Pipeline Safety: Class Location Change Requirements
On July 31, 2018, PHMSA issued an ANPRM seeking public comment on its existing class location requirements for natural gas transmission pipelines as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes due to population growth near the pipeline. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment continues a line of discussion from a Notice of Inquiry published in 2013 and a report to Congress in 2016 regarding whether expanding integrity management requirements would mitigate the need for class location requirements.
In October 2018, the American Gas Association (AGA), American Petroleum Institute (API), American Public Gas Association (APGA) and Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) jointly submitted comments for consideration by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).