New PHMSA Final Rule

January 21, 2021

On January 11, 2021 PHMSA issued a final rule that will take effect on March 12, 2021. Compliance with the amendments adopted in the rule is required beginning October 1, 2021.

Rule Summary:
PHMSA is amending the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations to ease regulatory burdens on the construction, maintenance, and operation of gas transmission, distribution, and gathering pipeline systems without adversely affecting safety. The amendments in this rule are based on rulemaking petitions from stakeholders, and DOT and PHMSA initiatives to identify appropriate areas where regulations might be repealed, replaced, or modified, and PHMSA’s review of public comments. PHMSA also, as of the effective date of this final rule, withdraws the March 29, 2019 “Exercise of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Farm Taps” and the unpublished October 27, 2015 letter to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America announcing a stay of enforcement pertaining to certain pressure vessels.

Key elements:

  • Exempts distribution integrity management program (“DIMP”) requirements for master meter operators.
  • States that a farm tap is “the common name for a pipeline directly connected to a gas transmission, production, or gathering pipeline that provides gas to a customer,” and provides farm tap operators the option to either comply with the requirements of Section 192.740 or the operator’s DIMP.
  • Eliminates the requirement to submit mechanical fitting failure (“MFF”) reports.
  • Increases the monetary property damage threshold for reporting incidents from $50,000 to $122,000, with adjustments in the future based on inflation.
  • Allows remote monitoring of cathodic protection rectifiers.
  • Amends the inspection interval for monitoring atmospheric corrosion on gas distribution service pipelines to five years if no corrosion is identified during the last inspection.
  • Incorporates by reference the 2018 edition of ASTM “Standard Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Gas Pressure Pipe, Tubing, and Fittings” (ASTM D2513-18a), and increase the diameter of PE pipe from 12 inches to 24 inches that may use a design factor of 0.4.
  • Incorporates by reference the 2019 edition of ASTM F2620, “Standard Practice for Heat Fusion Joining of Polyethylene Pipe and Fittings,” and amend the regulations to clarify that alternative written procedures may be used if the operator demonstrates that they provide an equivalent or better level of safety as ASTM F2620 and are proven by test or experience to produce strong gastight joints.
  • Revises test requirements for pressure vessels consistent with American Society of Mechanical Engineers (“ASME”) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (“BPVC”).
  • Revises welder requalification requirements to provide scheduling flexibility.
  • Extends the allowance for pre-tested short segments of pipe and fabricated units to pipelines operating at a hoop stress less than 30 percent of the specified minimum yield strength (“SMYS”) and above 100 pounds per square inch (“psi”).

Key elements provided by Darren Hunter of Hunter Masalski LLC.
Darren Hunter is a founding partner and an environmental lawyer, OSHA and PHMSA practitioner in the Chicago law firm of Hunter Masalski LLC (www.HunterMasalski.com). This post does not constitute legal advice or the formation or proposal of an attorney-client relationship to or with any person or entity. In addition, this post should not be understood to represent the views of MEA Energy Association, the law firm, the individual attorneys at the firm, or of any of the firm’s clients or former clients.

Changes to 195 Course Library

January 7, 2021

One 195 course has been retired and three new 195 courses have been uploaded to EnergyU.

The following course and certificates are retired effective immediately:

  • 195-0404 (CT06) Prevention of Atmospheric Corrosion
    NOTE: Previously earned certificates will remain valid until their expiration
    • TNG Certificate MEA1359
    • KNT Certificate MEA1244
    • PEF Certificate MEA1195

The above retired items are replaced by the following:

  • 195-0410 (CT06.2) Perform Coating Inspections
    • TNG Certificate MEA12492
    • KNT Certificate MEA12493
    • PEF Certificate MEA12494
  • 195-0411 (CT06.3) Perform Surface Preparation
    • TNG Certificate MEA12495
    • KNT Certificate MEA12496
    • PEF Certificate MEA12497
  • 195-0412 (CT06.4) Perform Coating Application
    • TNG Certificate MEA12498
    • KNT Certificate MEA12499
    • PEF Certificate MEA12500

MEA will be making the new courses and certificates available to companies using the 195 library. EnergyU Administrators will need to enroll users in the certificate programs.

Evaluators should contact productsupport@meaenergy.org for the new keycode needed to download the three new PEF forms for the iOS and Android electronic evaluation apps.

New Course for EnergyU Administrators

November 10, 2020

In response to survey feedback, we have created a new course for EnergyU Administrators: EnergyU Course Basics.

This course is part of certificate MEAAdmin and includes information on understanding course assignments, status, updates, resets, and much more. Additional training courses will be coming soon.

Questions? Contact productsupport@meaenergy.org

Employee IDs in EnergyU and ISN

November 5, 2020

When setting up a new user, the employee ID entered must match in all locations:

  • EnergyU LMS: Employee ID field in User Profile
  • ISNetworld: MEA Employee ID under 3rd Party ID Numbers
  • EnergyU Badges: Employee ID field under Employee Information

If the employee ID does not match in ALL locations where user records are required, record transfers will not be successful.

IMPORTANT: If a change is made to the MEA Employee ID in ISN, any MEA records previously associated with that individual will no longer pull correctly in ISN reports. YOU MUST REQUEST A COMPLETE HISTORICAL TRANSFER OF MEA RECORDS if a change is made to the MEA Employee ID in ISN.

BEST PRACTICE: Leave employee ID fields blank if you do not know for certain that the number entered will be the employee’s permanent number. If an employee ID must change, first change the number in ISN, then change the number in EnergyU, then request a transfer of all historical data. Please be aware that there is a fee for custom transfers.

