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New PHMSA Significantly Expands Federal Safety Regulations to Over 425,000 Miles of Gas Gathering

On November 15, 2021, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule for onshore gas gathering lines. The rule, initiated 10 years ago, puts into place new safety standards and regulatory requirements for previously unregulated onshore gas gathering lines. The rule requires all gas-gathering pipeline operators to begin following new safety standards and reporting filings.

The new rule is continuing to use existing gas gathering regulations but has added some additional categories of regulated onshore gas gathering lines. The new definitions also now limit the use of the incidental gathering provision to 10 miles. In addition to PHMSA’s existing regulated onshore gas gathering lines designations (Type A and Type B), the final rule creates:

  • A new category of onshore gas gathering lines that are only subject to incident and annual reporting requirements (Type R); and
  • Another new category of regulated onshore gas gathering lines in rural, Class 1 locations that are subject to certain Part 191 reporting and registration requirements and Part 192 safety standards (Type C).

The applicability of each of the requirements for Type C regulated gas gathering lines in the final rule is as follows:

Requirements for Type C gathering lines with outside diameters of 8.625 inches and greater:

  • Design, installation, construction, and initial inspection and testing for lines that are new, replaced, relocated, or otherwise changed after the applicable compliance date in § 192.13 per transmission line requirements in part 192;
  • Corrosion Control (part 192, subpart I);
  • Damage Prevention Program (§ 192.614);
  • Emergency Plans (§ 192.615);
  • Public Awareness (§ 192.616);
  • Line Markers (§ 192.707); and
  • Leakage Surveys (§ 192.706).

Additional requirements for Type C gathering lines with outside diameters greater than 12.75 inches:

  • Applicable requirements of part 192 for plastic pipe and components; and
  • Establishment of MAOP (§ 192.619).

Contact Douglas Pipeline to learn more about the new gathering regulations.