Pipeline Safety: Verification of Records, 26822-26824 [2012-10866]

Download as PDF 26822 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 88 / Monday, May 7, 2012 / Notices criteria given in § 388.4 of MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR part 388. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 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). By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: April 26, 2012. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–10864 Filed 5–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. MARAD–2012–0056] Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel LONGWOOD BATEAU; Invitation for Public Comments Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: As authorized by 46 U.S.C. 12121, the Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is authorized to grant waivers of the U.S.-build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. A request for such a waiver has been received by MARAD. The vessel, and a brief description of the proposed service, is listed below. DATES: Submit comments on or before June 6, 2012. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to docket number MARAD–2012–0056. Written comments may be submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. You may also send comments electronically via the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov. All comments will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An electronic version of this document and all documents sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:11 May 04, 2012 Jkt 226001 entered into this docket is available on the World Wide Web at https:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joann Spittle, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W21–203, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202– 366–5979, Email Joann.Spittle@dot.gov. As described by the applicant the intended service of the vessel LONGWOOD BATEAU is: INTENDED COMMERCIAL USE OF VESSEL: ‘‘Day outings, harbor cruises and sightseeing cruises for no more than six passengers with one licensed captain on a seasonal basis.’’ GEOGRAPHIC REGION: ‘‘Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.’’ The complete application is given in DOT docket MARAD–2012–0056 at https://www.regulations.gov. Interested parties may comment on the effect this action may have on U.S. vessel builders or businesses in the U.S. that use U.S.flag vessels. If MARAD determines, in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 12121 and MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 388, that the issuance of the waiver will have an unduly adverse effect on a U.S.vessel builder or a business that uses U.S.-flag vessels in that business, a waiver will not be granted. Comments should refer to the docket number of this notice and the vessel name in order for MARAD to properly consider the comments. Comments should also state the commenter’s interest in the waiver application, and address the waiver criteria given in § 388.4 of MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 388. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 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). By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: April 26, 2012. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–10867 Filed 5–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2012–0068] Pipeline Safety: Verification of Records Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin. AGENCY: PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to verify their records relating to operating specifications for maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) required by 49 CFR 192.517 and maximum operating pressure (MOP) required by 49 CFR 195.310. This Advisory Bulletin informs gas operators of anticipated changes in annual reporting requirements to document the confirmation of MAOP, how they will be required to report total mileage and mileage with adequate records, when they must report, and what PHMSA considers an adequate record. In addition, this Advisory Bulletin informs hazardous liquid operators of adequate records for the confirmation of MOP. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Gale by phone at 202–366–0434 or by email at john.gale@dot.gov. Information about PHMSA may be found at https:// phmsa.dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background On January 10, 2011, PHMSA issued Advisory Bulletin 11–01. This Advisory Bulletin reminded operators that if they are relying on the review of design, construction, inspection, testing and other related data to establish MAOP and MOP, they must ensure that the records used are reliable, traceable, verifiable, and complete. If such a document and records search, review, and verification cannot be satisfactorily completed, the operator cannot rely on this method for calculating MAOP or MOP and must instead rely on another method as allowed in 49 CFR 192.619 or 49 CFR 195.406. Section 192.619 currently contains four methods for establishing MAOP: (1) The design pressure of the weakest element in the segment; (2) pressure testing; (3) the highest actual operating pressure in the five years prior to the segment becoming subject to regulation under Part 192; and (4) the maximum safe pressure considering the history of the segment, particularly known corrosion and the actual operating E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 88 / Monday, May 7, 2012 / Notices pressure. The third method, often referred to as the ‘‘grandfather clause,’’ allows pipelines that had safely operated prior to the pipeline safety MAOP regulations to continue to operate under similar conditions without retroactively applying recordkeeping requirements or requiring pressure tests. Many of the pipelines being newly subjected to safety regulation in the 1970’s were relatively new and had demonstrated a safe operating history. PHMSA is now considering whether these pipelines should be pressure tested to verify continued safe MAOP. In its August 20, 2011, accident investigation report on the September 9, 2010, Pacific Gas and Electric Company natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and