Pipeline Safety: Farm Taps Frequently Asked Questions, 21820-21821 [2020-07922]

Download as PDF 21820 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 76 / Monday, April 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules the contract. Such designation will be in writing through an ACO Letter of Delegation and will identify the responsibilities and limitations of the ACO. A copy of the ACO Letter of Delegation will be furnished to the Contractor. (End of clause) [FR Doc. 2020–07799 Filed 4–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 [Docket No. PHMSA–2019–0131] Pipeline Safety: Farm Taps Frequently Asked Questions Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); DOT. ACTION: Announcement of frequently asked questions; request for comments. AGENCY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is making available for comment a set of proposed frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding individual service lines directly connected to production, gathering, or transmission pipelines, commonly referred to as farm taps. The proposed FAQs address the applicability of the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations and include guidance related to the Exercise of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Farm Taps published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2019. DATES: Persons interested in submitting comments on the proposed farm tap FAQs must do so by June 19, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number PHMSA– 2019–0131, by any of the following methods: • E-Gov Web: http:// www.regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: DOT Docket Management System: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. • Fax: 202–493–2251. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Apr 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 • Instructions: Identify the docket PHMSA–2019–0131, at the beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, submit two copies. If you wish to receive confirmation that PHMSA received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Internet users may submit comments at http:// www.regulations.gov. • Privacy Act: DOT may solicit comments from the public regarding certain general notices. 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 www.dot.gov/privacy. • Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this document contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this document, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 CFR 190.343, you may ask PHMSA to give confidential treatment to information you give to the agency by taking the following steps: (1) Mark each page of the original document submission containing CBI as ‘‘Confidential’’; (2) send PHMSA, along with the original document, a second copy of the original document with the CBI deleted; and (3) explain why the information you are submitting is CBI. Unless you are notified otherwise, PHMSA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this document. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Sayler Palabrica at DOT, PHMSA, PHP–30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, PHP–30, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Any commentary PHMSA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this matter. • Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. Alternatively, you may review the documents in person at the street address listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General: Mr. Sayler Palabrica by PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 telephone at 202–366–0559, or email at sayler.palabrica@dot.gov. Technical: Mr. Chris McLaren by telephone at 281–216–4455, or email at chris.mclaren@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PHMSA provides written clarification of the pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR parts 190–199) in the form of FAQs and other guidance materials. PHMSA is requesting public comment on a set of proposed FAQs intended to clarify, explain, and promote better understanding and implementation of the requirements in Parts 191 and 192 with respect to individual service pipelines directly connected to transmission, gathering, or production pipelines. These facilities are typically located in rural areas and are commonly known as ‘‘farm taps.’’ These proposed FAQs reflect PHMSA’s current application of the regulations to the specific implementation scenarios presented. However, there are many situations and configurations in which farm taps exist in gas pipeline systems, and individual FAQs cannot account for all possible scenarios. Operators may request written regulatory interpretations from PHMSA regarding specific situations in accordance with § 190.11. FAQs are provided to help the regulated community understand how to comply with the regulations, but they are not substantive rules themselves and do not create legally enforceable rights, assign duties, or impose new obligations not otherwise contained in the existing regulations and standards. However, an operator who is able to demonstrate compliance with the FAQs is likely to be able to demonstrate compliance with the relevant regulations. If a different course of action is taken by a pipeline operator, the operator must be able to demonstrate that its conduct is in accordance with the regulations. On January 23, 2017, PHMSA published a final rule titled ‘‘Operator Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Changes’’ in the Federal Register (82 FR 7972). This final rule, effective March 24, 2017, excepted individual service lines directly connected to a transmission, gathering, or production pipeline from the distribution integrity management program (DIMP) regulations at § 192.1003(b). Instead, PHMSA added § 192.740, requiring periodic inspection and maintenance for pressureregulating, limiting, and overpressure protection devices on individual service lines directly connected to production, gathering, or transmission pipelines. E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 76 / Monday, April 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS PHMSA adopted this approach after working with stakeholders to best identify how to address risks to the integrity of farm taps in an appropriate and cost-effective manner. After the publication of the rule, industry stakeholders commented that PHMSA had underestimated the costs of compliance with the new § 192.740 farm tap inspection requirements, and that existing DIMP requirements, in conjunction with other current requirements such as § 192.723(b)(2) leak surveys, could provide an equivalent level of safety. As part of DOT’s regulatory review process, PHMSA is considering changes to the requirements for maintaining pressureregulating, limiting, and overpressure protection devices on farm taps in the future. On March 26, 2019, PHMSA issued an Announcement of Enforcement Discretion (84 FR 11253) that provides operators with the flexibility to address the safety of pressure control, limiting, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Apr 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 and overpressure protection devices on farm taps under either § 192.740 or their DIMP, as specified by § 192.1003 prior to its revision. To help operators better understand the applicability of § 192.740 and other issues related to farm taps, PHMSA is issuing these proposed FAQs. PHMSA invites interested parties to review the proposed FAQs and submit written comments, data, or other information. Other topics addressed in the proposed FAQs include how to determine if a farm tap is regulated; reporting requirements for distribution services from an unregulated source pipeline; the applicability of operation and maintenance requirements; regulatory definitions; the applicability of certain requirements to existing facilities; testing requirements; and other Part 192 requirements. When finalized, these FAQs will supersede FAQ C.3.7 in the Distribution Integrity Management Frequently Asked Questions document at: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/ PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 21821 gas-distribution-integrity-management/ gas-distribution-integrity-managementfaqs. The proposed FAQs and other supporting documents are available online on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, https://www.regulations.gov; search for Docket No. PHMSA–2019– 0131. Before finalizing the proposed FAQs, PHMSA will evaluate all comments received on or before the comment closing date. Comments received after the closing date will be evaluated to the extent practicable. Once finalized, PHMSA’s FAQs will be posted on PHMSA’s public website at https://www.phmsa.dot.gov. Issued in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2020, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Alan K. Mayberry, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. [FR Doc. 2020–07922 Filed 4–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 76 (Monday, April 20, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 21820-21821]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07922]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 191 and 192

[Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0131]


Pipeline Safety: Farm Taps Frequently Asked Questions

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

ACTION: Announcement of frequently asked questions; request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(PHMSA) is making available for comment a set of proposed frequently 
asked questions (FAQs) regarding individual service lines directly 
connected to production, gathering, or transmission pipelines, commonly 
referred to as farm taps. The proposed FAQs address the applicability 
of the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations and include guidance related 
to the Exercise of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Farm Taps published 
in the Federal Register on March 26, 2019.

DATES: Persons interested in submitting comments on the proposed farm 
tap FAQs must do so by June 19, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number PHMSA-
2019-0131, by any of the following methods:
     E-Gov Web: http://www.regulations.gov. This site allows 
the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by 
any agency. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: DOT Docket Management System: West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9:00 
a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Instructions: Identify the docket PHMSA-2019-0131, at the 
beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, submit 
two copies. If you wish to receive confirmation that PHMSA received 
your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Internet 
users may submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov.
     Privacy Act: DOT may solicit comments from the public 
regarding certain general notices. 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 www.dot.gov/privacy.
     Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both 
customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from 
public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this document contain 
commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as 
private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or 
responsive to this document, it is important that you clearly designate 
the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 CFR 190.343, you may ask 
PHMSA to give confidential treatment to information you give to the 
agency by taking the following steps: (1) Mark each page of the 
original document submission containing CBI as ``Confidential''; (2) 
send PHMSA, along with the original document, a second copy of the 
original document with the CBI deleted; and (3) explain why the 
information you are submitting is CBI. Unless you are notified 
otherwise, PHMSA will treat such marked submissions as confidential 
under FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this 
document. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Sayler Palabrica 
at DOT, PHMSA, PHP-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, PHP-30, Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
    Any commentary PHMSA receives that is not specifically designated 
as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this matter.
     Docket: For access to the docket to read background 
documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. 
Alternatively, you may review the documents in person at the street 
address listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General: Mr. Sayler Palabrica by 
telephone at 202-366-0559, or email at [email protected].
    Technical: Mr. Chris McLaren by telephone at 281-216-4455, or email 
at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PHMSA provides written clarification of the 
pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR parts 190-199) in the form of FAQs 
and other guidance materials. PHMSA is requesting public comment on a 
set of proposed FAQs intended to clarify, explain, and promote better 
understanding and implementation of the requirements in Parts 191 and 
192 with respect to individual service pipelines directly connected to 
transmission, gathering, or production pipelines. These facilities are 
typically located in rural areas and are commonly known as ``farm 
taps.''
    These proposed FAQs reflect PHMSA's current application of the 
regulations to the specific implementation scenarios presented. 
