Pipeline Safety: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Flooding, River Scour, and River Channel Migration, 2943-2945 [2016-00765]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Notices is filed on or before June 17, 2016. If the Federal law that authorizes judicial review of a claim provides a time period of less than 150 days for filing such claim, then that shorter time period still applies. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Achille Alonzi, Division Administrator, Texas Division, Federal Highway Administration, 300 E. 8th Street, Room 826, Austin, Texas 78701; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (central daylight time) Monday through Friday, 512–536–5900; email: al.alonzi@dot.gov. You may also contact Mr. Carlos Swonke, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701; telephone: (512) Issued in Washington, DC, on January 11, 416–2734. 2016. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is Lirio Liu, hereby given that the FHWA and other Director, Office of Rulemaking. Federal agencies have taken final agency Petition for Exemption actions by issuing licenses, permits, and approvals for the following highway Docket No.: FAA–2015–1677. project in Texas: U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge Petitioner: JP Morgan Chase & Co. Project in Nueces County. The project Section(s) of 14 CFR Affected: limits include: US 181 at Beach Avenue § 61.57(a). on the north; Crosstown Expressway at Description of Relief Sought: JP Morgan Avenue on the south; I–37 and Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) seeks relief to allow pilots employed by JPMC to use Up River Road on the west; and I–37 any one of JPMC’s G550 (GV) or G650ER and Shoreline Boulevard on the east. (GVI), Gulfstream airplanes or a Level B, The project would replace the existing Harbor Bridge and reconstruct portions C, or D simulator that represents one of of U.S. 181, I–37 and the Crosstown the types of Gulfstream airplanes to Expressway. meet the recent takeoff and landing The actions by the Federal agencies, experience requirements of § 61.57. and the laws under which such actions [FR Doc. 2016–00756 Filed 1–15–16; 8:45 am] were taken, are described in the Final BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project, approved by FHWA on DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION November 25, 2014, in the FHWA Record of Decision (ROD) approved by Federal Highway Administration FHWA on January 8, 2016, and in other documents in the FHWA administrative Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions record. The FEIS, ROD, and other on United States Highway 181 (U.S. documents in the FHWA administrative 181), Harbor Bridge Project in Texas record file are available by contacting FHWA or the Texas Department of AGENCY: Federal Highway Transportation at the addresses Administration (FHWA), DOT provided above. The FEIS and ROD can ACTION: Notice of limitation on claims be viewed and downloaded from the for judicial review of actions by FHWA following Web sites: and other federal agencies ccharborbridgeproject.com or txdot.gov. This notice applies to all Federal SUMMARY: This notice announces actions agency decisions as of the issuance date taken by the FHWA and other Federal of this notice and all laws under which agencies that are final within the such actions were taken, including but meaning of 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(l). The not limited to: actions relate to the U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge Project in the City of Corpus 1. General: National Environmental Policy Christi, Nueces County, Texas. Those Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321–4351]; Federalactions grant licenses, permits, and Aid Highway Act [23 U.S.C. 109]. 2. Air: Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401– approvals for the project. 7671(q). DATES: By this notice, the FHWA is 3. Land: Section 4(f) of the Department of advising the public of final agency Transportation Act of 1966 [49 U.S.C. 303]; actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(l). A Landscaping and Scenic Enhancement claim seeking judicial review of the (Wildflowers), 23 U.S.C. 319. Federal agency actions on the highway 4. Wildlife: Endangered Species Act [16 U.S.C. 1531–1544 and Section 1536], Marine project will be barred unless the claim asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alphonso Pendergrass (202) 267–4713, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2943 Mammal Protection Act [16 U.S.C. 1361], Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act [16 U.S.C. 661–667(d)], Migratory Bird Treaty Act [16 U.S.C. 703–712]. 5. Historic and Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended [16 U.S.C. 470(f) et seq.]; Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1977 [16 U.S.C. 470(aa)-11]; Archeological and Historic Preservation Act [16 U.S.C. 469– 469(c)]; Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) [25 U.S.C. 3001–3013]. 6. Social and Economic: Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000(d)-2000(d)(1)]; American Indian Religious Freedom Act [42 U.S.C. 1996]; Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA) [7 U.S.C. 4201–4209]. 7. Wetlands and Water Resources: Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251–1377 (Section 404, Section 401, Section 319); Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), 16 U.S.C. 4601– 4604; Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), 42 U.S.C. 300(f)-300(j)(6); Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, 33 U.S.C. 401–406; Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 U.S.C. 1271–1287; Emergency Wetlands Resources Act, 16 U.S.C. 3921, 3931; TEA–21 Wetlands Mitigation, 23 U.S.C. 103(b)(6)(m), 133(b)(11); Flood Disaster Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. 4001–4128. 8. Executive Orders: E.O. 11990 Protection of Wetlands; E.O. 11988 Floodplain Management; E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations; E.O. 11593 Protection and Enhancement of Cultural Resources; E.O. 13007 Indian Sacred Sites; E.O. 13287 Preserve America; E.O. 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; E.O. 11514 Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality; E.O. 13112 Invasive Species. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(l). Issued on: January 8, 2016. Achille Alonzi, Division Administrator, Austin, Texas. [FR Doc. 2016–00811 Filed 1–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2015–0283] Pipeline Safety: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Flooding, River Scour, and River Channel Migration Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\19JAN1.SGM 19JAN1 2944 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Notices Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin. ACTION: PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to remind all owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines of the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding and actions that operators should consider taking to ensure the integrity of pipelines in the event of flooding, river scour, and river channel migration. