Pipeline Safety: Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties
PHMSA is revising references in its regulations to the maximum civil penalties for violations of the Federal Pipeline Safety Laws, or any PHMSA regulation or order issued thereunder. Under the ``Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,'' which further amended the ``Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990,'' federal agencies are required to adjust their civil monetary penalties effective August 1, 2016, and then annually thereafter, to account for changes in inflation. PHMSA finds good cause to amend the regulation related to civil penalties without notice and opportunity for public comment. For the reasons described below, advance public notice is unnecessary.
Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous Petitions for Rulemaking (RRR)
In response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community, PHMSA proposes to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171 through 180) to update, clarify, or provide relief from miscellaneous regulatory requirements. Specifically, PHMSA is proposing amendments that include, but are not limited to, the following: Incorporating by Reference (IBR) multiple publications from both the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and the Chlorine Institute; addressing inconsistencies with domestic and international labels and placards; permitting alternative testing for aerosols; no longer mandating that excepted quantities comply with the emergency response telephone requirement; allowing electronic signatures for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manifest forms; and no longer requiring the service pressure to be marked on Department of Transportation (DOT) 8 and 8L cylinders.
Hazardous Materials: Revision of Maximum and Minimum Civil Penalties
PHMSA is revising the maximum and minimum civil penalties for a knowing violation of the Federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law. The ``Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015'' (the 2015 Act), which amended the Federal Civil Penalties, Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act), requires Agencies to update their civil monetary penalties through interim final rulemaking. The maximum civil penalty for a knowing violation is now $77,114, except for violations that result in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property, for which the maximum civil penalty is $179,933. In addition, the minimum civil penalty amount for a violation relating to training is now $463.
Pipeline Safety: Gaseous Carbon Dioxide Pipelines
PHMSA is seeking public comment on a PHMSA-authored report titled: ``Background for Regulating the Transportation of Carbon Dioxide in a Gaseous State,'' which is available in the docket at PHMSA-2016-0049. The report evaluates existing and potential future gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines and outlines PHMSA's approach for establishing minimum pipeline safety standards for the transportation of carbon dioxide in a gaseous state to fulfill the requirements of section 15 of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (the Act). The Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to ``prescribe minimum safety standards for the transportation of carbon dioxide by pipeline in a gaseous state.'' PHMSA is seeking to better understand the possible effects of the regulatory scenarios presented within the report, as well as the locations and extent of gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines, and is requesting feedback on the validity and applicability of these effects and the location and extent of these pipelines. As PHMSA does not currently regulate these pipelines, its ability to reach out and locate operators of gaseous carbon dioxide pipelines has been limited and it is unclear if PHMSA's current information is comprehensive.
Hazardous Materials: Information Collection Activities
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, PHMSA invites comments on an information collection pertaining to hazardous materials transportation for which PHMSA intends to request renewal from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Pipeline Safety: Public Workshop on Underground Natural Gas Storage Safety
This notice announces a public meeting to solicit input and obtain background information concerning underground natural gas storage safety. PHMSA and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) are co-sponsoring this one-day workshop. The workshop will bring federal and state regulators, emergency responders, industry, and interested members of the public together to participate in understanding and shaping the future for maintaining the safety of underground natural gas storage facilities. PHMSA and NAPSR recognize that the October, 2015, Southern California Gas Company's (SoCal Gas) Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage facility leak on Well SS25 located in the Porter Ranch area near Los Angeles, California, has drawn concerns regarding natural gas storage well safety and the environmental effects of an incident. Currently, throughout the United States, approximately 400 interstate and intrastate underground natural gas storage facilities are operating with more than four trillion cubic feet of natural gas working capacity.
Pipeline Safety: Request for Revision of a Previously Approved Information Information Collection: National Pipeline Mapping System Program
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request, abstracted below, is being forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. On August 27, 2015, (79 FR 44246), PHMSA published a notice and request for comments in the Federal Register titled: ``Pipeline Safety: Request for Revision of a Previously Approved Information Collection: National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Program (OMB Control No. 2137-0596),'' seeking comments on proposed changes to the NPMS data collection. During the comment period, which was extended until November 25, 2015, PHMSA received many comments on ways to improve this data collection. We are publishing this notice to address the comments received and to announce our proposed path forward.
Pipeline Safety: Ineffective Protection, Detection, and Mitigation of Corrosion Resulting From Insulated Coatings on Buried Pipelines
PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to remind all owners and operators of hazardous liquid, carbon dioxide, and gas pipelines, as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 192 and 195, to consider the overall integrity of the facilities to ensure the safety of the public and operating personnel and to protect the environment. Operators are reminded to review their pipeline operations to ensure that pipeline segments that are both buried and insulated have effective coating and corrosion-control systems to protect against cathodic protection shielding, conduct in-line inspections for all threats, and ensure in-line inspection tool findings are accurate, verified, and conducted for all pipeline threats.
Hazardous Materials: Information Collection Activities
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Requests (ICRs) discussed below will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal and extension. These ICRs describe the nature of the information collections and their expected burdens. A Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on these ICRs was published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2016 [81 FR 15785] under Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0027 (Notice No. 2016-2). PHMSA did not receive any comments in response to the March 24, 2016 notice.
Pipeline Safety: Public Workshop on Public Awareness
This notice is announcing a one-day public workshop PHMSA is sponsoring on public awareness to bring pipeline safety stakeholders together to review the findings from the joint Public Awareness Program Working Group's (PAPWG) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Report and explore future actions that can be taken to expand public awareness and stakeholder engagement efforts. Various stakeholders, including federal and state regulators, industry, pipeline operators, public, emergency response officials, local public officials, land planners, and excavators, will engage to strengthen pipeline safety public awareness.
Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous Amendments (RRR)
In this final rule, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to make miscellaneous amendments in order to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements. These amendments are designed to promote safer transportation practices, address petitions for rulemaking, respond to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendations, facilitate international commerce, make editorial corrections, and simplify the regulations. The amendments in this rulemaking include, but are not limited to, removing the packing group (PG) II designation for certain organic peroxides, self-reactive substances, and explosives; incorporating requirements for trailers of manifolded acetylene cylinders; providing requirements to allow for shipments of damaged wet electric batteries; and revising the requirements for the packaging of nitric acid, testing of pressure relief devices on cargo tanks, and shipments of black or smokeless powder for small arms.