Operator Qualification (OQ), Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Changes

In January 2017, PHMSA issued a Final Rulemaking that codifies regulatory changes to eleven different areas of pipeline safety code.  This includes new regulations for farm tap inspection, but excluded OQ requirements. PHMSA has stated it will issue a separate rulemaking for OQ.

Farm Taps

PHMSA’s new regulation requires operators to perform inspections of their farm taps and related appurtenances once every three years. This requirement went into effect on March 24, 2017. In November 2017, AGA, API, and INGAA submitted Recommendations to PHMSA for Regulatory Review. This included a recommendation for PHMSA to allow operators the optionality to inspect farm taps as part of an operators distribution integrity management program.