The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 requires operators of transmission pipelines to establish an integrity management program in “high density population areas.” The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) subsequently issued a rule for integrity management of gas transmission pipelines in high-consequence areas, which became effective on February 14, 2004. Baseline assessments for covered pipelines must be completed by December 17, 2012. Reassessments for covered pipelines must be conducted within 7 years.
Reassessments of covered pipelines will begin in 2009, or earlier for most pipeline operators. AGA had previously estimated the cost of compliance for local distribution companies (LDCs) to be approximately $3.2 billion over the 20-year period, excluding the cost of repairs of pipe based upon assessments. AGA is working with Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) on a revised estimate for compliance.
AGA continues working with its members by serving as a resource for operators
in implementing their integrity management programs.
Since 2004, AGA has sponsored workshops focusing on pipeline integrity implementation,
particularly in the application of External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA) as an integrity
assessment methodology. AGA has also been actively working with DOT, INGAA and the U.S. Government Accountability Office to collect information that would justify using a technically based reassessment interval, rather than the 7-year interval currently mandated.
AGA will continue playing an active role where clarifications are sought in either the regulation or audit protocols written by DOT to facilitate the regulatory inspection process. AGA will continue to work with DOT and the research community to identify an acceptable and practicable approach for operators who are endeavoring to utilize ECDA to conduct baseline assessments on pipelines.
AGA Contact: Andrew Lu, (202) 824-7341, email@example.com