct assessment
      Committee voted that RSPA/OPS:                             The Committee discussed the                        (CDA) is allowed to perform
         Modify the proposal to require                       proposed rule’s treatment of earlier                  assessments at the seven-year intervals
      remediation of dents without stress                     integrity assessments to allow only                   specified in the Act. This method is not
      risers in one year to allow treating                    assessments conducted after December                  among those listed in the law.
      bottom-side dents as monitored                          17, 1997, to be used as a baseline                       • The rule explicitly recognizes the
      conditions if the operator runs the                     assessment. The TPSSC recommend that                  scientific conclusion that low-pressure
      necessary tools to perform strain                       the rule:                                             pipelines are more likely to leak than to
                                                                 Allow, without a time limit, an                    rupture. Outside force damage is
      calculations, meets B31.8 strain criteria,
                                                              assessment conducted prior to the rule                therefore a relatively more important
      and [ensures] that the dent involves no
                                                              as a baseline assessment as long as the               threat for low-pressure pipelines. The
      corrosion or stress riser.
                                                              prior assessment substantially meets the              rule provides for assessments and
         RSPA accepted this recommendation
                                                              requirements of the rule, and provide                 actions that emphasize damage
      and revised § 192.933 to address
                                                              that the reassessment for such a                      protection, leak surveys, and electrical
      remediation requirements.
                                                              segment not be required until December                surveys to better address the relevant
         A member of the Committee noted
                                                              17, 2009 to the extent allowed by law.                integrity threats.
      that the proposed waiver language did                      For the reasons discussed below in                    The direct safety benefits of the rule
      not exactly track the language in the                   section 4 of Program Requirements,                    will be realized in reduced
      statue. The Committee recommended                       RSPA/OPS is allowing as a baseline                    consequences of accidents, including
      that RSPA/OPS:                                          assessment any prior assessment                       deaths, serious injuries, and property
         Revise the proposed waiver language                  conducted in accordance with the                      damage. RSPA/OPS has estimated the
      to be consistent with the language in the               requirements of the subpart on integrity              value of this benefit at $800 million over
      statute.                                                management. RSPA/OPS has further                      20 years. There are a number of other
         RSPA/OPS revised the waiver                          revised the rule to specify that the                  potential benefits of the rule as
      language in § 192.943 to track the                      reassessment on a covered segment for                 described to the TPSSC:
      language in the statute. This is                        which a prior assessment is credited as                  • Improved ability to site new
      discussed below in section 5 of                         a baseline be completed by December                   pipelines in certain high-volume
      Comments to NPRM.                                       17, 2009.                                             markets because of the improvements in
         The TPSSC discussed how to cost-                                                                           public confidence. RSPA/OPS informed
      effectively protect against delayed                     Discussion on Cost-Benefit Analysis                   the Committee that this benefit is
      failures from third-party damage and                       The TPSSC met via conference                       difficult to quantify, and would be
      whether additional third-party damage                   telephone call on July 31, 2003, to                   qualitatively described in the final
      prevention methods should be used                       discuss the draft cost-benefit analysis               regulatory analysis.
      instead of assessments for third-party                  prepared in support of the final rule.                   • Averting accidents with larger
      damage. The Committee recommended                       RSPA/OPS presented a summary of the                   consequences than any experienced to
      that RSPA/OPS:                                          benefits and costs of the rule. Because               date. The quantitative estimate of this
         Use the language proposed by INGAA,                  of the integrity requirements in the                  safety benefit is based on the historical
      in its April 17, 2003, letter (as modified              Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of                    accident record. Population growth
      by Committee comments) as the basis                     2002 (49 U.S.C. 60109), this rule does                along some transmission pipelines puts
      for requiring additional preventive and                 not impose integrity management                       more people at risk and exposes the
      mitigative measures to address third-                   requirements from a baseline condition                pipelines to increased chances of third-
      party damage.                                           in which no such requirements exist.                  party damage. Therefore, it is possible
         RSPA accepted this recommendation                    The law required pipeline companies to                that accidents larger than any in the
      and revised the third-party damage                      develop and follow integrity                          historical record could occur. This rule
      requirements.                                           management programs. This rule takes                  will act to significantly reduce the
         The Committee discussed how to                       advantage of the implementation                       likelihood of such accidents, because it
      clarify the requirements for an operator                flexibility allowed in the law to focus               is focused on precisely the high
      to look beyond the HCA segment to                       integrity management efforts on the                   population areas in which they could
      address segments outside the HCA that                   highest risk areas.                                   occur. RSPA/OPS informed the
      are likely to have similar integrity                       RSPA/OPS estimates that                            Committee that this benefit would be
      concerns. After discussion the                          implementing the requirements in the                  analyzed further and quantified in the
      Committee voted that the rule should:                   law, without any additional flexibility,              final regulatory analysis.