fire, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that PHMSA should: sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Amend Title 49 CFR 192.619 to delete the grandfather clause and require that all gas transmission pipelines constructed before 1970 be subjected to a hydrostatic pressure test that incorporates a spike test. (P–11–14) PHMSA will be addressing this recommendation in a future rulemaking. On January 3, 2012, President Obama signed the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (Act), which requires PHMSA to direct each owner or operator of a gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities to provide verification that their records accurately reflect MAOP of their pipelines within Class 3 and Class 4 locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in High Consequence Areas (HCAs). Beginning in 2013, PHMSA intends to require operators to submit data regarding verification of records in these class locations via the Gas Transmission and Gathering Systems Annual Report. Operators of both gas and hazardous liquid pipelines should review their records to determine whether they are adequate to support operating parameters and conditions on their pipeline systems or if additional action is needed to confirm those parameters and assure safety. The Research and Special Programs Administration and the Materials Transportation Bureau, PHMSA’s predecessor agencies, recognized the importance of verifying MAOP. Prior to 1996, there was a regulatory requirement titled: ‘‘Initial Determination of Class Location and Confirmation or Establishment of Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure’’ at 49 CFR 192.607. This regulation required operators to confirm the MAOP on their systems relative to class locations no later than January 1, VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:11 May 04, 2012 Jkt 226001 1973. The regulatory requirement was removed in 1996 because the compliance dates had long since passed. PHMSA believes documentation that was used to confirm MAOP in compliance with this requirement may be useful in the current verification effort. Advisory Bulletin (ADB–2012–06) To: Owners and Operators of Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems. Subject: Verification of Records Establishing MAOP and MOP. Advisory: As directed in the Act, PHMSA will require each owner or operator of a gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities to verify that their records confirm MAOP of their pipelines within Class 3 and Class 4 locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in HCAs. PHMSA intends to require gas pipeline operators to submit data regarding mileage of pipelines with verifiable records and mileage of pipelines without records in the annual reporting cycle for 2013. On April 13, 2012, (77 FR 22387) PHMSA published a Federal Register Notice titled: ‘‘Information Collection Activities, Revision to Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Annual Report, Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Incident Report, and Hazardous Liquid Pipelines Systems Accident Report.’’ PHMSA plans to use information from the 2013 Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Annual Report to develop potential rulemaking for cases in which the records of the owner or operator are insufficient to confirm the established MAOP of a pipeline segment within Class 3 and Class 4 locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in HCAs. Owners and operators should consider the guidance in this advisory for all pipeline segments and take action as appropriate to assure that all MAOP and MOP are supported by records that are traceable, verifiable and complete. Information needed to support establishment of MAOP and MOP is identified in § 192.619, § 192.620 and § 195.406. An owner or operator of a pipeline must meet the recordkeeping requirements of Part 192 and Part 195 in support of MAOP and MOP determination. Traceable records are those which can be clearly linked to original information about a pipeline segment or facility. Traceable records might include pipe mill records, purchase requisition, or asbuilt documentation indicating minimum pipe yield strength, seam type, wall thickness and diameter. Careful attention should be given to PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26823 records transcribed from original documents as they may contain errors. Information from a transcribed document, in many cases, should be verified with complementary or supporting documents. Verifiable records are those in which information is confirmed by other complementary, but separate, documentation. Verifiable records might include contract specifications for a pressure test of a line segment complemented by pressure charts or field logs. Another example might include a purchase order to a pipe mill with pipe specifications verified by a metallurgical test of a coupon pulled from the same pipe segment. In general, the only acceptable use of an affidavit would be as a complementary document, prepared and signed at the time of the test or inspection by an individual who would have reason to be familiar with the test or inspection. Complete records are those in which the record is finalized as evidenced by a signature, date or other appropriate marking. For example, a complete pressure testing record should identify a specific segment of pipe, who conducted the test, the duration of the test, the test medium, temperatures, accurate pressure readings, and elevation information as applicable. An incomplete record might reflect that the pressure test was initiated, failed and restarted without conclusive indication of a successful test. A record that cannot be specifically linked to an individual pipe segment is not a complete record for that segment. Incomplete or partial records are not an adequate basis for establishing MAOP or MOP. If records are unknown or unknowable, a more conservative approach is indicated. PHMSA is aware that other types of records may be acceptable and that certain state programs may have additional requirements. Operators should ensure all records establish confidence in the validity of the records. If a document and records search, review, and verification cannot be satisfactorily