[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 221 (Wednesday, November 16, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 70953]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-29497]



Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 192

[Docket ID PHMSA-2011-0023]
RIN 2137-AE72

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); 

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment 


SUMMARY: On August 25, 2011, (76 FR 53086) PHMSA published in the 
Federal Register an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) 
titled: ``Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines'' seeking comments on 
the need for changes to the regulations covering gas transmission 
pipelines. PHMSA has received requests to extend the comment period in 
order to have more time to evaluate the ANPRM. PHMSA is extending the 
comment period from December 2, 2011, to January 20, 2012.

DATES: The closing date for filing comments is extended from December 
2, 2011, until January 20, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments should reference Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0023 and may 
be submitted in the following ways:
     E-Gov Web Site: http://www.Regulations.gov. This site 
allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice 
issued by any agency.
     Fax: 1 (202) 493-2251.
     Mail: DOT Docket Management System: U.S. DOT, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Hand Delivery: U.S. DOT Docket Management System; West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.
    Instructions: You should identify the Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0023 at 
the beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, 
submit two copies. To receive confirmation that PHMSA received your 
comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Internet users may 
submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Note: Comments are posted without changes or edits to http://
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. 
There is a privacy statement published on http://

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Mike 
Israni at (202) 366-4566 or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 25, 2011, (76 FR 53086), PHMSA 
published an ANPRM seeking comments on the need for changes to the 
regulations covering gas transmission pipelines. Within this ANPRM, 
PHMSA is seeking public comment on 15 specific topic areas in two broad 
categories (integrity management (IM) and Non-IM requirements). In 
particular, PHMSA is interested in knowing whether IM requirements 
should be changed, more prescriptive language added in some areas, and 
non-IM requirements strengthened or expanded. Among the specific issues 
PHMSA is considering concerning IM requirements is whether the 
definition of a high-consequence area should be revised, and whether 
additional restrictions should be placed on the use of specific 
pipeline assessment methods. With respect to non-IM requirements, PHMSA 
is considering whether revised requirements are needed on new 
construction or existing pipelines concerning mainline valves, whether 
requirements for corrosion control of steel pipelines should be 
strengthened, and whether new regulations are needed to govern the 
safety of gathering lines and underground gas storage facilities.
    On September 9, 2011, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of 
America (INGAA) and the American Gas Association (AGA) requested that 
PHMSA extend the comment period of the ANPRM by 90 days. INGAA and AGA 
supported their request stating that the ANPRM poses a large number of 
multi-part questions that cover 15 separate topic areas. They stated 
that to thoughtfully and thoroughly address the issues, significant 
effort on the part of all stakeholders is required, and may include 
industry-wide surveys. They stated that questions regarding cost 
implications and various other impacts will entail an integrated effort 
within the industry to provide a quality, validated, and vetted answer. 
Also, they stated that timing supports their request because they are 
currently in the initial phases of implementing the Control Room 
Management regulations, and completing and verifying their 2011 
projects and conducting maintenance, budget and planning activities 
that will directly impact their pipeline safety compliance efforts this 
year and next. In addition, they stated that PHMSA granted an extension 
of time allowing parties four months to comment on the hazardous liquid 
ANPRM and, therefore, a 90-day extension of the comment period is 
further justified by the depth and scope of the issues addressed in the 
natural gas ANPRM.
    Through this ANPRM, PHMSA has raised several important and complex 
public safety issues, many of which, if implemented, could impose 
significant cost on the pipeline industry. PHMSA needs very thorough 
responses to the questions we have posed in the ANPRM in order to 
facilitate PHMSA's decision making on these very important and complex 
issues. Based on the reasons given by INGAA and AGA in their request to 
extend the comment period, and PHMSA's need to have the best data 
possible to facilitate its decisions relative to these issues, PHMSA 
believes that extension of the comment period is warranted. Therefore, 
PHMSA has extended the comment period from December 2, 2011, to January 
20, 2012.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2011.
Jeffrey D. Wiese,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2011-29497 Filed 11-15-11; 8:45 am]