         Require that operators use the risk                  would cost approximately $11 billion                     • The final rule exceeds the
      assessment process as described in                      over 20 years. Using the same basic                   requirements of the law in ways that
      ASME B31.8S as the basis for deciding                   assumptions, implementing the                         will avert accidents. This includes the
      when actions need to be taken for                       provisions of this rule is estimated to               requirement that consensus standards
      pipeline segments not in HCAs.                          cost $4.7 billion over 20 years, which is             be used, and that a threat-by-threat
         RSPA incorporated this                               $6.2 billion less than implementation of              analysis be performed to ascertain
      recommendation into the final rule.                     the law without a regulation. The $6.2                needed protections.

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69782           Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations

         • Avoiding the economic impact of                    Comments to NPRM                                      Washington Utilities and Transportation
      unexpected supply interruptions. The                                                                          Commission.
                                                                 We received over 700 comments from                   Three (3) advocacy groups: Citizens
      Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
                                                              90 different sources in response to the               for Safe Pipelines, Cook Inlet Keeper,
      (FERC) has estimated the impact of the
                                                              NPRM. Some commenters submitted                       and Washington State Citizens Advisory
      2000 Carlsbad, New Mexico accident on
                                                              several comments, each comment                        Committee on Pipeline Safety.
      California spot gas prices. RSPA/OPS
                                                              addressing a different topic in the                     Three (3) consensus standards
      has used this estimate to calculate that
                                                              proposed rule. The commenters were as                 organizations: Gas Piping Technology
      the increase in gas prices resulted in an
                                                              follows:                                              Committee (GPTC), NACE International,
      economic impact to California of
      approximately $17.25 million per day.                      Seven (7) Trade associations with                  and Standards-Developing
                                                              members affected by this rulemaking:                  Organizations Coordinating Council
         • The rule will provide a better                     American Gas Association (AGA),                       (SDOCC).
      technical justification for increasing                  American Public Gas Association                         One (1) Federal agency: National
      operating pressure in pipelines to                      (APGA), Association of Texas Intrastate               Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
      alleviate future supply crises.                         Natural Gas Pipelines, Energy                           One (1 ) city/county: Washington City
         • The rule will provide a better                     Association of Pennsylvania, Interstate               and County Pipeline Safety Consortium.
      technical justification to support                      Natural Gas Association of America                      Two (2) consultant/contractors:
      waivers from existing requirements that                 (INGAA), Inline Inspection Association                Accufacts, and Oleska & Associates.
      mandate replacement of pipeline when                    (IIA), and Northeast Gas Association                    Three (3) businesses: Advanced
      population increases cause a change in                  (NEGA).                                               Technology Corporation, Controlotron,
      class location. Experience may lead to                     50 U.S. pipeline operators: AGL                    and Kaempen Pipe Corporation.
      future changes in the existing                          Resources, Air Products and Chemicals,                  One (1) private citizen: Carol M.
      requirements. For now, estimation of                    Inc., Arkansas Oklahoma Gas                           Parker.