completed to meet the need for traceable, verifiable, and complete records, the operator may need to conduct other activities such as in-situ examination, measuring yield and tensile strength, pressure testing, and nondestructive testing or otherwise verify the characteristics of the pipeline to support a MAOP or MOP determination. PHMSA is supportive of the use of alternative technologies to verify pipe characteristics. Owners and operators seeking to use alternative or nontraditional technologies in the determination of MAOP or MOP, or to E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1 26824 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 88 / Monday, May 7, 2012 / Notices meet other regulatory requirements, should first discuss the proposed approach with the appropriate state or Federal regulatory agencies to determine its acceptability under regulatory requirements. PHMSA will issue more direction regarding how operators will be required to bring into compliance gas and hazardous liquid pipelines without verifiable records for the entire mileage of the pipeline. Further details will also be provided on the manner in which PHMSA intends to require operators to reestablish MAOP as discussed in Section 23(a) of the Act. Finally, PHMSA notes that on September 26, 2011, NTSB issued Recommendation P–11–14: Eliminating Grandfather Clause. Section 192.619(a)(3) allows gas transmission operators to establish MAOP of pipe installed before July 1, 1970, by use of records noting the highest actual operating pressure to which the segment was subjected during the five years preceding July 1, 1970. NTSB Recommendation P–11–14 requests that PHMSA delete § 192.619(a)(3), also known as the ‘‘grandfather clause,’’ and require gas transmission pipeline operators to reestablish MAOP using hydrostatic pressure testing. PHMSA reminds operators that this recommendation will be acted upon following the collection of data, including information from the 2013 Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Annual Report, which will allow PHMSA to determine the impact of the requested change on the public and industry in conformance with our statutory obligations. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2012. Alan K. Mayberry, Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations. [FR Doc. 2012–10866 Filed 5–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Research & Innovative Technology Administration sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [Docket ID Number RITA 2008–0002] Agency Information Collection; Activity Under OMB Review; Reporting Required for International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Research & Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), DOT. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:11 May 04, 2012 Jkt 226001 In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for extension of currently approved collections. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on February 29, 2012 (77 FR 12364). No comments were received. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by June 6, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gorham, Office of Airline Information, RTS–42, Room E34, RITA, BTS, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001, Telephone Number (202) 366–4406, Fax Number (202) 366– 3383 or Email jeff.gorham@dot.gov. Comments: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725–17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention: RITA/BTS Desk Officer. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Approval No.: 2138–0039. Title: Reporting Required for International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Form No.: BTS Form EF. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Large certificated air carriers. Number of Respondents: 40. Number of Responses: 40. Total Annual Burden: 26 hours. Needs and Uses: As a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Treaty), the United States is obligated to provide ICAO with financial and statistical data on operations of U.S. air carriers. Over 99% of the data filed with ICAO is extracted from the air carriers’ Form 41 submissions to BTS. BTS Form EF is the means by which BTS supplies the remaining 1% of the air carrier data to ICAO. The Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (44 U.S.C. 3501), requires a statistical agency to clearly identify information it collects for non-statistical purposes. BTS hereby notifies the respondents and the public that BTS uses the information it collects under this OMB approval for non-statistical purposes including, but not limited to, publication of both Respondent’s identity and its data, submission of the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information to agencies outside BTS for review, analysis and possible use in regulatory and other administrative matters. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department concerning consumer protection. Comments should address whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Issued in Washington, DC on May 1, 2012. Pat Hu, Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Research and Innovative Technology Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–10909 Filed 5–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–HY–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Research & Innovative Technology Administration [Docket ID Number RITA 2008–0002] Agency Information Collection; Activity Under OMB Review; Submission of Audit Reports—Part 248 Research & Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), DOT. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for extension of currently approved collections. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on February 29, 2012 (77 FR 12365). No comments were received. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by June 6, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gorham, Office of Airline Information, RTS–42, Room E34, RITA, BTS, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 88 (Monday, May 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26822-26824]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10866]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0068]


