Pipeline Safety: Public Meetings on Operator Qualifications, 62162-62163 [05-21499]

Download as PDF 62162 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 208 / Friday, October 28, 2005 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary Notice of Applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity and Foreign Air Carrier Permits Filed Under Subpart B (Formerly Subpart Q) During the Week Ending October 7, 2005 The following Applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity and Foreign Air Carrier Permits were filed under Subpart B (formerly Subpart Q) of the Department of Transportation’s Procedural Regulations (See 14 CFR 301.201 et. seq.). The due date for Answers, Conforming Applications, or Motions to Modify Scope are set forth below for each application. Following the Answer period DOT may process the application by expedited procedures. Such procedures may consist of the adoption of a show-cause order, a tentative order, or in appropriate cases a final order without further proceedings. Docket Number: OST–2000–8445. Date Filed: October 4, 2005. Due Date for Answers, Conforming Applications, or Motion to Modify Scope: October 25, 2005. Description: Application Polar Air Cargo, Inc., requesting renewal of its experimental certificate of public convenience and necessity for Route 626, authorizing it to provide scheduled foreign air transportation of property and mail between the coterminal points Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA; the intermediate points Curacao, Netherlands Antilles; Santiago, Chile, Barranquilla, Colombia; and Panama City, Panama; and the coterminal points Manaus, Rio je Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, Federal Register Liaison. [FR Doc. 05–21536 Filed 10–27–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–62–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. RSPA–04–19857] Pipeline Safety: Public Meetings on Operator Qualifications Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:15 Oct 27, 2005 Jkt 208001 SUMMARY: This notice announces a public meeting on operator qualification programs. PHMSA is preparing a Report to Congress on the status and results of programs to ensure the qualifications of individuals performing safety tasks on pipelines. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has almost completed developing a consensus standard qualifying individuals performing safety tasks on pipelines. The meeting provides an opportunity to discuss progress on operator qualification programs to help PHMSA prepare the Report to Congress and the potential the ASME standard offers for strengthening operator qualification programs. DATES: The meeting will take place on December 15, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, 480 L’Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20024. The phone number for reservations at the hotel is 202–484–1000. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For more information about the subject matter of this meeting contact Barbara Betsock at (202) 366–4361 or Barbara.Betsock@dot.gov. For information about the logistics of this meeting contact: William Fuentevilla at (202) 366–6199, William.Fuentevilla@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Meeting Details PHMSA will post any additional information or changes on its Web page (https://ops.dot.gov) 15 days prior to the meeting date. Members of the public may attend the meetings and may make short statements on the topics under discussion. Anyone wishing to make an oral statement should notify Mr. Fuentevilla, before November 21, of the topic and the time needed for the presentation. The presiding officer at each meeting may deny any request to present an oral statement and may limit the time of any presentation. You may file written comments by mail or deliver them to the Dockets Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL–401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. The Dockets Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You also may file written comments to the docket electronically by logging onto the following Internet Web address: https://dms.dot.gov. Click on ‘‘Help & Information’’ for instructions on how to file a document electronically. All PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 written comments should reference docket number RSPA–04–19857. Anyone who would like confirmation of mailed comments must include a selfaddressed stamped postcard. Privacy Act Statement Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received for any of our dockets. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you may visit https:// dms.dot.gov. Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special support at the meeting, please contact William Fuentevilla at (202) 366–6199 by November 21, 2005. Background Pipeline safety regulations issued in 1999 require operators to have programs to ensure the qualifications of individuals performing safety tasks on pipelines. The regulations address operation and maintenance tasks and the ability of individuals to react to abnormal operating conditions to protect life and property. The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 amended the pipeline safety law by adding section 49 U.S.C 60131. Section 60131 provides standards and criteria for operator qualification programs, directs PHMSA to ensure their inclusion in programs, and directs PHMSA to report to Congress on the status and results of operator qualification programs. In a final rule published in the Federal Register on March 3, 2005, PHMSA changed the operator qualification regulations to conform to section 60131. Among the changes was the required inclusion of training ‘‘as appropriate.’’ (70 FR 10332.) Because of the differences between the performance-based operator qualification regulations and the standards and criteria in section 60131, PHMSA developed protocols and ‘‘Frequently Asked Questions.’’ PHMSA and State inspectors use these when auditing operator qualification programs to find out the extent of compliance with the regulations. PHMSA and State inspectors are completing their first audits and collecting information on those audits for the Report to Congress. The report on the status and results of the operator qualification programs is due December 17, 2006. PHMSA discussed a proposed outline for this report and the early information about E:\FR\FM\28OCN1.SGM 28OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 208 / Friday, October 28, 2005 / Notices the audits at a meeting on operator qualifications on December 17, 2004. You can read the transcript of that meeting in the docket, RSPA–04–19857, at https://dms.dot.gov/. While PHMSA continues to gather data on compliance audits for the report, we believe that we should also include in the report information about safety improvements that go beyond the regulations. The pipeline industry and PHMSA recognized soon after the protocols were developed that a national consensus standard could provide greater certainty that operator qualification programs are high quality. A public meeting in Houston in 2003 produced a list of 13 areas in which there were perceived gaps between operator qualification programs that conform to the regulations and ‘‘ideal’’ programs. The pipeline industry approached ASME International about developing a consensus standard. The result was the B31Q Project Team on Qualification of Pipeline Operators with members drawn from both the regulated pipeline community and the regulators. The ASME committee voted to approve the consensus standard developed and to present it for a 60-day public comment period. PHMSA believes the considerable work done to qualify pipeline personnel has resulted in improved safety by producing a workforce better able to perform safety tasks on pipelines. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:15 Oct 27, 2005 Jkt 208001 PHMSA believes that much of the work has exceeded the requirements of the current regulations. PHMSA also believes the B31Q consensus standard offers an opportunity to further strengthen operator qualification programs. The two purposes of this public meeting are to gather information about improvements in operator qualification programs for the Report to Congress and to identify how we can best use B31Q to strengthen the programs. Preliminary Agenda The agenda includes discussion of the following issues: • Why do we have more confidence today in the qualifications of pipeline personnel? • What are the primary contributions made during the past four years in improving safety through better qualification programs for pipeline personnel? To what extent have these exceeded regulatory compliance? • What is the best way to use the B31Q standard to improve programs? • Are there any elements of the B31Q standard that PHMSA should incorporate into the regulations? If so, which ones would be the best to incorporate? • Are there any aspects of operator qualification that require greater flexibility to avoid cost impacts with minimal safety benefit? PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62163 • Can operators develop performance metrics that could assure equivalent safety through a more flexible performance-based approach? • How do we continue to improve operator qualification programs without the uncertainty of continual change? • Are protocols and ‘‘Frequently Asked Questions’’ the best way to provide necessary prescription, clarity, and consistency to performance regulations? • When is training appropriate? • How does an operator provide enough objectivity in evaluating an employee’s knowledge and skills? • Should the regulations go beyond operation and maintenance and include additional tasks that affect the safety and integrity of the pipeline as covered tasks? • How do we best foster the portability of qualifications? • Should emergencies such as Katrina trigger exceptions? • Would mechanisms for operators to share success stories about operator qualification benefit overall safety? Issued in Washington, DC on October 24, 2005. Stacey L. Gerard, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. [FR Doc. 05–21499 Filed 10–27–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P E:\FR\FM\28OCN1.SGM 28OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 208 (Friday, October 28, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62162-62163]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-21499]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. RSPA-04-19857]