      the value of this benefit will be based on              Corporation, Atmos Energy Corp.,                      General Comments
      the use of waivers to eliminate pipe                    Baltimore Gas and Electric Company,                      Most commenters supported the need
      replacement after a class location                      ChevronTexaco, CMS Panhandle                          for integrity management program
      change where there is adequate safety                   Eastern Pipe Line Company, CMS Sea                    requirements, and provided comments
      justification.                                          Robin Pipeline Company, CMS                           to the proposed rule that focused on
         The TPSSC suggested that a reduction                 Trunkline Gas Company, Consolidated                   specific details and language. Most
      in the time required to return pipelines                Edison Company of New York,                           commenters asserted that the proposed
      to service after accidents or regulatory                Consumers Energy, Dominion Delivery,                  rule was too complicated and, to ensure
      shutdowns is another benefit of the rule.               Duke Energy Gas Transmission                          safety and ease of compliance, should
      The premise is that implementation of                   Corporation, El Paso Pipeline Group,                  be simplified and clarified.
      the rule will provide better information                Enbridge Energy Company, Enron                           Some of the broader comments
      about the pipeline. When pipelines are                  Transportation Services, Equitable Gas                included one from a private citizen,
      ordered shutdown, much of the time is                   Company and Equitrans LP, Houston                     Carol Parker, who asserted that the new
      used to gather additional information                   Pipe Line Company, Intermountain Gas                  pipeline safety law was written to
      about the pipeline’s integrity to support               Company, Kansas Gas Service, Kern                     ensure ‘‘adequate protection against
      a return to service. Implementation of                  River Gas Transmission Company,                       risks to life and property posed by
      this rule will make more information                    Laclede Gas Company, Metropolitan                     pipeline transportation’’ and that RSPA
      readily available and will lead to less                 Utilities District, MidAmerican Energy                should use this new law as a guide to
      shutdown time. We expect shutdown                       Company, National Fuel Gas Supply                     ensure adequate protection. Similarly,
      times to be reduced by 50%.                             Corporation, New Jersey Natural Gas                   the Washington State Advisory
                                                              Company, Nicor Gas, NiSource                          Committee commented that the new
         The TPSSC agreed that the cost                       Corporate Services, North Shore Gas
      estimates presented by RSPA/OPS were                                                                          rule should not sacrifice rule credibility
                                                              Company, Northern Natural Gas                         and enforceability for timeliness, and
      reasonable. The committee commented                     Company, Oklahoma Natural Gas,
      that it is reasonable to assume that the                                                                      recommended that RSPA slow down the
                                                              ONEOK, Paiute Pipeline Company,                       process to ensure proper rule
      benefits from implementing the law and                  PECO Energy, Peoples Gas Light and
      the final rule would be similar, but that                                                                     development. The NTSB stated that it
                                                              Coke Company, PG&E Corporation,                       generally supported the elements of the
      they are also very uncertain.                           Piedmont Natural Gas, PSNC Energy,                    proposed rule including the baseline
         The TPSSC commented that the                         Public Service Electric and Gas                       assessments, threat risk assessments,
      Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of                      Company, Puget Sound Energy, Questar                  determination of assessment methods,
      2002 imposes restrictions on what can                   Regulated Services, Sempra Energy                     and remediation and reassessment
      be done within this rule. The Committee                 Utilities, South Carolina Pipeline                    provisions. More specific comments are
      concluded that RSPA/OPS had                             Corporation, Southwest Gas                            discussed under the applicable topic.
      reasonably exercised the authority it                   Corporation, TXU Gas Company,                            We have organized the comments into
      was afforded under the Act. The                         Vectren Utility Holdings, Inc. Williams               the following twelve groups, and will
      Committee also recommended that                         Gas Pipeline, Williston Basin Interstate              summarize both the comments and our
      provisions in the Act that impose the                   Pipeline Company, and Xcel Energy.                    responses on an individual basis.
