49 U.S. Code § 60139 - Maximum allowable operating pressure
Maximum allowable operating pressure
(a) Verification of Records.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall require each owner or operator of a pipeline facility to conduct, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this section, a verification of the records of the owner or operator relating to the interstate and intrastate gas transmission pipelines of the owner or operator in class 3 and class 4 locations and class 1 and class 2 high-consequence areas.
The purpose of the verification shall be to ensure that the records accurately reflect the physical and operational characteristics of the pipelines described in paragraph (1) and confirm the established maximum allowable operating pressure of the pipelines.
The verification process under this subsection shall include such elements as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(1)Documentation of certain pipelines.—
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this section, each owner or operator of a pipeline facility shall identify and submit to the Secretary documentation relating to each pipeline segment of the owner or operator described in subsection (a)(1) for which the records of the owner or operator are insufficient to confirm the established maximum allowable operating pressure of the segment.
(2)Exceedances of maximum allowable operating pressure.—
If there is an exceedance of the maximum allowable operating pressure with respect to a gas transmission pipeline of an owner or operator of a pipeline facility that exceeds the build-up allowed for operation of pressure-limiting or control devices, the owner or operator shall report the exceedance to the Secretary and appropriate State authorities on or before the 5th day following the date on which the exceedance occurs.
(c) Determination of Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure.—
(1)In general.—In the case of a transmission line of an owner or operator of a pipeline facility identified under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall—
require the owner or operator to reconfirm a maximum allowable operating pressure as expeditiously as economically feasible; and
In determining the actions for an owner or operator of a pipeline facility to take under paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary shall take into account potential consequences to public safety and the environment, potential impacts on pipeline system reliability and deliverability, and other factors, as appropriate.
(d) Testing Regulations.—
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue regulations for conducting tests to confirm the material strength of previously untested natural gas transmission pipelines located in high-consequence areas and operating at a pressure greater than 30 percent of specified minimum yield strength.
(2)Considerations.—In developing the regulations, the Secretary shall consider safety testing methodologies, including, at a minimum—
other alternative methods, including in-line inspections, determined by the Secretary to be of equal or greater effectiveness.
(3)Completion of testing.—
The Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and State regulators, as appropriate, shall establish timeframes for the completion of such testing that take into account potential consequences to public safety and the environment and that minimize costs and service disruptions.
(e)High-consequence Area Defined.—
In this section, the term “high-consequence area” means an area described in section 60109(a).
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