Gas Integrity Management Update

We received the following information from OPS recently, and have included it verbatim for the benefit of our readers. We will provide further information as it becomes available.

This message is to update you regarding the OPS Gas Integrity Management Program. Below you will find information and resources regarding the program’s key elements and their current status. I hope you find the information useful in accomplishing your integrity management goals.

Gas Integrity Management Public Meeting – May 11-12, 2004, at the Westin Galleria, 5060 West Alabama, Houston, Texas. The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) will cosponsor a workshop to discuss the Gas Pipeline Integrity Management final rule issued on December 15, 2003. The workshop will provide a detailed review and discussion of gas pipeline integrity management program requirements. Comments and issues developed at the workshop will help OPS and NAPSR implement oversight of operators’ compliance with the gas pipeline integrity management rule. A Federal Register Notice regarding the meeting details should be published by next week. You can register for the meeting under the “Meetings” link at the OPS Gas Integrity Management Web Page: primis.rspa.dot.gov/gasimp/.

Corrections to the Gas Integrity Management Final Rule – The OPS has identified errors in the published final rule (68 FR 69778; December 15, 2003), such as incorrect reference numbers, editorial errors, incorrect terms and misspellings. Additionally, OPS has identified language in several provisions of the rule that is confusing and needs clarification. The OPS is preparing a Federal Register Notice that delineates the necessary corrections and clarifications. None of the corrections substantively changes any requirement in the rule. The corrections, when published, will also be posted on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site.

Frequently Asked Questions – The OPS has posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. These questions are currently under review for identification of technical issues to be considered when providing answers to the FAQs. If you have questions or comments regarding the Gas Integrity Management Rule please post them under the “Question or Comment” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. If you would like to comment on a specific FAQ please reference it by the identifying number provided e.g. [FAQ-6]. OPS expects to begin posting answers to the FAQs in the next few weeks.

Inspection Protocols – The OPS Draft Inspection Protocols have been posted on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site under “Protocols”. To comment on the protocols please enter your comments under the “Question and Comment” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site. When commenting on a protocol please identify the specific protocol by the protocol designation [e.g. “A.1 Program Requirements”]. Your comments are encouraged and welcome. Please note the inspection protocols are in draft and are subject to change.

Protocol Pilot Testing – The OPS is soliciting operators to serve as volunteers for pilot testing of the draft inspection protocols with a group of OPS inspectors in July and August of 2004. You can learn more about this effort under the “Protocol Pilot Testing” link on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site.

Inspection Protocol Workshop – The OPS is tentatively planning an Inspection Protocol workshop for the 4th quarter of 2004. The workshop will provide a forum for a discussion of the OPS Gas Integrity Management Inspection Protocols. Information regarding this meeting will be posted in the Federal Register and on the Gas Integrity Management Web Site at least one month in advance of the meeting.

As always the Gas Integrity Management Web Site is where to ask questions and find the latest information regarding Gas Pipeline Integrity Management. As mentioned above the Web Site is located at: primis.rspa.dot.gov/gasimp/.