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Operators of pipelines subject to regulation by PHMSA should contact the appropriate PHMSA Region Office. The PHMSA Region Offices and their contact information are as follows: • Central Region: 816–329–3800 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin • Eastern Region: 609–989–2171 Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia • Southern Region: 404–832–1147 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee • Southwest Region: 713–272–2859 Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas • Western Region: 720–963–3160 Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming Intrastate pipeline operators should contact the appropriate state pipeline safety authority. A list of state pipeline safety authorities is provided at: www.napsr.org. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Background Section 192.613(a) of the Pipeline Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 190– 199) states that ‘‘[e]ach operator shall have a procedure for continuing surveillance of its facilities to determine and take appropriate action concerning changes in class location, failures, leakage history, corrosion, substantial changes in cathodic protection requirements, and other unusual operating and maintenance conditions.’’ Section 192.613(b) further states that ‘‘[i]f a segment of pipeline is determined to be in unsatisfactory condition but no immediate hazard exists, the operator VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 shall initiate a program to recondition or phase out the segment involved, or, if the segment cannot be reconditioned or phased out, reduce the maximum allowable operating pressure in accordance with § 192.619(a) and (b).’’ Likewise, § 195.401(b)(1) of the Pipeline Safety Regulations states that ‘‘[w]henever an operator discovers any condition that could adversely affect the safe operation of its pipeline system, it must correct the condition within a reasonable time. However, if the condition is of such a nature that it presents an immediate hazard to persons or property, the operator may not operate the affected part of the system until it has corrected the unsafe condition.’’ Section 195.401(b)(2) further states that ‘‘[w]hen an operator discovers a condition on a pipeline covered under [the integrity management requirements in] § 195.452, the operator must correct the condition as prescribed in § 195.452(h).’’ Severe flooding, river scour, and river channel migration are the types of unusual operating conditions that can adversely affect the safe operation of a pipeline and require corrective action under §§ 192.613(a) and 195.401(b). In addition, Part 194 requires operators of onshore oil pipelines to ‘‘include procedures and a list of resources for responding, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst case discharge and to a substantial threat of such a discharge’’ under § 194.107(a). Per § 194.115, the operator must ‘‘identify, and ensure, by contract or other approved means, the resources necessary to remove, to the maximum extent practicable, a worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of a worst case discharge’’. Furthermore, an operator must take additional preventative and mitigative measures beyond those already required in Parts 192, 194, and 195 to prevent a pipeline failure and to mitigate the consequences of a pipeline failure per §§ 192.935, 194.107(a) and 195.452(i). An operator must base the additional measures on the threats the operator has identified for each pipeline segment. If an operator determines outside force damage (e.g., earth movement, floods) is a threat to the pipeline, the operator must take steps to minimize the probability of damage and the consequences of a release. PHMSA has released five Advisory Bulletins on this subject, with the earliest issued July 29, 1993, (ADB–93– 03), and the most recent on July 27, 2011, (ADB–11–04; 76 FR 44985). Each of these bulletins followed an event that involved severe flooding that affected PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 pipelines in the areas of rising waters. Four of the more notable events are briefly described below: On August 13, 2011, Enterprise Products Operating, LLC discovered a release of 28,350 gallons (675 barrels) of natural gasoline in the Missouri River in Iowa. The rupture, according to the metallurgical report, was the result of fatigue crack growth driven by vibrations in the pipe from vortex shedding. On July 1, 2011, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company experienced a pipeline failure near Laurel, Montana, resulting in the release of 63,000 gallons (1,500 barrels) of crude oil into the Yellowstone River. According to the results of PHMSA’s accident investigation, the rupture was caused by channel migration and river bottom scour, leaving a large span of the pipeline exposed to prolonged current forces and debris washing downstream in the river. Those external forces damaged the exposed pipeline. On July 15, 2011, NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership, L.P. reported a 4,200 gallon (100 barrels) anhydrous ammonia spill in the Missouri River in Nebraska requiring extensive environmental response and causing supply disruption. The 6-inch-diameter pipeline was exposed by scouring during extreme flooding. On January 17, 2015, a breach in the Bridger Pipeline Company’s Poplar system resulted in another spill into the Yellowstone River near the town of Glendive, Montana, releasing an estimated 28,434 gallons (677 barrels) of crude oil into the river and impacting local water supplies. Preliminary information indicates over 100 feet of pipeline was exposed on the river bottom, and a release point was near a girth weld. As shown in these events, river bottom scour and channel migration may occur due to seasonal flooding, increased stream velocities, and manmade and natural river bank restrictions. River scour and channel migration may damage a pipeline as a result of additional stresses imposed on the pipe by undermining underlying support soils, exposing the pipeline to lateral water forces and impact from waterborne debris. Lateral water forces may cause excessive bending loads that lead to pipeline failures, and possible impact forces from debris in the river or harmonic vibrations from water rapidly passing over pipelines can also increase the potential for pipeline failures. Additionally, the safety of valves, regulators, relief sets, pressure sensors, and other facilities normally above ground or above water can be jeopardized when covered by water. Not E:\FR\FM\19JAN1.SGM 19JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES only can these facilities become inoperable when submerged, but they