However, there are many situations and configurations in which farm 
taps exist in gas pipeline systems, and individual FAQs cannot account 
for all possible scenarios. Operators may request written regulatory 
interpretations from PHMSA regarding specific situations in accordance 
with Sec.  190.11.
    FAQs are provided to help the regulated community understand how to 
comply with the regulations, but they are not substantive rules 
themselves and do not create legally enforceable rights, assign duties, 
or impose new obligations not otherwise contained in the existing 
regulations and standards. However, an operator who is able to 
demonstrate compliance with the FAQs is likely to be able to 
demonstrate compliance with the relevant regulations. If a different 
course of action is taken by a pipeline operator, the operator must be 
able to demonstrate that its conduct is in accordance with the 
regulations.
    On January 23, 2017, PHMSA published a final rule titled ``Operator 
Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and 
Other Pipeline Safety Changes'' in the Federal Register (82 FR 7972). 
This final rule, effective March 24, 2017, excepted individual service 
lines directly connected to a transmission, gathering, or production 
pipeline from the distribution integrity management program (DIMP) 
regulations at Sec.  192.1003(b). Instead, PHMSA added Sec.  192.740, 
requiring periodic inspection and maintenance for pressure-regulating, 
limiting, and overpressure protection devices on individual service 
lines directly connected to production, gathering, or transmission 
pipelines.

[[Page 21821]]

PHMSA adopted this approach after working with stakeholders to best 
identify how to address risks to the integrity of farm taps in an 
appropriate and cost-effective manner.
    After the publication of the rule, industry stakeholders commented 
that PHMSA had underestimated the costs of compliance with the new 
Sec.  192.740 farm tap inspection requirements, and that existing DIMP 
requirements, in conjunction with other current requirements such as 
Sec.  192.723(b)(2) leak surveys, could provide an equivalent level of 
safety. As part of DOT's regulatory review process, PHMSA is 
considering changes to the requirements for maintaining pressure-
regulating, limiting, and overpressure protection devices on farm taps 
in the future.
    On March 26, 2019, PHMSA issued an Announcement of Enforcement 
Discretion (84 FR 11253) that provides operators with the flexibility 
to address the safety of pressure control, limiting, and overpressure 
protection devices on farm taps under either Sec.  192.740 or their 
DIMP, as specified by Sec.  192.1003 prior to its revision.
    To help operators better understand the applicability of Sec.  
192.740 and other issues related to farm taps, PHMSA is issuing these 
proposed FAQs. PHMSA invites interested parties to review the proposed 
FAQs and submit written comments, data, or other information. Other 
topics addressed in the proposed FAQs include how to determine if a 
farm tap is regulated; reporting requirements for distribution services 
from an unregulated source pipeline; the applicability of operation and 
maintenance requirements; regulatory definitions; the applicability of 
certain requirements to existing facilities; testing requirements; and 
other Part 192 requirements. When finalized, these FAQs will supersede 
FAQ C.3.7 in the Distribution Integrity Management Frequently Asked 
Questions document at: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/gas-distribution-integrity-management/gas-distribution-integrity-management-faqs.
    The proposed FAQs and other supporting documents are available 
online on the Federal eRulemaking Portal, https://www.regulations.gov; 
search for Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0131. Before finalizing the proposed 
FAQs, PHMSA will evaluate all comments received on or before the 
comment closing date. Comments received after the closing date will be 
evaluated to the extent practicable. Once finalized, PHMSA's FAQs will 
be posted on PHMSA's public website at https://www.phmsa.dot.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2020, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2020-07922 Filed 4-17-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-60-P