New Jobs Bill Has Infrastructure Funding Provision; pipeline safety issues crop up; GHG reporting

May 2010 Vol. 65 No. 5

The advisory bulletin was issued because during the 2008 and 2009 pipeline construction periods, several newly constructed large diameter, 20-inch or greater, high strength (API 5L X70 and X80) natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines experienced field hydrostatic test failures, in-service leaks or in-service failures of line pipe girth welds. Post-incident metallurgical
and mechanical tests and inspections of the line pipe, fittings, bends and other appurtenances indicated pipe with weld misalignment, improper bevels of transitions, improper back welds and improper support of the pipe and appurtenances. In some cases, pipe end conditions did not meet
the design and construction requirements of the applicable standards. The advisory bulletin can be found at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-6528.htm.

The workshop discussed PHMSA's recently issued guidance ``Guidelines for Integrity Assessment of Cased Pipe in Gas Transmission Pipelines'' and related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The latest guidelines and FAQs are available online at: http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/gasimp/documents.htm. PHMSA issued the guidelines at the request of operators who reported that they were encountering technical challenges in conducting External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA) on cased pipe, which is required under the integrity management rule when that pipe runs through HCAs.

Greenhouse gas reporting
The Environmental Protection Agency softened some of the prospective greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring requirements for the natural gas transmission companies but the supplemental rule the agency published on March 22 left the industry miffed nonetheless. Lisa Beal, director, Environment and Construction Policy, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA),
explains that the EPA did follow some of the suggestions the industry made after the agency published a worrisome proposed rule in April 2009.