Pipeline Safety: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Flooding, River Scour, and River Channel Migration, 14715-14717 [2019-07132]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2019 / Notices once each calendar day. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2019– 0011. Specifically, UPRR seeks the ability to forgo daily inspections on Distributed Power (DPU) locomotives that are en route. Daily inspections on DPU locomotives would still be performed before departing the originating terminal and before the locomotive’s next usage after arrival at the train destination. UPRR states that many trains operating along the UPRR network typically arrive at their destination within 48 to 72 hours; with the longest routes operating in an 84- to 96-hour time range. Daily inspections of DPU locomotives performed en route often take place on the main line and in close proximity to other main line live tracks. Train delay created by conducting these inspections can at times result in blocked crossings. These situations can pose an unnecessary safety risk to both the general public and crew members as well. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov and in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Apr 10, 2019 Jkt 247001 Communications received by May 28, 2019 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transpo rtation.gov/privacy. See also https:// www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. • • • • 14715 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 Central Region: 816–329–3800 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin 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 Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Deputy Associate Administrator Office of Railroad Safety. Intrastate pipeline operators should contact the appropriate state pipeline safety authority. A list of state pipeline safety authorities is available at www.napsr.org. [FR Doc. 2019–07137 Filed 4–10–19; 8:45 am] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 4910–06–P I. Background DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2019–0047] 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. ACTION: Notice; issuance of advisory bulletin. AGENCY: 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: • Eastern Region: 609–771–7800 Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 the Federal pipeline safety regulations. 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 § 192.619(a) and (b).’’ Likewise, § 195.401(b)(1) 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 E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES 14716 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2019 / Notices 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).’’ Operators should be aware that severe flooding, river scour, and river channel migration may create unusual operating conditions that can adversely affect the safe operation of a pipeline, and may require corrective action under §§ 192.613(a) and (b) and 195.401(b). In addition, § 194.107(a) requires operators of onshore oil pipelines to create response plans that ‘‘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.’’ Section 194.115 further states that ‘‘[e]ach operator shall 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, §§ 192.935, 194.107, and 195.452(i) require an operator to take additional preventative and mitigative measures to prevent a pipeline failure and to mitigate the consequences of a pipeline failure. 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 under these regulations. In December of 2017, the American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the second edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 1133, ‘‘Managing Hydrotechnical Hazards for Pipelines Located Onshore or Within Coastal Areas.’’ This RP applies to new and existing hydrocarbon pipelines that transport gas and hazardous liquids. It is intended to apply to onshore waterways and coastal zones that may be susceptible to hydro technical hazards. The RP provides guidelines and recommendations for identifying, assessing and managing risks to pipeline integrity associated with these hazards through the life-cycle of a pipeline. PHMSA has released several advisory bulletins on this subject, with the earliest issued July 29, 1993, (ADB–93– 03), and the most recent on January 19, 2016, (ADB–16–01; 81 FR 2944). These VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Apr 10, 2019 Jkt 247001 advisory bulletins are consistent with API RP 1133. Each of these advisory bulletins followed an event that involved severe flooding that affected pipelines in the areas of rising or fast moving waters. As shown in these events, river bottom scour, channel migration, and some cases soil subsidence, 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. Soil subsidence, particularly in variable, steep, and rugged terrain, can pose a threat to the integrity of a pipeline if those threats are not mitigated. 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 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. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB–2019–01) 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 should 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 suggested 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. Ensure that pipeline controllers are aware of which pipeline sections are experiencing flooding or high flow conditions, and are familiar with the contingency plans to safely and quickly shut down and isolate the affected sections. 5. 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. 6. Extend regulator vents and relief stacks above the level of anticipated flooding as appropriate. 7. 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. E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 70 / Thursday, April 11, 2019 / Notices 8. Coordinate with other pipeline operators in flood areas and establish emergency response centers to act as a liaison for pipeline problems and solutions. 9. Deploy personnel so that they will be in position to shut down, isolate, contain, or perform any other emergency action on an affected pipeline. 10. 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. 11. 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. 12. 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. 13. Following flooding, 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. 14. 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. 15. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:50 Apr 10, 2019 Jkt 247001 condition as prescribed in §§ 191.23 and 195.55 may also be required. Issued in Washington, DC, on April 5, 2019, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Alan K. Mayberry, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. [FR Doc. 2019–07132 Filed 4–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2014–0092] Pipeline Safety: Request for Revision of a Previously Approved Information Collection: National Pipeline Mapping System Program Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), PHMSA announces that the information collection request detailed below will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. On June 22, 2016, PHMSA published a notice and requested comments on proposed revisions to the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Program.’’ During the comment period, PHMSA received several comments on ways to improve this data collection and to consider a phased timeline to collect data. PHMSA is publishing this notice to address the comments received, to notify the public of proposed revisions to this information collection, and to announce that PHMSA is requesting a 3year approval of this information collection from OMB. DATES: Written comments on this information collection should be submitted by May 13, 2019. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted in the following ways: E-Gov website: http:// www.regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Hand Delivery: Room W12–140 on the ground level of DOT, West Building, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14717 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: Identify the docket number PHMSA–2014–0092 at the beginning of your comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You should know that anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of PHMSA’s 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.). Therefore, you may want to review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476) or visit http:// www.regulations.gov before submitting any such comments. Docket: For access to the docket or to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room W12–140 on the ground level of DOT, West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you wish to receive confirmation of receipt of your written comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped postcard with the following statement: ‘‘Comments on PHMSA–2014–0092.’’ The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard prior to returning it to you via the U.S. mail. Please note that due to possible delays in the delivery of U.S. mail to federal offices in Washington, DC, we recommend that persons consider an alternative method (internet, fax, or professional delivery service) of submitting comments to the docket and ensuring their timely receipt at DOT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Nelson, Geospatial Information Systems Manager, Outreach and Engagement Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, or by phone at 202–493–0591. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Attribute Changes III. Retained Attributes A. Pipe Diameter B. Wall Thickness C. Commodity Detail D. Pipe Material E. Pipe Grade F. Pipe Join Method G. Seam Type H. Decade of Installation I. Coated (yes/no) J. Onshore/Offshore K. In-line Inspection (yes/no) E:\FR\FM\11APN1.SGM 11APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 70 (Thursday, April 11, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14715-14717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07132]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0047]


