Pipeline Safety: Standards for Increasing the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure for Gas Transmission Pipelines
PHMSA proposes to amend the pipeline safety regulations to prescribe safety requirements for the operation of certain gas transmission pipelines at pressures based on higher stress levels. The result would be an increase of maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) over that currently allowed in the regulations. This action would update regulatory standards to reflect improvements in pipeline materials, assessment tools, and maintenance practices, which together have significantly reduced the risk of failure in steel pipeline fabricated and installed over the last twenty-five years. The proposed rule would allow use of an established industry standard for the calculation of MAOP, but limit application of the standard to pipelines posing a low safety risk based on location, materials, and construction. The proposed rule would generate significant public benefits by boosting the potential capacity and efficiency of pipeline infrastructure, while promoting investment in improved pipe technology and rigorous life- cycle maintenance.