are also at a greater risk of damage by outside forces, floating debris, river currents, and craft operating on the water. Boaters involved in rescue operations, emergency support functions, sightseeing, and other activities are generally not aware of the seriousness of an incident that could result from their craft damaging a pipeline facility that is unseen beneath the surface of the water. Depending on the size of the craft and the pipeline facility struck, significant pipeline damage may result. Although accidents at river crossings account for less than one percent of the total number of pipeline accidents, the consequences of a release in water can be much more severe because of the threats to drinking water supplies and the environment. Unlike hazardous liquid releases on land where it can be easier to respond to and contain spills, swift-moving river currents will carry hazardous liquids further downstream, potentially impacting much larger geographical areas and more communities. Product releases in rivers can create difficult, costly, and lengthy spill response and remediation scenarios and activities for operators, communities, and local, state, and federal responders. II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB–2016–01) To: Owners and Operators of Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems. Subject: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Severe Flooding. Advisory: Severe flooding can adversely affect the safe operation of a pipeline. Operators need to direct their resources in a manner that will enable them to determine and mitigate the potential effects of flooding on their pipeline systems in accordance with applicable regulations. Operators are urged to take the following actions to prevent and mitigate damage to pipeline facilities and ensure public and environmental safety in areas affected by flooding: 1. Utilize experts in river flow, such as hydrologists or fluvial geomorphologists, to evaluate a river’s potential for scour or channel migration at each pipeline river crossing. 2. Evaluate each pipeline crossing a river to determine the pipeline’s installation method and determine if that method (and the pipeline’s current condition) is sufficient to withstand the risks posed by anticipated flood conditions, river scour, or river channel migration. In areas prone to these conditions and risks, consider installing VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 pipelines using horizontal directional drilling to help place pipelines below elevations of maximum scour and outside the limits of lateral channel migration. 3. Determine the maximum flow or flooding conditions at rivers where pipeline integrity is at risk in the event of flooding (e.g., where scour can occur) and have contingency plans to shut down and isolate those pipelines when those conditions occur. 4. Evaluate the accessibility of pipeline facilities and components that may be in jeopardy, such as valve settings, which are needed to isolate water crossings or other sections of pipelines. 5. Extend regulator vents and relief stacks above the level of anticipated flooding as appropriate. 6. Coordinate with emergency and spill responders on pipeline locations, crossing conditions, and the commodities transported. Provide maps and other relevant information to such responders so they can develop appropriate response strategies. 7. Coordinate with other pipeline operators in flood areas and establish emergency response centers to act as a liaison for pipeline problems and solutions. 8. Deploy personnel so that they will be in position to shut down, isolate, contain, or perform any other emergency action on an affected pipeline. 9. Determine if facilities that are normally above ground (e.g., valves, regulators, relief sets, etc.) have become submerged and are in danger of being struck by vessels or debris and, if possible, mark such facilities with U.S. Coast Guard approval and an appropriate buoy. 10. Perform frequent patrols, including appropriate overflights, to evaluate right-of-way conditions at water crossings during flooding and after waters subside. Report any flooding, either localized or systemic, to integrity staff to determine if pipeline crossings may have been damaged or would be in imminent jeopardy from future flooding. 11. Have open communications with local and state officials to address their concerns regarding observed pipeline exposures, localized flooding, ice dams, debris dams, and extensive bank erosion that may affect the integrity of pipeline crossings. 12. Following floods, and when safe river access is first available, determine if flooding has exposed or undermined pipelines because of new river channel profiles. This is best done by a depth of cover survey. PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2945 13. Where appropriate, surveys of underwater pipe should include the use of visual inspection by divers or instrumented detection. Pipelines in recently flooded lands adjacent to rivers should also be evaluated to determine the remaining depth of cover. You should share information gathered by these surveys with affected landowners. Agricultural agencies may help to inform farmers of potential hazards from reduced cover over pipelines. 14. Ensure that line markers are still in place or are replaced in a timely manner. Notify contractors, highway departments, and others involved in post-flood restoration activities of the presence of pipelines and the risks posed by reduced cover. If a pipeline has suffered damage or is shut-in as a precautionary measure due to flooding, the operator should advise the appropriate PHMSA regional office or state pipeline safety authority before returning the line to service, increasing its operating pressure, or otherwise changing its operating status. Furthermore, reporting a Safety-Related Condition as prescribed in §§ 191.23 and 195.55 may also be required. Issued in Washington, DC on January 12, 2016, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Alan K. Mayberry, Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs. [FR Doc. 2016–00765 Filed 1–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; System of Records Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury. ACTION: Notice of systems of records. AGENCY: In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, is publishing its inventory of Privacy Act systems of records. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A–130, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has completed a review of its Privacy Act systems of records notices to identify minor changes that will more accurately describe these records. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19JAN1.SGM 19JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 11 (Tuesday, January 19, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2943-2945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00765]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2015-0283]


