On November 12, INGAA filed comments on PHMSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking proposing an extension of regulations that would govern control room management for natural gas transmission pipelines and hazardous liquid pipelines. The proposed regulations cover such topics as SCADA systems, alarms, controller fatigue, shift changes, training and executive verification of compliance.
INGAA opposed the proposed regulations, noting (1) that they departed from the direction Congress gave PHMSA when it passed the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act; (2) that they imposed significant costs on industry with no measurable improvement in safety; and, (3) that they departed from informal consensus positions that had been reached through discussions involving PHMSA, the regulated community, state safety inspectors and others. INGAA urged PHMSA to withdraw the proposed regulations and adopt a substitute set of regulations developed by INGAA, the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association, the American Oil Pipeline Association and the American Petroleum Institute. The substitute regulations are closely patterned after the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 1168, which was released for publication in September 2008.