Pipeline Safety: Verification of Records

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of 
gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to verify their records 
relating to operating specifications for maximum allowable operating 
pressure (MAOP) required by 49 CFR 192.517 and maximum operating 
pressure (MOP) required by 49 CFR 195.310. This Advisory Bulletin 
informs gas operators of anticipated changes in annual reporting 
requirements to document the confirmation of MAOP, how they will be 
required to report total mileage and mileage with adequate records, 
when they must report, and what PHMSA considers an adequate record. In 
addition, this Advisory Bulletin informs hazardous liquid operators of 
adequate records for the confirmation of MOP.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Gale by phone at 202-366-0434 or 
by email at john.gale@dot.gov. Information about PHMSA may be found at 
https://phmsa.dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On January 10, 2011, PHMSA issued Advisory Bulletin 11-01. This 
Advisory Bulletin reminded operators that if they are relying on the 
review of design, construction, inspection, testing and other related 
data to establish MAOP and MOP, they must ensure that the records used 
are reliable, traceable, verifiable, and complete. If such a document 
and records search, review, and verification cannot be satisfactorily 
completed, the operator cannot rely on this method for calculating MAOP 
or MOP and must instead rely on another method as allowed in 49 CFR 
192.619 or 49 CFR 195.406.
    Section 192.619 currently contains four methods for establishing 
MAOP: (1) The design pressure of the weakest element in the segment; 
(2) pressure testing; (3) the highest actual operating pressure in the 
five years prior to the segment becoming subject to regulation under 
Part 192; and (4) the maximum safe pressure considering the history of 
the segment, particularly known corrosion and the actual operating

[[Page 26823]]

pressure. The third method, often referred to as the ``grandfather 
clause,'' allows pipelines that had safely operated prior to the 
pipeline safety MAOP regulations to continue to operate under similar 
conditions without retroactively applying recordkeeping requirements or 
requiring pressure tests.
    Many of the pipelines being newly subjected to safety regulation in 
the 1970's were relatively new and had demonstrated a safe operating 
history. PHMSA is now considering whether these pipelines should be 
pressure tested to verify continued safe MAOP. In its August 20, 2011, 
accident investigation report on the September 9, 2010, Pacific Gas and 
Electric Company natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and fire, 
the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that PHMSA 
should:

    Amend Title 49 CFR 192.619 to delete the grandfather clause and 
require that all gas transmission pipelines constructed before 1970 
be subjected to a hydrostatic pressure test that incorporates a 
spike test. (P-11-14)

    PHMSA will be addressing this recommendation in a future 
rulemaking.
    On January 3, 2012, President Obama signed the Pipeline Safety, 
Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (Act), which 
requires PHMSA to direct each owner or operator of a gas transmission 
pipeline and associated facilities to provide verification that their 
records accurately reflect MAOP of their pipelines within Class 3 and 
Class 4 locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in High 
Consequence Areas (HCAs). Beginning in 2013, PHMSA intends to require 
operators to submit data regarding verification of records in these 
class locations via the Gas Transmission and Gathering Systems Annual 
Report.
    Operators of both gas and hazardous liquid pipelines should review 
their records to determine whether they are adequate to support 
operating parameters and conditions on their pipeline systems or if 
additional action is needed to confirm those parameters and assure 
safety. The Research and Special Programs Administration and the 
Materials Transportation Bureau, PHMSA's predecessor agencies, 
recognized the importance of verifying MAOP. Prior to 1996, there was a 
regulatory requirement titled: ``Initial Determination of Class 
Location and Confirmation or Establishment of Maximum Allowable 
Operating Pressure'' at 49 CFR 192.607. This regulation required 
operators to confirm the MAOP on their systems relative to class 
locations no later than January 1, 1973. The regulatory requirement was 
removed in 1996 because the compliance dates had long since passed. 
PHMSA believes documentation that was used to confirm MAOP in 
compliance with this requirement may be useful in the current 
verification effort.

Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2012-06)