Update on Flash Removal from EnergyU Courses

October 26, 2020

MEA Course developers have been busy this pandemic year, updating EnergyU course content to replace all Flash animations and audio. The 195 library update has been completed. We are now in the home stretch to complete the 192, ASME, OS, and UGE libraries before we ring in the new year.

Past updates have been announced at least a week in advance via the EnergyU blog. In order to ensure all library updates are completed by the end of the year, we find it necessary to change our notification process. Individual notifications will no longer be made. You may view the course maintenance schedule by logging in to EnergyU and clicking on the link to the shared Google tracking document on your dashboard. Please be aware that updates will continue almost daily beginning November 2, 2020. Course maintenance will take place weekdays between 5:00pm–9:00am Central time, and also on weekends between 8:00am–10:00pm Central time. This schedule will allow us to have fewer courses deactivated at a time and will ensure rapid completion of the updates. Current status:

  • ASME library: 103 tasks completed; 50 tasks to schedule
  • 192 library: 20 tasks completed; 53 tasks to schedule

Questions? Contact MEA Product Support

Course Maintenance Now Complete

October 19, 2020

Course maintenance is now complete on the following courses:

  • 192-0303 e-TNG Starting Gas Compressor Units
  • 192-0303 KNT Starting Gas Compressor Units
  • 192-0503 e-TNG Cathodic Protection Systems: Electrical Connections
  • 192-0503 KNT Cathodic Protection Systems: Electrical Connections
  • 192-0505 e-TNG Cathodic Protection Systems Testing
  • 192-0505 KNT Cathodic Protection Systems Testing
  • 192-0511 e-TNG Soil Resistivity Testing
  • 192-0511 KNT Soil Resistivity Testing
  • 192-0803 e-TNG Inspection for Damage
  • 192-0803 KNT Inspection for Damage
  • 192-1001 e-TNG Cast Iron Joints Sealing
  • 192-1001 KNT Cast Iron Joints – Sealing
  • 192-1005 e-TNG Mechanical Joints
  • 192-1005 KNT Mechanical Joints
  • 192-1202 e-TNG Outside Leakage Investigation
  • 192-1202 KNT Outside Leakage Investigation

Remember… After a course has undergone maintenance, it is important that users verify a status of “Not started” to ensure proper recording of a new score.

Course Maintenance Now Complete

October 11, 2020

Course maintenance is now complete on the following courses:

  • 195-2705 (CT40) e-TNG Computational Pipeline Monitoring (CPM) Leak Detection
  • 195-2705 (CT40) KNT Computational Pipeline Monitoring (CPM) Leak Detection
  • ELEC-11013 e-TNG Ferroresonance
  • ELEC-11013 KNT Ferroresonance

Remember… After a course has undergone maintenance, it is important that users verify a status of “Not started” to ensure proper recording of a new score.

Course Maintenance Scheduled for October 16-19, 2020

October 9, 2020

The following courses are scheduled to undergo maintenance on Saturday, October 17, 2020. Courses will be offline beginning Friday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m. CDT:

  • 192-0303 e-TNG Starting Gas Compressor Units
  • 192-0303 KNT Starting Gas Compressor Units
  • 192-0503 e-TNG Cathodic Protection Systems: Electrical Connections
  • 192-0503 KNT Cathodic Protection Systems: Electrical Connections
  • 192-0505 e-TNG Cathodic Protection Systems Testing
  • 192-0505 KNT Cathodic Protection Systems Testing
  • 192-0511 e-TNG Soil Resistivity Testing
  • 192-0511 KNT Soil Resistivity Testing
  • 192-0803 e-TNG Inspection for Damage
  • 192-0803 KNT Inspection for Damage
  • 192-1001 e-TNG Cast Iron Joints Sealing
  • 192-1001 KNT Cast Iron Joints – Sealing
  • 192-1005 e-TNG Mechanical Joints
  • 192-1005 KNT Mechanical Joints
  • 192-1202 e-TNG Outside Leakage Investigation
  • 192-1202 KNT Outside Leakage Investigation

We expect maintenance to be completed by Monday, October 19 at 12:00 p.m. noon CDT. A blog post will go out when maintenance is completed.

Remember… After a course has undergone maintenance, it is important that users verify a status of “Not started” to ensure proper recording of a new score.

Course Maintenance Scheduled for October 9-12, 2020

October 2, 2020

The following courses are scheduled to undergo maintenance on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Courses will be offline beginning Friday, October 9 at 6:00 p.m. CDT:

  • 195-2705 (CT40) e-TNG Computational Pipeline Monitoring (CPM) Leak Detection
  • 195-2705 (CT40) KNT Computational Pipeline Monitoring (CPM) Leak Detection
  • ELEC-11013 e-TNG Ferroresonance
  • ELEC-11013 KNT Ferroresonance

We expect maintenance to be completed by Monday, October 12 at 12:00 p.m. noon CDT. A blog post will go out when maintenance is completed.

Remember… After a course has undergone maintenance, it is important that users verify a status of “Not started” to ensure proper recording of a new score.

Course Maintenance Now Complete

September 20, 2020

Course maintenance is now complete on the following courses:

  • 192-1415 e-TNG Protection from Hazards
  • 192-1415 KNT Protection from Hazards
  • UGE-0110 e-TNG Horizontal Directional Drilling
  • UGE-0110 KNT Horizontal Directional Drilling
  • UGE-0601 e-TNG Fatigue Awareness and Mitigation for Controllers
  • UGE-0601 KNT Fatigue Awareness and Mitigation for Controllers
  • UGE-1190 e-TNG Railroad Right-of-Way Worker Safety
  • UGE-1190 KNT Railroad Right-of-Way Worker Safety

Remember… After a course has undergone maintenance, it is important that users verify a status of “Not started” to ensure proper recording of a new score.