Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) today commended the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for issuing a Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) Final Rule that is reasonable, flexible, cost-effective and will further enhance public safety.
“We are pleased that six years of public workshops and stakeholder meetings have resulted in a comprehensive Final Rule that provides an added layer of protection to the already-strong pipeline safety programs implemented by local distribution companies,” stated AGA president and CEO David N. Parker.
The most significant rulemaking affecting natural gas distribution operators since the inception of the federal pipeline safety code, the Final Rule effectively takes into consideration the wide differences that exist between natural gas distribution operators. It also allows operators to develop a DIMP plan that is appropriate for the operating characteristics of their distribution delivery system and the customers that they serve.
“Throughout the entire process, PHMSA took a collaborative approach in bringing together all affected stakeholders and crafting a practicable regulation that will allow the industry to improve even further upon its already impressive safety record,” Parker said.
The 2006 PIPES Act mandated that PHMSA develop a regulation requiring DIMP for natural gas distribution operators. The initial notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on June 25, 2008. Under the Final Rule, operators have until August 2, 2011, to develop and implement their DIMP.