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.

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:

 Eastern Region: 609-771-7800
    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
 Central Region: 816-329-3800
    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
 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 available at www.napsr.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    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 the 
Federal pipeline safety regulations.
    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) 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

[[Page 14716]]

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).''
    Operators should be aware that severe flooding, river scour, and 
river channel migration may create unusual operating conditions that 
can adversely affect the safe operation of a pipeline, and may require 
corrective action under Sec. Sec.  192.613(a) and (b) and 195.401(b).
    In addition, Sec.  194.107(a) requires operators of onshore oil 
pipelines to create response plans that ``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.'' 
Section 194.115 further states that ``[e]ach operator shall 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, Sec. Sec.  192.935, 194.107, and 195.452(i) require an 
operator to take additional preventative and mitigative measures to 
prevent a pipeline failure and to mitigate the consequences of a 
pipeline failure. 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 under these 
regulations.
    In December of 2017, the American Petroleum Institute (API) issued 
the second edition of Recommended Practice (RP) 1133, ``Managing 
Hydrotechnical Hazards for Pipelines Located Onshore or Within Coastal 
Areas.'' This RP applies to new and existing hydrocarbon pipelines that 
transport gas and hazardous liquids. It is intended to apply to onshore 
waterways and coastal zones that may be susceptible to hydro technical 
hazards. The RP provides guidelines and recommendations for 
identifying, assessing and managing risks to pipeline integrity 
associated with these hazards through the life-cycle of a pipeline.
    PHMSA has released several advisory bulletins on this subject, with 
the earliest issued July 29, 1993, (ADB-93-03), and the most recent on 
January 19, 2016, (ADB-16-01; 81 FR 2944). These advisory bulletins are 
consistent with API RP 1133. Each of these advisory bulletins followed 
an event that involved severe flooding that affected pipelines in the 
areas of rising or fast moving waters. As shown in these events, river 
bottom scour, channel migration, and some cases soil subsidence, 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. Soil subsidence, particularly in variable, steep, and rugged 
terrain, can pose a threat to the integrity of a pipeline if those 
threats are not mitigated. 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 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-2019-01)

    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 should 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 suggested 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. Ensure that pipeline controllers are aware of which pipeline 
sections are experiencing flooding or high flow conditions, and are 
familiar with the contingency plans to safely and quickly shut down and 
isolate the affected sections.
    5. 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.
    6. Extend regulator vents and relief stacks above the level of 
anticipated flooding as appropriate.
    7. 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.

[[Page 14717]]

    8. Coordinate with other pipeline operators in flood areas and 
establish emergency response centers to act as a liaison for pipeline 
problems and solutions.
    9. Deploy personnel so that they will be in position to shut down, 
isolate, contain, or perform any other emergency action on an affected 
pipeline.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Following flooding, 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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 April 5, 2019, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2019-07132 Filed 4-10-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P