      most hardships—requirements to                             One (1) Canadian pipeline operator:                1. Need for Clarity and Specificity
      perform assessments at seven-year                       TransCanada Pipelines Limited.                        2. Applicability (Coverage) of the Rule
      intervals and to perform reassessments                     Five (5) state agencies: Florida                   3. High Consequence Areas
      before baseline assessments—be                                                                                4. Program Requirements and
                                                              Department of Environmental                                Implementation, including Integrity
      revisited in discussions with Congress.                 Protection, Iowa Utilities Board New                       Assessment Time Frames, Assessment
         The TPSSC unanimously approved                       York State Department of Public                            Methods and Criteria
      the draft cost-benefit analysis, subject to             Service, State of Connecticut                         5. Review, Notification and Enforcement
      the comments noted above.                               Department of Public Utility Control,                      Processes

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      6. Consensus Standard on Pipeline Integrity             divisions in the final rule is very                   Southwest Gas that RSPA/OPS should
      7. Low-Stress Pipelines                                 limited. RSPA/OPS believes that the                   exclude plastic pipelines from the
      8. Remedial Actions                                     structure of the final rule makes it much             integrity management regulation or, as
      9. Additional Preventive and Mitigative                 easier to follow and understand, and                  an alternative, exclude these pipelines
           Measures, including, Leak Detection
           Devices and Automatic Shut-off and                 will better support compliance by                     from the assessment requirements
           Remote Control Valves                              operators.                                            because the assessment methods are not
      10. Methods to Measure Program                             The rule has also been revised to                  applicable to plastic. In addition, the
           Effectiveness                                      improve its clarity and specificity. For              handout noted that the proposed
      11. Information for Local Officials and the             example, we deleted terms such as                     additional preventive and mitigative
           Public                                             ‘‘state-of-the-art.’’ And we specify which            measures for corrosion are not
      12. Cost-Benefit Analysis                               ‘‘comprehensive additional preventive                 applicable to plastic pipe because it is
      1. Need for Clarity and Specificity                     measures’’ an operator must implement.                not subject to corrosion. The handout
                                                              We eliminated the section containing                  suggested that third-party excavation
         Several commenters, including the                    the phrase ‘‘expected future corrosion                damage is the primary threat to plastic
      Public Service Electric and Gas                         conditions’’ in favor of referencing an               pipe.
      Company (PSE&G), maintained that the                    applicable consensus standard. At the                    Both Cook Inlet Keeper and the
      formatting of the proposed rule makes it                time we proposed the rule, relevant                   Washington Utilities and Transportation
      difficult to follow, which could lead to                industry consensus standards were                     Commission (WUTC) commended
      a lower level of understanding and less                 under development. These standards                    OPS’s goal to promote safety throughout
      compliance. PSE&G suggested that the                    have since been finalized and we have                 pipeline systems. They recommended
      final rule be simplified and reformatted,               incorporated them into the rule.                      that the proposed rule require that
      with clearly numbered sections and an                      This rule uses, as did the                         lessons learned from assessments on
      index. Piedmont Natural Gas                             corresponding rule for hazardous liquid               pipeline segments in HCAs be applied
      recommended the use of several                          pipelines, a mix of performance-based                 to all segments of pipeline and all
      sections to present the regulations                     and prescriptive requirements. As                     operators. Although INGAA agreed with
      because the proposed cross-references                   described in the final rule on integrity              the concept of applying lessons learned
      and formatting make the proposed rule                   management programs for hazardous                     to pipeline segments outside the scope
      difficult to read and understand.                       liquid pipelines (65 FR 73832), RSPA/                 of the proposal, it recommended
         Some commenters, including Peoples                   OPS believes that performance-based                   modifying the requirement to clarify
      Energy, suggested that we better define                 regulation will result in effective                   how data and information developed
      terms that are subjective and possibly                  integrity management programs that are                from covered segments will be applied
      vague. Some of those terms included:                    sufficiently flexible to reflect pipeline-            to non-covered segments. INGAA
      state-of-the-art, comprehensive                         specific conditions and risks. Pipeline               suggested an approach for applying this
      additional preventive measures,                         conditions vary. It is impractical to                 concept using the framework of
      expected future corrosion conditions,                   specify requirements that will address                standard ASME/ANSI B31.8S. Several
      critical stage, and additional extensive                all circumstances. In some cases, they                industry commenters agreed with
      inspection and maintenance programs.                    would impose unnecessary burdens. In                  INGAA, but numerous commenters
         Numerous other commenters,                           others, they might not achieve the                    asserted that expanding the
      including Northeast Gas Association,                    desired level of safety. Including                    requirements of the rule to entire
      Puget Sound Energy, and the Iowa                        performance-based requirements is the                 pipelines is inappropriate. NiSource
      Utilities Board, suggested rewriting the                best means to ensure that each pipeline               contended that an expansion conflicts
      rule as a separate subpart of part 192 in               develops and implements effective                     with the intent of Congress to focus
      a clearer, more simplified form.                        integrity management programs that                    resources on high risk areas. NiSource
         Response: RSPA/OPS agrees that the                   address the risks of each pipeline                    also suggested that the final rule should
      proposed rule was complicated and                       segment.                                              incorporate ASME/ANSI B31.8S as it
      often difficult to follow. There are a                                                                        relates to collection, review, and
      large number of interrelated                            2. Applicability (Coverage) of the Rule—              integration of data to update risk
      requirements. Including all of those                    § 192.901 (Formerly § 192.763(a)(b))                  assessments.
