Recently PHMSA issued its final rule expanding Federal pipeline safety oversight to all onshore gas gathering pipelines. Known as the PHMSA Mega Rule, this ruling has tremendous impact on the US pipeline industry, adding significant scope to the current pipeline integrity management requirements.
The final rule affects tens of thousands of miles of previously unregulated gas gathering pipelines. Also, pipeline operators have to report safety information for more than 450,000 miles of gas gathering lines governed by Federal reporting requirements.
Some of the impacts of the PHMSA MEGA rule on the industry include:
- An approximately 20% increase in the number of regulated pipelines in the United States
The addition of 20% more regulated pipelines had a significant impact on an industry where highly qualified integrity professionals and related services were limited in supply and the industry was already struggling to meet demand. These additional pipelines required significant integrity resources.
- Expedited reporting requirements
The time restrictions for implementing the new rule were accelerated, with initial reporting requirements having started in July 2020. The time to comply with these regulations was reduced by 20% from the initial draft order timeline.
- Increased cathodic protection requirements
Many pipelines that previously were not regulated and have not had proper CP required a properly designed, maintained, and tested cathodic protection system.
What Does The Final Rule State?
The final rule expands PHMSA’s Part 192 to gas gathering lines that fall within Class C, a new pipe category. Within Class C, the requirements for operators vary based on a risk scale. The risk scale varies with pipeline diameter and proximity to people (BIHO – buildings intended for human occupancy).
For pipelines that meet these criteria, the requirements for corrosion control (CFR 49 Part 192 Subpart I – Requirements for Corrosion Control) will now apply to these previously unregulated lines. The Part 191 incident and annual reporting requirements have expanded to include all previously uncontrolled gas gathering lines, regardless of Class.
How Can MATCOR Help Company Operators Comply with PHMSA Mega Rule?
Gas producers and midstream gas pipeline operators have to reevaluate their pipeline networks to incorporate any previously uncontrolled pipelines to comply with CFR 191 and CF 192. MATCOR offers a wide range of cathodic protection and integrity services to help our customers including:
- Field Integrity Surveys
- External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)
- CP Assessments
- CP Design
- CP Installations
- Annual Testing Services
- Test Station Installations
- Remote Monitoring
- CP Maintenance
- AC Interference
It is going to continue to be exciting times in the midstream market.
Read or download the full PHMSA final rule.
If you are looking for help complying with the PHMSA’s new Mega Rule and its additional requirements, please contact us. We will respond by phone or email within 24 hours. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.Contact a Corrosion Expert