View Rule

View EO 12866 Meetings Printer-Friendly Version     Download RIN Data in XML

DOT/PHMSA RIN: 2137-AE66 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines 

In recent years, there have been significant hazardous liquid pipeline accidents, most notably the 2010 crude oil spill near Marshall, Michigan, during which almost one million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Kalamazoo River. In response to accident investigation findings, incident report data and trends, and stakeholder input, PHMSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on October 13, 2015. Previously, Congress had enacted the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act that included several provisions that are relevant to the regulation of hazardous liquid pipelines. Shortly after the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act was passed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its accident investigation report on the Marshall, Michigan accident. In this rulemaking action, PHMSA is amending the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 195   
Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

PHMSA is proposing to make the following changes to the hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations: (1) Repeal the exception for gravity lines; (2) Extend certain reporting requirements to all hazardous liquid gathering lines; (3) Require inspections of pipelines in areas affected by extreme weather, natural disasters, and other similar events; (4) Require periodic assessments of pipelines that are not already covered under the integrity management (IM) program requirements; (5) Expand the use of leak detection systems on hazardous liquid pipelines to mitigate the effects of failures that occur outside of high consequence areas; (6) Modify the IM repair criteria, both by expanding the list of conditions that require immediate remediation and consolidating the time frames for re-mediating all other conditions, and apply those same criteria to pipelines that are not subject to the IM requirements, with an adjusted schedule for performing non-immediate repairs; (7) Increase the use of inline inspection tools by requiring that any pipeline that could affect a high consequence area be capable of accommodating these devices within 20 years, unless its basic construction will not permit that accommodation; and (8) Other regulations will also be clarified to improve compliance and enforcement. These changes will protect the public, property, and the environment by ensuring that additional pipelines are subject to regulation, increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of pipeline failures. This rule responds to a Congressional mandate in the 2011 Pipeline Reauthorization Act (sections 5, 8, 21, 29, 14); NTSB recommendation P-12-03 and P-12-04; and GAO recommendation 12-388.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Congress established the current framework for regulating the safety of hazardous liquid pipelines in the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act (HLPSA) of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-129). Like its predecessor, the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (Pub. L. 90-481), the HLPSA provided the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) with the authority to prescribe minimum Federal safety standards for hazardous liquid pipeline facilities. That authority, as amended in subsequent reauthorizations, is currently codified in the Pipeline Safety Laws (49 U.S.C. sections 60101 et seq.).


The various alternatives analyzed included no action "status quo" and individualized alternatives based on the proposed amendments.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

PHMSA cannot estimate costs or benefits precisely, but based on the information, the present value of costs and benefits over a 20-year period is approximately $56 million and $98 million, respectively at 7 percent. Thus, net benefits are approximately $46 million ($102 million - $56 million) over 20 years.


The proposed rule will provide increased safety for the regulated entities and reduce pipeline safety risks.

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  10/18/2010  75 FR 63774   
Comment Period Extended  01/04/2011  76 FR 303   
ANPRM Comment Period End  01/18/2011 
Extended Comment Period End  02/18/2011 
NPRM  10/13/2015  80 FR 61610   
NPRM Comment Period End  01/08/2016 
Final Rule  12/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
John A. Gale
Transportation Regulations Specialist
Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-0434