      requirements under a single section of                     The proposed integrity management                     Response: The final rule prescribes
      part 192, as was done in the proposed                   program requirements were intended to                 minimum requirements for integrity
      rule, required use of many sub-                         apply to all gas transmission pipelines.              management programs on any gas
      paragraphs and divisions. RSPA/OPS                      Other gas pipelines were not included                 transmission pipeline subject to Part
      has adopted the suggestion that the final               in the scope of the proposed rule.                    192. The requirements do not apply to
      rule be rewritten as a separate subpart                    NTSB commented that gathering                      gas gathering or distribution pipelines.
      of part 192.                                            pipelines in populated areas should be                Although some requirements are of
         The final rule has been recast as new                included. The New York State                          broad applicability, they apply mainly
      Subpart O, Pipeline Integrity                           Department of Public Service                          to segments of gas transmission
      Management, of part 192, in which we                    maintained that only those gathering                  pipelines in HCAs. RSPA/OPS agrees
      have consolidated all of the                            pipelines in HCAs and operating above                 with Cook Inlet Keeper and WUTC that
      requirements applicable to gas                          20% of SMYS should be included.                       lessons learned in developing and
      transmission pipeline integrity                            At the public meetings and advisory                applying the integrity management
      management programs. The definition                     committee meeting, participants noted                 program in HCAs should be applied to
      of HCAs, previously § 192.761, has been                 that the NPRM and pipeline safety                     other portions of the pipeline. It would
      relocated to the new subpart (with                      statute did not address plastic gas                   not be prudent to fail to address known
      changes as described below). This                       transmission pipelines. At the advisory               problems that could challenge the
      revised structure allows each of the                    committee meeting, a representative of                integrity of a pipeline simply because
      major elements of the rule to be                        APGA prepared a handout on plastic                    they did not occur in HCA pipeline
      described in a separate, numbered                       transmission pipelines. The handout                   segments. The rule requires that all
      section. The use of subparagraphs and                   included recommendations from                         operators evaluate and remediate non-

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69784           Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations

      covered segments of their pipelines that                   A government/industry Plastic Pipe                 these areas are currently defined in the
      have similar characteristics to covered                 Database Committee (PPDC) has been                    gas pipeline safety regulations. The
      sections on which corrosion is found                    formed to develop and maintain a                      definition also included ‘‘identified
      (§ 192.917(e)(5) and § 192.927(c)(3)(iii)).             voluntary plastic pipe data collection                sites’’ and a list of methods for
      The rule further requires that operators                process to support the analysis of the                identifying them. These sites included
      who qualify for the performance-based                   frequency and causes of in-service                    facilities with people who are confined,
      option have a procedure for applying                    plastic pipe material failures. The PPDC              of limited mobility or would be difficult
      lessons learned from assessment of                      monitors failure experience to                        to evacuate, and outside areas and
      covered pipe segments to pipe segments                  characterize any failure trends in older              buildings where there is evidence that at
      not covered. (§ 192.913(b)(1)(iv).)                     plastic pipe materials. Thorough                      least 20 or more people congregate on at
         The rule does not require integrity                  analysis of data on plastic pipelines                 least 50 days in any 12-month period.
      assessment, but it does require                         having similar fabrication, construction,                In the NPRM for integrity
      evaluation of risk associated with non-                 and operational characteristics will alert            management program, RSPA/OPS
      covered segments and appropriate                        operators of these pipelines to integrity             proposed to add another area to the
      actions to address those risks. Such a                  threats other than third-party damage.                definition—a circle of Threshold Radius
      requirement would divert resources                                                                            1,000 feet or larger that has a cluster of
                                                              3. High Consequence Areas—§ 192.903                   20 or more buildings intended for
      away from pipeline segments that pose                   (Formerly § 192.761)
      the most risk (i.e., those located in                                                                         human occupancy.
