The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced last week a delay in the effective date of the final rule amending 49 CFR 191 and 192. This amendment, “Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform,” was published in January in 86 FR 2210 with an original effective date of today, March 12, 2021.
PHMSA has therefore decided to delay the effective date of the final rule, and recently-announced corrections to it, until March 21, 2021. According to PHMSA, the final rule is intended to “reduce regulatory burdens on operators on the construction, maintenance, and operation of gas transmission, gas distribution, and gas gathering pipeline systems.” These include changes to requirements for distribution integrity management, reporting, corrosion control, design, welding, and testing. This also delays the withdrawal of the March 26, 2019, “Exercise of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Farm Taps” (84 FR 11253) and the unpublished October 27, 2015 letter to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) announcing a stay of enforcement concerning certain pressure vessels.
Compliance with the amendments is required beginning October 1, 2021. Industrial Training Services is working diligently to ensure affected OnBoard® LMS curriculum is updated prior to that delayed compliance date.