Pipeline Safety: Issues Related to Mechanical Couplings Used in Natural Gas Distribution Systems
Recent events concerning failures of mechanical couplings and related appurtenances have raised concerns about safety in natural gas distribution systems. This notice updates information provided in Advisory Bulletin ADB-86-02 and advises owners and operators of gas pipelines to consider the potential failure modes for mechanical couplings used for joining and pressure sealing two pipes together. Failures can occur when there is inadequate restraint for the potential stresses on the two pipes, when the couplings are incorrectly installed or supported, or when the coupling components such as elastomers degrade over time. In addition, inadequate leak surveys which fail to identify leaks requiring immediate repair can lead to more serious incidents. This notice urges operators to review their procedures for using mechanical couplings and ensure coupling design, installation procedures, leak survey procedures, and personnel qualifications meet Federal requirements. Operators should work with Federal and State pipeline safety representatives, manufacturers, and industry partners to determine how best to resolve potential issues in their respective state or region. Documented repair or replacement programs may prove beneficial to all stakeholders involved.
Office of Hazardous Materials Safety; Notice of Delays in Processing of Special Permits Applications
In accordance with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5117( c), PHMSA is publishing the following list of special permit applications that have been in process for 180 days or more. The reason(s) for delay and the expected completion date for action on each application is provided in association with each identified application.