      HCAs) to those which pose lesser risks.                    The definition of HCAs for gas                        In their petition for reconsideration of
      ASME/ANSI B31.8S, the consensus                         transmission pipelines was set forth in               the HCA definition, the petitioners
      standard on Managing System Integrity                   a final rule on August 6, 2002. The                   argued that RSPA should clarify the
                                                              definition included Class 3 and 4                     definition, particularly with regard to
      of Gas Pipelines, provides a method by
                                                              locations, and ‘‘identified sites’’, i.e.,            ‘‘identified sites,’’ because the definition
      which operators can perform these
                                                              buildings housing people who have                     is so broad and vague as to make
                                                              limited mobility or are difficult to                  compliance impractical. Comments at
         Although it is necessary to apply                    evacuate and outside areas where there                the post-NPRM public meetings also
      lessons learned on covered segments to                  is sufficient evidence of people                      suggested that the definition needed to
      non-covered segments of pipeline, it is                 congregating. The rule listed ways for an             be clarified.
      equally appropriate that knowledge                      operator to identify these sites,                        Many commenters noted the
      gained in segments of pipeline that                     including visible marking, licensure or               complexity of the proposed expanded
      cannot affect HCAs be used in the                       registration by a Federal, State, or local            definition and asked that it be
      evaluation of covered segments. The                     agency, knowledge of public safety                    simplified. Baltimore Gas and Electric
      rule requires this as part of an operator’s             officials, or a list or map maintained by             (BG&E) asserted that the number of
      data gathering and integration activities               or available from a Federal, State, or                variables and data requirements related
      (§ 192.917(b)). The operators must, at a                local agency.                                         to the definition make it unworkable.
      minimum, evaluate the set of data                          The definition generated numerous                  BG&E explained that distribution
      specified in ASME/ANSI B31.8S.                          comments. And, as discussed elsewhere                 system operators maintain data on
         When RSPA/OPS proposed the                           in this document, industry trade                      population and buildings near their
      integrity management program                            associations filed a petition for                     pipelines, but would have difficulty
      requirements for gas transmission                       reconsideration of the definition. At the             identifying facilities with persons who
      pipelines, it had not considered plastic                public meetings following the issuance                are confined or of limited mobility and
      transmission pipelines. The statute does                of the integrity management NPRM,                     areas where people congregate. The
      not allow an exemption for such                         meeting participants commented in                     company recommended that the
      pipelines. However, based on the                        great detail about problems with the                  definition only reference verifiable
      information developed after issuance of                 definition. At the TPSSC meeting,                     criteria in determining areas to be
      the NPRM, we recognize that these                       members discussed the definition and                  covered under the integrity management
      pipelines typically operate at very low                 issues raised in the petition for                     requirements. Northeast Gas Association
      pressures and are not subject to                        reconsideration.                                      requested clarification on whether the
      corrosion. Internal inspection tools are                   Comments on the proposed definition                proposed expanded definition only
      not useful for evaluating the condition                 of HCAs for gas transmission pipelines                applied to large diameter, high pressure
      of these pipelines. Corrosion protection                addressed the complexity of the                       pipe.