Pipeline Safety: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities 
Caused by Flooding, River Scour, and River Channel Migration

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

[[Page 2944]]


ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

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

SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to remind all owners 
and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines of the potential 
for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding and actions 
that operators should consider taking to ensure the integrity of 
pipelines in the event of flooding, river scour, and river channel 
migration.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Operators of pipelines subject to 
regulation by PHMSA should contact the appropriate PHMSA Region Office. 
The PHMSA Region Offices and their contact information are as follows:
 Central Region: 816-329-3800
    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
 Eastern Region: 609-989-2171
    Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia
 Southern Region: 404-832-1147
    Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, 
Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee
 Southwest Region: 713-272-2859
    Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
 Western Region: 720-963-3160
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, 
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
Intrastate pipeline operators should contact the appropriate state 
pipeline safety authority. A list of state pipeline safety authorities 
is provided at: www.napsr.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Section 192.613(a) of the Pipeline Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 
190-199) states that ``[e]ach operator shall have a procedure for 
continuing surveillance of its facilities to determine and take 
appropriate action concerning changes in class location, failures, 
leakage history, corrosion, substantial changes in cathodic protection 
requirements, and other unusual operating and maintenance conditions.'' 
Section 192.613(b) further states that ``[i]f a segment of pipeline is 
determined to be in unsatisfactory condition but no immediate hazard 
exists, the operator shall initiate a program to recondition or phase 
out the segment involved, or, if the segment cannot be reconditioned or 
phased out, reduce the maximum allowable operating pressure in 
accordance with Sec.  192.619(a) and (b).''
    Likewise, Sec.  195.401(b)(1) of the Pipeline Safety Regulations 
states that ``[w]henever an operator discovers any condition that could 
adversely affect the safe operation of its pipeline system, it must 
correct the condition within a reasonable time. However, if the 
condition is of such a nature that it presents an immediate hazard to 
persons or property, the operator may not operate the affected part of 
the system until it has corrected the unsafe condition.'' Section 
195.401(b)(2) further states that ``[w]hen an operator discovers a 
condition on a pipeline covered under [the integrity management 
requirements in] Sec.  195.452, the operator must correct the condition 
as prescribed in Sec.  195.452(h).'' Severe flooding, river scour, and 
river channel migration are the types of unusual operating conditions 
that can adversely affect the safe operation of a pipeline and require 
corrective action under Sec. Sec.  192.613(a) and 195.401(b).
    In addition, Part 194 requires operators of onshore oil pipelines 
to ``include procedures and a list of resources for responding, to the 
maximum extent practicable, to a worst case discharge and to a 
substantial threat of such a discharge'' under Sec.  194.107(a). Per 
Sec.  194.115, the operator must ``identify, and ensure, by contract or 
other approved means, the resources necessary to remove, to the maximum 
extent practicable, a worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent a 
substantial threat of a worst case discharge''.
    Furthermore, an operator must take additional preventative and 
mitigative measures beyond those already required in Parts 192, 194, 
and 195 to prevent a pipeline failure and to mitigate the consequences 
of a pipeline failure per Sec. Sec.  192.935, 194.107(a) and 
195.452(i). An operator must base the additional measures on the 