Pipeline Safety: Public Meetings on Operator Qualifications

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces a public meeting on operator 
qualification programs. PHMSA is preparing a Report to Congress on the 
status and results of programs to ensure the qualifications of 
individuals performing safety tasks on pipelines. The American Society 
of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has almost completed developing a 
consensus standard qualifying individuals performing safety tasks on 
pipelines. The meeting provides an opportunity to discuss progress on 
operator qualification programs to help PHMSA prepare the Report to 
Congress and the potential the ASME standard offers for strengthening 
operator qualification programs.

DATES: The meeting will take place on December 15, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. 
to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in 
Washington, DC, 480 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20024. The 
phone number for reservations at the hotel is 202-484-1000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For more information about the subject 
matter of this meeting contact Barbara Betsock at (202) 366-4361 or 
Barbara.Betsock@dot.gov. For information about the logistics of this 
meeting contact: William Fuentevilla at (202) 366-6199, 
William.Fuentevilla@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Meeting Details

    PHMSA will post any additional information or changes on its Web 
page (https://ops.dot.gov) 15 days prior to the meeting date.
    Members of the public may attend the meetings and may make short 
statements on the topics under discussion. Anyone wishing to make an 
oral statement should notify Mr. Fuentevilla, before November 21, of 
the topic and the time needed for the presentation. The presiding 
officer at each meeting may deny any request to present an oral 
statement and may limit the time of any presentation.
    You may file written comments by mail or deliver them to the 
Dockets Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL-401, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. The Dockets Facility is 
open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. You also may file written comments to the docket 
electronically by logging onto the following Internet Web address: 
https://dms.dot.gov. Click on ``Help & Information'' for instructions on 
how to file a document electronically. All written comments should 
reference docket number RSPA-04-19857. Anyone who would like 
confirmation of mailed comments must include a self-addressed stamped 
postcard.

