The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced it is taking steps to implement new measures to strengthen its safety oversight of CO2 pipelines around the country and protect communities from dangerous pipeline failures. The new measures, as well as an enforcement action taken on 26 May are a result of PHMSA’s investigation into a CO2 pipeline failure in Satartia, Mississippi in 2020 that resulted in local evacuations and caused almost 50 people to seek medical attention.
To strengthen CO2 pipeline safety, PHMSA is undertaking the following:
- Initiating a new rulemaking to update standards for CO2 pipelines, including requirements related to emergency preparedness, and response.
- Issuing a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty, and Proposed Compliance Order (NOPV) to Denbury Gulf Coast Pipeline, LLC for multiple probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations (PSRs). The proposed civil penalties amount to US$3 866 734.
- Completing a failure investigation report for the 2020 pipeline failure in Satartia, Mississippi.
- Issuing an updated nationwide advisory bulletin to all pipeline operators underscoring the need to plan for and mitigate risks related to land-movements and geohazards that pose risks to pipeline integrity like the 2020 incident in Satartia, Mississippi.
- Conducting research solicitations to strengthen pipeline safety of CO2 pipelines.
“I recently visited with the first responders in Satartia to hear first-hand of the pipeline failure so that we can improve safety and environmental protections for CO2 pipelines and work to protect communities from experiences like this,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator, Tristan Brown. “The safety of the American people is paramount and we’re taking action to strengthen CO2 pipeline safety standards to better protect communities, our first responders, and our environment.”
PHMSA’s investigation identified a number of probable violations in connection with the 2020 accident, including the following alleged failures:
- The lack of timely notification to the National Response Centre to ensure the nearby communities were informed of the threat.
- The absence of written procedures for conducting normal operations, as well as those that would allow the operator to appropriately respond to emergencies, such as guidelines for communicating with emergency responders.
- A failure to conduct routine inspections of its rights-of-way, which would have fostered a better understanding of the environmental conditions surrounding its facilities that could pose a threat to the safe operation of the pipeline.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/regulations-and-standards/27052022/phmsa-announces-new-safety-measures/