[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 167 (Wednesday, August 28, 2013)]
[Pages 53190-53191]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20910]



Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2013-0185]

Pipeline Safety: Notice to Operators of Hazardous Liquid and 
Natural Gas Pipelines of a Recall on Leak Repair Clamps Due to 
Defective Seal

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

ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.


SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to alert all pipeline 
operators of a T.D. Williamson, Inc. (TDW) Leak Repair Clamp (LRC) 
recall issued by TDW on June 17, 2013. The recall covers all TDW LRCs 
of any pressure class and any size. The LRCs may develop a dangerous 
leak due to a defective seal. Hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline 
operators should

[[Page 53191]]

verify if they have any TDW LRCs subject to the recall by reviewing 
their records and equipment for installation of these LRCs. Operators 
with TDW LRCs should discontinue use immediately and contact TDW for 
further recall instructions. Operators can obtain recall information 
through TDW's Web site at http://lrc.tdwilliamson.com/ or by calling 
TDW at 888-770-7085.

ADDRESSES: This document can be viewed on the PHMSA home page at: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ken Lee by phone at 202-366-2694 or by 
email at [email protected].


I. Background

    On July 17, 2013, TDW issued a recall of its LRCs. The recall 
covers any TDW LRC of any pressure class or any size. The TDW LRC is a 
hinged split sleeve that is designed to fit around the damaged area of 
the affected pipe and provide a sealing barrier to arrest leaking 
product. The seal is activated when applied pressure from bolts causes 
the internal seal to encapsulate the leak. TDW specifies that this 
clamp provides temporary repair only when it is bolted closed. TDW 
designates the LRC as a permanent repair when it is welded shut; this 
is analogous to a full encirclement welded split sleeve with welded 
ends (e.g., B-Type Sleeve). The LRC may leak when it is installed in 
the bolted-closed position. According to TDW, when the LRC is 
completely welded shut the defective seal is encapsulated and no 
leakage is expected.
    The LRCs subject to the recall were manufactured for TDW from 
September 2002 through August 2012 to the specifications of API 6H 
``Specification on End Closures, Connectors, and Swivels.'' Ranging in 
size from two-inches to 48-inches, the LRCs are designed for pressure 
classes of 150, 300, 400, 600 and 900 in accordance with ASME/ANSI 
B16.5 Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings. These LRCs were manufactured 
for use on hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines.
    TDW investigated an installed LRC, which indicated leakage, and 
determined that the manufactured seal was defective and could 
potentially be dangerous to public safety. Subsequently due to this 
investigation, TDW conducted a study through an independent laboratory 
to identify the failure mechanism, determine repair options, and 
evaluate the fitness of all existing LRCs. TDW concluded that a recall 
was necessary and urges all of its customers to stop using its existing 
TDW LRCs and contact TDW immediately.
    TDW has assigned personnel to follow-up and communicate directly 
with customers on the recall process and progress. TDW has established 
a Web site which offers three replacement options to customers to 
register for repair, obtain credit, or request a refund for the LRC. 
TDW has designated customer service personnel for each region on a 
global basis to assist with the recall process.

II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2013-04)

    To: Owners and Operators of Hazardous Liquid and Natural Gas 
Pipeline Systems.
    Subject: Notice to Operators of Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquid 
Pipelines of a Recall on Leak Repair Clamps Due to Defective Seal.
    Advisory: PHMSA is informing all pipeline operators that TDW has 
deemed its LRCs defective due to the seal contained in every clamp not 
maintaining adequate pressure causing the clamp to fail. TDW has 
determined that failure of this clamp may cause a leak that could cause 
a fire or explosion resulting in injury or death. TDW asks all of its 
customers to stop using the LRC immediately and return it to TDW and 
follow up with TDW's recall procedures for the LRC.
    PHMSA advises hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline operators 
to take the following measures:
     Verify records to determine if a TDW LRC is installed.
     Stop using the TDW LRC immediately.
     Contact TDW and follow up with its recall process.
     TDW Web site: http://lrc.tdwilliamson.com/.
     TDW phone number: 888-770-7085.

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. chapter 601; 49 CFR 1.53.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 22, 2013.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-20910 Filed 8-27-13; 8:45 am]