Privacy Act Statement

    Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received for 
any of our dockets. You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement 
in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 
70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit https://dms.dot.gov.

Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with 
disabilities, or to request special support at the meeting, please 
contact William Fuentevilla at (202) 366-6199 by November 21, 2005.

Background

    Pipeline safety regulations issued in 1999 require operators to 
have programs to ensure the qualifications of individuals performing 
safety tasks on pipelines. The regulations address operation and 
maintenance tasks and the ability of individuals to react to abnormal 
operating conditions to protect life and property. The Pipeline Safety 
Improvement Act of 2002 amended the pipeline safety law by adding 
section 49 U.S.C 60131. Section 60131 provides standards and criteria 
for operator qualification programs, directs PHMSA to ensure their 
inclusion in programs, and directs PHMSA to report to Congress on the 
status and results of operator qualification programs. In a final rule 
published in the Federal Register on March 3, 2005, PHMSA changed the 
operator qualification regulations to conform to section 60131. Among 
the changes was the required inclusion of training ``as appropriate.'' 
(70 FR 10332.)
    Because of the differences between the performance-based operator 
qualification regulations and the standards and criteria in section 
60131, PHMSA developed protocols and ``Frequently Asked Questions.'' 
PHMSA and State inspectors use these when auditing operator 
qualification programs to find out the extent of compliance with the 
regulations. PHMSA and State inspectors are completing their first 
audits and collecting information on those audits for the Report to 
Congress.
    The report on the status and results of the operator qualification 
programs is due December 17, 2006. PHMSA discussed a proposed outline 
for this report and the early information about

[[Page 62163]]

the audits at a meeting on operator qualifications on December 17, 
2004. You can read the transcript of that meeting in the docket, RSPA-
04-19857, at https://dms.dot.gov/. While PHMSA continues to gather data 
on compliance audits for the report, we believe that we should also 
include in the report information about safety improvements that go 
beyond the regulations.
    The pipeline industry and PHMSA recognized soon after the protocols 
were developed that a national consensus standard could provide greater 
certainty that operator qualification programs are high quality. A 
public meeting in Houston in 2003 produced a list of 13 areas in which 
there were perceived gaps between operator qualification programs that 
conform to the regulations and ``ideal'' programs. The pipeline 
industry approached ASME International about developing a consensus 
standard. The result was the B31Q Project Team on Qualification of 
Pipeline Operators with members drawn from both the regulated pipeline 
community and the regulators. The ASME committee voted to approve the 
consensus standard developed and to present it for a 60-day public 
comment period.
    PHMSA believes the considerable work done to qualify pipeline 
personnel has resulted in improved safety by producing a workforce 
better able to perform safety tasks on pipelines. PHMSA believes that 
much of the work has exceeded the requirements of the current 
regulations. PHMSA also believes the B31Q consensus standard offers an 
opportunity to further strengthen operator qualification programs. The 
two purposes of this public meeting are to gather information about 
improvements in operator qualification programs for the Report to 
Congress and to identify how we can best use B31Q to strengthen the 
programs.

Preliminary Agenda

    The agenda includes discussion of the following issues:
     Why do we have more confidence today in the qualifications 
of pipeline personnel?
     What are the primary contributions made during the past 
four years in improving safety through better qualification programs 
for pipeline personnel? To what extent have these exceeded regulatory 
compliance?
     What is the best way to use the B31Q standard to improve 
programs?
     Are there any elements of the B31Q standard that PHMSA 
should incorporate into the regulations? If so, which ones would be the 
best to incorporate?
     Are there any aspects of operator qualification that 
require greater flexibility to avoid cost impacts with minimal safety 
benefit?
     Can operators develop performance metrics that could 
assure equivalent safety through a more flexible performance-based 
approach?
     How do we continue to improve operator qualification 
programs without the uncertainty of continual change?
     Are protocols and ``Frequently Asked Questions'' the best 
way to provide necessary prescription, clarity, and consistency to 
performance regulations?
     When is training appropriate?
     How does an operator provide enough objectivity in 
evaluating an employee's knowledge and skills?
     Should the regulations go beyond operation and maintenance 
and include additional tasks that affect the safety and integrity of 
the pipeline as covered tasks?
     How do we best foster the portability of qualifications?
     Should emergencies such as Katrina trigger exceptions?
     Would mechanisms for operators to share success stories 
about operator qualification benefit overall safety?

    Issued in Washington, DC on October 24, 2005.
Stacey L. Gerard,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 05-21499 Filed 10-27-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P