      measures are not required because                       definition and difficulty in identifying                 Dominion supported the use of
      plastic does not corrode. Therefore, in                 HCAs; additional areas to be included;                current Class designations to define
      the final rule we have recognized that                  the role of public officials in ‘‘identified          HCAs because it believes smaller
      these pipelines cannot be assessed by                   sites;’’ numbers of people congregating               pipeline companies do not have access
      the methods allowed for metallic                        in outside areas and in ‘‘identified site’’           to sophisticated geographic information
      transmission pipelines. An operator of a                buildings; C–FER model; Threshold                     systems (GIS). The State of New York
      plastic transmission pipeline will have                 Radius; system considerations; and                    also supported the use of the current
      to conduct, on a continual basis, a threat              calculation of Moderate Risk Areas,                   Class designations, supplemented by the
      analysis to evaluate the threats unique                 Potential Impact Circle (PIC), Potential              use of the C–FER model to identify
      to the integrity of plastic pipe. If the                Impact Radius (PIR), and Potential                    HCAs outside of Class 3 and 4 areas.
      analysis shows that the pipeline is                     Impact Zone (PIZ). The comments on                       INGAA argued that the proposed
      susceptible to failure from a cause other               each of these topics are discussed                    addition to the HCA definition added
      than third-party damage, the operator                   below.                                                complexity and additional practices that
      must conduct a baseline assessment by                                                                         would not improve pipeline safety.
      a method demonstrated to characterize                   The Definition’s Complexity and                       INGAA proposed a bifurcated option,
      the risks, and must apply additional                    Difficulty in Identifying HCAs                        which would allow the operator some
      preventive and mitigative measures as                     The high consequence area definition                flexibility in determining its cumulative
      necessary.                                              included Class 3 and 4 areas because                  HCA sites. Under this proposal, an

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Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 240 / Monday, December 15, 2003 / Rules and Regulations                                           69785

      operator could choose from two                          information for the large-diameter, high-                Response: RSPA/OPS has not
      approaches to determine HCAs. Both                      pressure pipelines for which Potential                included these additional areas in the
      approaches would require that an                        Impact Circle(s) will exceed 660 feet.                final rule. We addressed comments such
      operator identify potential HCAs for                       RSPA/OPS expects that many,                        as this in the rulemaking on high
      certain ‘‘identified sites’’ located within             perhaps most, operators will follow the               consequences areas. Other than the
      a Potential Impact Circle. In addition to               Potential Impact Circle option for                    issues that had been raised in the
      the ‘‘identified sites,’’ the operator                  defining HCAs. Under this approach, an                petition for reconsideration, and the
      would either identify the remaining                     operator would calculate the heat                     areas in the NPRM for integrity
      HCAs by selecting all Class 3 and 4                     affected zones along its pipeline that                management program requirements we
      areas or by determining all Potential                   would result from a pipeline rupture.                 proposed to add, or requested comment,
      Impact Circles containing 20 or more                    An operator would determine the radius                we did not open the final definition up
      buildings intended for human                            of the Potential Impact Circle for the                for changes. When we issued the final
      occupancy. Potential Impact Circles                     pipeline, identify segments of pipeline               rule defining these areas, we agreed that
      would be based on the C–FER model.                      within a Potential Impact Radius of                   impacts to critical infrastructure could
      When the size of the pipeline requires                  ‘‘identified sites,’’ and identify segments           have detrimental impact but that such
      that the radius is greater than 660 feet,               of pipeline having 20 or more                         impacts would not likely include death
      INGAA’s proposal would allow                            residences within a Potential Impact                  or serious injury. A major purpose of the
      prorating the number of buildings in the                Circle. Such segments would be HCAs,                  integrity management rule is to focus
      circle based on an increased circle size.               and the length of pipeline included in                the highest level of operator attention on
      INGAA’s proposed proration scheme                       the HCA would be the pipe within the                  those portions of its pipeline that can
      would allow operators additional time                   HCA plus the length of pipe extending                 have the most severe safety
      to collect the expanded population                      one Potential Impact Radius in both                   consequences, i.e., can cause death and
      data—until as late as 2007.                             directions beyond the HCA.                            injury.