threats the operator has identified for each pipeline segment. If an 
operator determines outside force damage (e.g., earth movement, floods) 
is a threat to the pipeline, the operator must take steps to minimize 
the probability of damage and the consequences of a release.
    PHMSA has released five Advisory Bulletins on this subject, with 
the earliest issued July 29, 1993, (ADB-93-03), and the most recent on 
July 27, 2011, (ADB-11-04; 76 FR 44985). Each of these bulletins 
followed an event that involved severe flooding that affected pipelines 
in the areas of rising waters. Four of the more notable events are 
briefly described below:
    On August 13, 2011, Enterprise Products Operating, LLC discovered a 
release of 28,350 gallons (675 barrels) of natural gasoline in the 
Missouri River in Iowa. The rupture, according to the metallurgical 
report, was the result of fatigue crack growth driven by vibrations in 
the pipe from vortex shedding.
    On July 1, 2011, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company experienced a pipeline 
failure near Laurel, Montana, resulting in the release of 63,000 
gallons (1,500 barrels) of crude oil into the Yellowstone River. 
According to the results of PHMSA's accident investigation, the rupture 
was caused by channel migration and river bottom scour, leaving a large 
span of the pipeline exposed to prolonged current forces and debris 
washing downstream in the river. Those external forces damaged the 
exposed pipeline.
    On July 15, 2011, NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership, L.P. 
reported a 4,200 gallon (100 barrels) anhydrous ammonia spill in the 
Missouri River in Nebraska requiring extensive environmental response 
and causing supply disruption. The 6-inch-diameter pipeline was exposed 
by scouring during extreme flooding.
    On January 17, 2015, a breach in the Bridger Pipeline Company's 
Poplar system resulted in another spill into the Yellowstone River near 
the town of Glendive, Montana, releasing an estimated 28,434 gallons 
(677 barrels) of crude oil into the river and impacting local water 
supplies. Preliminary information indicates over 100 feet of pipeline 
was exposed on the river bottom, and a release point was near a girth 
weld.
    As shown in these events, river bottom scour and channel migration 
may occur due to seasonal flooding, increased stream velocities, and 
man-made and natural river bank restrictions. River scour and channel 
migration may damage a pipeline as a result of additional stresses 
imposed on the pipe by undermining underlying support soils, exposing 
the pipeline to lateral water forces and impact from waterborne debris. 
Lateral water forces may cause excessive bending loads that lead to 
pipeline failures, and possible impact forces from debris in the river 
or harmonic vibrations from water rapidly passing over pipelines can 
also increase the potential for pipeline failures.
    Additionally, the safety of valves, regulators, relief sets, 
pressure sensors, and other facilities normally above ground or above 
water can be jeopardized when covered by water. Not

[[Page 2945]]

only can these facilities become inoperable when submerged, but they 
are also at a greater risk of damage by outside forces, floating 
debris, river currents, and craft operating on the water. Boaters 
involved in rescue operations, emergency support functions, 
sightseeing, and other activities are generally not aware of the 
seriousness of an incident that could result from their craft damaging 
a pipeline facility that is unseen beneath the surface of the water. 
Depending on the size of the craft and the pipeline facility struck, 
significant pipeline damage may result.
    Although accidents at river crossings account for less than one 
percent of the total number of pipeline accidents, the consequences of 
a release in water can be much more severe because of the threats to 
drinking water supplies and the environment. Unlike hazardous liquid 
releases on land where it can be easier to respond to and contain 
spills, swift-moving river currents will carry hazardous liquids 
further downstream, potentially impacting much larger geographical 
areas and more communities. Product releases in rivers can create 
difficult, costly, and lengthy spill response and remediation scenarios 
and activities for operators, communities, and local, state, and 
federal responders.

