Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines

June 9, 2016

On June 1, 2016, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) provide comments on Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines (FR20722) proposed rules to Mr. Mike Israni, Deputy Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety – Field Operations at U.S. Department of Transportation. Comments by the three not-for-profits were made on behalf of the solid waste industry including companies, municipalities, and professionals.

The letter reflected the solid waste industry support for the efforts made by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to ensure pipeline safety and included comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (ANPRM) as follows:

The revised definition for gathering line (onshore) as the basis for determining the beginning and endpoints of each gathering line requires further clarification. The definition remains too broad for applications that do not have the same level of risks since they are not accessible to the public.

PHMSA has elected not to propose rulemaking for landfill gas systems. However, it notes that pipelines that transport landfill gas away from the landfill to another facility are transporting gas and that PHMSA may consider this in the future.

The associations pointed out that the same rulemaking for landfill gas systems should apply to all forms of biogas that are collected and managed in a similar manner to landfill gas. Also noted was that low-pressure gas lines delivering biogas off-site to a dedicated end user need not be considered for further regulation as they do not present the same level of risk that natural gas or other high-pressure gas lines do. Landfill gas/biogas systems fall under federal, state and local regulators. Because landfill gas/biogas systems are regularly inspected for safety, generally use plastic piping, and do not present a substantial risk to the public the Associations feel that it is not necessary to consider additional regulation.

Contact NWRA, SWANA, RNG Coalition or SCS Engineers for more information.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am