         AGA supported this approach because                     For transmission pipelines operating                  However, to protect vital
      it is simpler, allows operators to use                  at low pressures, like much of the                    infrastructure, the rule provides for
      existing data from house count surveys,                 pipeline operated by distribution                     applying lessons learned through
      and provides safety benefits to                         companies, the radius of the Potential                integrity management to areas outside
      unsheltered areas. At least 30 other                    Impact Circle calculated with the C–FER               HCAs. The ASME/ANSI B31.8S process
      commenters endorsed this alternative                    model will be small. For example, the                 provides that operators use their risk
      approach.                                               radius for a 6-inch diameter pipeline                 assessments to guide them in applying
         Response: RSPA/OPS has adopted a                     operating at 150 psi would be 50 feet.                these lessons. Proper risk assessments
      bifurcated definition, as suggested by                  It is unlikely that 20 buildings intended             will identify portions of pipeline that
      INGAA. It gives an operator two options                 for human occupancy could be found in                 have a higher likelihood of failure.
      to define HCAs. In both options                         circles of such small radius. It is also                 Similarly, as we explained when we
      ‘‘identified sites’’ are treated the same.              less likely that ‘‘identified sites’’ will be         finalized the definition of HCAs (67 FR
      However, an operator will now be                        found within the circles as the radius                50824), we did not include
      allowed to identify the HCAs associated                 decreases. As a result, using the                     environmentally sensitive areas in the
      with high population density either by                  Potential Impact Circle option will tend              definition. The impact of gas pipeline
      including all Class 3 and 4 areas or by                 to exclude much low-pressure pipeline                 accidents on such areas is expected to
      counting the residences within a                        from the assessment requirements of                   be significantly less than a similar
      potential impact circle to determine                    this rule. Because accidents along these              accident involving a hazardous liquid
      whether the threshold number is                         pipelines in developed areas can affect               pipeline because of the different nature
      present. Changes made to the                            people and property, the rule requires                of gas and hazardous liquids.
      ‘‘identified sites’’ definition are                     an operator of a low-stress pipeline in
      described further below. We agree that                  these developed area to take additional               Public Officials and Identified Sites
      this approach is less complex, allows                   preventive and mitigative actions.                      For the ‘‘identified sites’’ component
      flexibility to operators (particularly                                                                        of the high consequence area definition,
                                                              Additional Areas
      local distribution companies who may                                                                          the definition listed various means by
      wish to designate all Class 3 and 4                        Several commenters suggested adding                which an operator could identify these
      areas), and better focuses on areas where               other sites as HCAs. The Florida State                areas. The list included a site being
      people could be most affected by                        Clearinghouse, the Washington City and                visibly marked, being licensed or
      pipeline ruptures, fires, and explosions.               County Safety Consortium, and the New                 registered by a Federal, State, or local
         RSPA/OPS has decided to allow                        York State Department of Public Service               agency, being known to public safety
      operators to prorate the number of                      all asserted that certain critical                    officials or being on a list or map
      buildings in Potential Impact Circles                   infrastructure facilities be included as              maintained by or available from a
      larger than 660 feet in radius for a                    HCAs. These included, but were not                    Federal, State, or local agency. In the
      period of three years. We believe that                  limited to, interstate interchanges,                  preamble to the NPRM, RSPA/OPS
      the recommended five-year period for                    bridges, tunnels, certain railway                     invited comment on whether we should
      proration is too long, but acknowledge                  facilities, electric transmission                     use the term public safety officials and/
      that collecting all of the additional data              substations, drinking water plants, and               or emergency response officials instead
      in one year would be an unreasonable                    sewer facilities. They asserted that                  of public officials (68 FR 4278, 4295).
      resource burden. Operators now have                     impacts to these types of facilities could              In the petition for reconsideration of
      data on the number of buildings located                 detrimentally impact a wide range of                  the high consequence area definition,
      within 660 feet from their pipelines                    people. The Washington City and                       petitioners objected to relying on public
      because they have needed this                           County Safety Consortium further                      safety officials for identifying these sites
      information for identifying Class                       contended that environmentally                        because these officials might not be able
      Location areas pursuant to § 192.5. The                 sensitive areas, particularly those                   to convey accurate information.
      three-year period is adequate for                       critical to endangered species, should be               PECO, PG&E, and Peoples Energy all
      operators to gather additional                          included as well.                                     concurred that the phrase ‘‘public safety

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