PHMSA Responds to AGA's LNG Petitions

In March 2020, PHMSA responded to AGA’s petitions which asked PHMSA to modify inspection intervals and incorporate updated standards. The response acknowledged that PHMSA received AGA’s latest petition to incorporate by reference NFPA 59A (2019) for peak shaving facilities, and discussed an upcoming rulemaking which would update incorporated industry standards and revise all subparts of Part 193 as needed. Details on the 3 petitions related to liquified natural gas facilities are outlined below.

Petition for Rulemaking: CFR 49, Part 193

In May 2018, AGA and INGAA filed a petition with PHMSA to modify the inspection interval for pressure relief devices at LNG facilities, and incorporate the inspection time frames within the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) industry standard, NFPA-59A: Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), (2001).  The petition identifies industry’s desire to align with an industry standard, reduces the cost burden with implementing the annual inspections, and provides an alternate approach which does not compromise safety.

Petition for Rulemaking: CFR 49, Part 192

In June 2018, AGA filed a petition requesting that PHMSA incorporate by reference the latest edition on the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) industry standard, NFPA-59: Utility LP-Gas Plant Code (2018).  This is a more comprehensive standard than the edition currently referenced in PHMSA’s regulations and AGA believes the latest edition is in greater alignment with 49 CFR Part 192.  AGA also asked PHMSA clarify §192.11 and identify the discrete and distinct use of NFPA 58 and NFPA 59, based on scope and applicability.

Petition for Rulemaking: CFR 49, Part 193

In January 2020 AGA filed a petition  for rulemaking to amend Part 193, and incorporate by reference “NFPA-59A: Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of LNG, (2019)”.  AGA noted that the changes within the latest version of NFPA 59A significantly advance the safety for LNG facilities outlined within the NFPA 59A (2001), and the seismic design criteria for field fabricated tanks outlined in NFPA 59A (2006), which are currently incorporated by reference within Part 193.  AGA recommended that the revised standard only apply for operators of LNG peak shaving, satellite, small scale and mobile/temporary LNG facilities.