    To: Owners and Operators of Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline 
Systems.
    Subject: Verification of Records Establishing MAOP and MOP.
    Advisory: As directed in the Act, PHMSA will require each owner or 
operator of a gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities to 
verify that their records confirm MAOP of their pipelines within Class 
3 and Class 4 locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in HCAs.
    PHMSA intends to require gas pipeline operators to submit data 
regarding mileage of pipelines with verifiable records and mileage of 
pipelines without records in the annual reporting cycle for 2013. On 
April 13, 2012, (77 FR 22387) PHMSA published a Federal Register Notice 
titled: ``Information Collection Activities, Revision to Gas 
Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Annual Report, Gas 
Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Incident Report, and 
Hazardous Liquid Pipelines Systems Accident Report.'' PHMSA plans to 
use information from the 2013 Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline 
Systems Annual Report to develop potential rulemaking for cases in 
which the records of the owner or operator are insufficient to confirm 
the established MAOP of a pipeline segment within Class 3 and Class 4 
locations and in Class 1 and Class 2 locations in HCAs. Owners and 
operators should consider the guidance in this advisory for all 
pipeline segments and take action as appropriate to assure that all 
MAOP and MOP are supported by records that are traceable, verifiable 
and complete.
    Information needed to support establishment of MAOP and MOP is 
identified in Sec.  192.619, Sec.  192.620 and Sec.  195.406. An owner 
or operator of a pipeline must meet the recordkeeping requirements of 
Part 192 and Part 195 in support of MAOP and MOP determination.
    Traceable records are those which can be clearly linked to original 
information about a pipeline segment or facility. Traceable records 
might include pipe mill records, purchase requisition, or as-built 
documentation indicating minimum pipe yield strength, seam type, wall 
thickness and diameter. Careful attention should be given to records 
transcribed from original documents as they may contain errors. 
Information from a transcribed document, in many cases, should be 
verified with complementary or supporting documents.
    Verifiable records are those in which information is confirmed by 
other complementary, but separate, documentation. Verifiable records 
might include contract specifications for a pressure test of a line 
segment complemented by pressure charts or field logs. Another example 
might include a purchase order to a pipe mill with pipe specifications 
verified by a metallurgical test of a coupon pulled from the same pipe 
segment. In general, the only acceptable use of an affidavit would be 
as a complementary document, prepared and signed at the time of the 
test or inspection by an individual who would have reason to be 
familiar with the test or inspection.
    Complete records are those in which the record is finalized as 
evidenced by a signature, date or other appropriate marking. For 
example, a complete pressure testing record should identify a specific 
segment of pipe, who conducted the test, the duration of the test, the 
test medium, temperatures, accurate pressure readings, and elevation 
information as applicable. An incomplete record might reflect that the 
pressure test was initiated, failed and restarted without conclusive 
indication of a successful test. A record that cannot be specifically 
linked to an individual pipe segment is not a complete record for that 
segment. Incomplete or partial records are not an adequate basis for 
establishing MAOP or MOP. If records are unknown or unknowable, a more 
conservative approach is indicated.
    PHMSA is aware that other types of records may be acceptable and 
that certain state programs may have additional requirements. Operators 
should ensure all records establish confidence in the validity of the 
records. If a document and records search, review, and verification 
cannot be satisfactorily completed to meet the need for traceable, 
verifiable, and complete records, the operator may need to conduct 
other activities such as in-situ examination, measuring yield and 
tensile strength, pressure testing, and nondestructive testing or 
otherwise verify the characteristics of the pipeline to support a MAOP 
or MOP determination.
    PHMSA is supportive of the use of alternative technologies to 
verify pipe characteristics. Owners and operators seeking to use 
alternative or non-traditional technologies in the determination of 
MAOP or MOP, or to

[[Page 26824]]

meet other regulatory requirements, should first discuss the proposed 
approach with the appropriate state or Federal regulatory agencies to 
determine its acceptability under regulatory requirements.
    PHMSA will issue more direction regarding how operators will be 
required to bring into compliance gas and hazardous liquid pipelines 
without verifiable records for the entire mileage of the pipeline. 
Further details will also be provided on the manner in which PHMSA 
intends to require operators to reestablish MAOP as discussed in 
Section 23(a) of the Act.
    Finally, PHMSA notes that on September 26, 2011, NTSB issued 
Recommendation P-11-14: Eliminating Grandfather Clause. Section 
192.619(a)(3) allows gas transmission operators to establish MAOP of 
pipe installed before July 1, 1970, by use of records noting the 
highest actual operating pressure to which the segment was subjected 
during the five years preceding July 1, 1970. NTSB Recommendation P-11-
14 requests that PHMSA delete Sec.  192.619(a)(3), also known as the 
``grandfather clause,'' and require gas transmission pipeline operators 
to reestablish MAOP using hydrostatic pressure testing. PHMSA reminds 
operators that this recommendation will be acted upon following the 
collection of data, including information from the 2013 Gas 
Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems Annual Report, which will 
allow PHMSA to determine the impact of the requested change on the 
public and industry in conformance with our statutory obligations.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2012.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations.
[FR Doc. 2012-10866 Filed 5-4-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P