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PHMSA clarifies abandoned pipeline regulatory requirements

Published by
World Pipelines,

The US Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advisory bulletin to clarify the regulatory requirements for classifying pipelines based on their operational status. The bulletin outlines the procedures for changing the status of a pipeline facility from ‘active’ to ‘abandoned’ for owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities and federal and state pipeline safety personnel.

In 2014, a pipeline failure that allowed 1200 gal. of crude oil to seep into a residential neighborhood near Los Angeles raised concerns about the need to remind pipeline operators about the proper way to purge and clean inactive pipelines. This action makes it clear that federal regulations consider pipelines to be either active and fully subject to all parts of the safety regulations or abandoned.

PHMSA is working to implement the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, which was enacted in June. Today's notice fulfills a requirement from Section 23 of the PIPES Act that mandates DOT issue an advisory bulletin to the pipeline industry regarding procedures to change the status of a pipeline facility from active to abandoned.

Adapted from press release by Anna Nicklin

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