II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2016-01)

    To: Owners and Operators of Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline 
Systems.
    Subject: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by 
Severe Flooding.
    Advisory: Severe flooding can adversely affect the safe operation 
of a pipeline. Operators need to direct their resources in a manner 
that will enable them to determine and mitigate the potential effects 
of flooding on their pipeline systems in accordance with applicable 
regulations. Operators are urged to take the following actions to 
prevent and mitigate damage to pipeline facilities and ensure public 
and environmental safety in areas affected by flooding:
    1. Utilize experts in river flow, such as hydrologists or fluvial 
geomorphologists, to evaluate a river's potential for scour or channel 
migration at each pipeline river crossing.
    2. Evaluate each pipeline crossing a river to determine the 
pipeline's installation method and determine if that method (and the 
pipeline's current condition) is sufficient to withstand the risks 
posed by anticipated flood conditions, river scour, or river channel 
migration. In areas prone to these conditions and risks, consider 
installing pipelines using horizontal directional drilling to help 
place pipelines below elevations of maximum scour and outside the 
limits of lateral channel migration.
    3. Determine the maximum flow or flooding conditions at rivers 
where pipeline integrity is at risk in the event of flooding (e.g., 
where scour can occur) and have contingency plans to shut down and 
isolate those pipelines when those conditions occur.
    4. Evaluate the accessibility of pipeline facilities and components 
that may be in jeopardy, such as valve settings, which are needed to 
isolate water crossings or other sections of pipelines.
    5. Extend regulator vents and relief stacks above the level of 
anticipated flooding as appropriate.
    6. Coordinate with emergency and spill responders on pipeline 
locations, crossing conditions, and the commodities transported. 
Provide maps and other relevant information to such responders so they 
can develop appropriate response strategies.
    7. Coordinate with other pipeline operators in flood areas and 
establish emergency response centers to act as a liaison for pipeline 
problems and solutions.
    8. Deploy personnel so that they will be in position to shut down, 
isolate, contain, or perform any other emergency action on an affected 
pipeline.
    9. Determine if facilities that are normally above ground (e.g., 
valves, regulators, relief sets, etc.) have become submerged and are in 
danger of being struck by vessels or debris and, if possible, mark such 
facilities with U.S. Coast Guard approval and an appropriate buoy.
    10. Perform frequent patrols, including appropriate overflights, to 
evaluate right-of-way conditions at water crossings during flooding and 
after waters subside. Report any flooding, either localized or 
systemic, to integrity staff to determine if pipeline crossings may 
have been damaged or would be in imminent jeopardy from future 
flooding.
    11. Have open communications with local and state officials to 
address their concerns regarding observed pipeline exposures, localized 
flooding, ice dams, debris dams, and extensive bank erosion that may 
affect the integrity of pipeline crossings.
    12. Following floods, and when safe river access is first 
available, determine if flooding has exposed or undermined pipelines 
because of new river channel profiles. This is best done by a depth of 
cover survey.
    13. Where appropriate, surveys of underwater pipe should include 
the use of visual inspection by divers or instrumented detection. 
Pipelines in recently flooded lands adjacent to rivers should also be 
evaluated to determine the remaining depth of cover. You should share 
information gathered by these surveys with affected landowners. 
Agricultural agencies may help to inform farmers of potential hazards 
from reduced cover over pipelines.
    14. Ensure that line markers are still in place or are replaced in 
a timely manner. Notify contractors, highway departments, and others 
involved in post-flood restoration activities of the presence of 
pipelines and the risks posed by reduced cover.
    If a pipeline has suffered damage or is shut-in as a precautionary 
measure due to flooding, the operator should advise the appropriate 
PHMSA regional office or state pipeline safety authority before 
returning the line to service, increasing its operating pressure, or 
otherwise changing its operating status. Furthermore, reporting a 
Safety-Related Condition as prescribed in Sec. Sec.  191.23 and 195.55 
may also be required.

    Issued in Washington, DC on January 12, 2016, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs.
[FR Doc. 2016-00765 Filed 1-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-60-P