[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 21, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16471-16472]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6860]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193 and 195

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0001]


Pipeline Safety: Implementation of the National Registry of 
Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Operators

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

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SUMMARY: This notice advises owners and operators of pipeline 
facilities of PHMSA's plan for implementing the national registry of 
pipeline and liquefied natural gas operators. This notice provides 
updates to the information contained in a PHMSA Advisory Bulletin 
published on January 13, 2012 (77 FR 2126).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamerson Pender, Information Resources 
Manager, 202-366-0218 or by email at Jamerson.Pender@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On November 26, 2010, PHMSA published a final rule in the Federal 
Register (75 FR 72878) titled: ``Pipeline Safety: Updates to Pipeline 
and Liquefied Natural Gas Reporting Requirements.'' That final rule 
added two new sections, 49 CFR 191.22 and 195.64, to the pipeline 
safety regulations that concerned the establishment of a national 
registry of pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operators. New 
operators use the national registry to obtain an Operator 
Identification (OPID) Number and existing operators use it to notify 
PHMSA of certain actions, including company name changes, certain 
construction activities, and project planning.
    The national pipeline operator registry became effective on January 
1, 2012. In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements, 
PHMSA issued a 60-day Federal Register notice on December 13, 2010 (75 
FR 77694), and a 30-day Federal Register notice on

[[Page 16472]]

November 10, 2011 (76 FR 70217). The purpose of these notices was to 
gather and respond to comments on the actual forms used to collect 
information for the national pipeline operator registry.
    PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to clarify the 
implementation of the national pipeline operator registry.

II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2012-04)

    To: Owners and Operators of Pipeline and LNG Facilities.
    Subject: Implementation of the National Registry of Pipeline and 
LNG Operators.
    Advisory: This notice advises owners and operators of pipeline 
facilities of PHMSA's plan for implementing the national registry of 
pipeline and LNG operators. This notice provides updates to the 
information contained in a PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on the same subject 
published on January 13, 2012 (77 FR 2126).

OPID Assignment Requests--Sec. Sec.  191.22(a) and 195.64(a)

    From January 1, 2012, to January 27, 2012, PHMSA collected fillable 
pdf versions of OPID Assignment Request (Form F 1000.1). Starting 
January 27, 2012, the Online Data Reporting System (ODES) is used by 
entities requesting a new OPID. PHMSA is entering the pdf versions of 
OPID Assignment Request forms into ODES and will notify requestors when 
the OPID has been established.
    While subject to the pipeline safety regulations, operators of 
master meter systems or petroleum gas systems that serve fewer than 100 
customers from a single source are not required to file annual reports 
(see 49 CFR 191.11(b)). There were several thousand master meter system 
operators and several hundred small liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) 
operators who fell within the scope of this exception as of December 
31, 2011.
    While also subject to the requirements of 49 CFR 191.22, PHMSA 
previously determined that the operators of these systems would not be 
required to obtain an OPID. Instead, PHMSA agreed to create OPIDs for 
these operators based on the existing data in the agency's files. That 
is currently underway and will be completed by May 1, 2012.
    In light of this experience, PHMSA has decided that master meter 
and small LPG operators established after December 31, 2011, will be 
required to obtain an OPID in accordance with 49 CFR 191.22. On May 1, 
2012, PHMSA will modify ODES to allow these master meter and small LPG 
operators to request an OPID. The requirement to request an OPID 
continues to not apply to master meter and small LPG operators in 
existence prior to December 31, 2011.

Notifications--Sec. Sec.  191.22(c) and 195.64(c)

    On January 1, 2012, PHMSA began collecting fillable pdf versions of 
Notifications (Form F 1000.2). Starting March 27, 2012, operators will 
be able to submit notifications online through ODES, and PHMSA will 
enter all of the pdf versions of the notifications into ODES shortly 
thereafter.
    Hazardous liquid pipeline operators are advised to disregard the 
notification requirement in Sec.  195.64(c)(1)(iii). That provision 
requires notification for construction of any new pipeline facility 
without regard to cost. Section 195.64(c)(1)(i) also requires 
notification for construction of a new pipeline facility, but only for 
those projects with a cost of $10 million or more. PHMSA only wants 
notification of hazardous liquid pipeline facility construction 
projects with a cost of $10 million or more and plans to remove Sec.  
195.64(c)(1)(iii) in a future rulemaking.

OPID Validation--Sec. Sec.  191.22(b) and 195.64(b)

    On March 27, 2012, operators will be able to complete the 
validation process online. PHMSA requests that all OPIDs issued prior 
to January 1, 2012, complete the validation process. As with OPID 
Assignment Requests, master meter and small LPG operators in existence 
prior to December 31, 2011, are not required to complete the validation 
process. Based on the delayed availability of the on-line validation 
process, PHMSA is extending the regulatory deadline for validation from 
June 30, 2012, to September 30, 2012. PHMSA recommends that operators 
submit calendar year 2011 annual reports at least five working days 
prior to completing the validation process.
    Further details on how to submit reports to PHMSA are available at 
http://opsweb.phmsa.dot.gov. Questions should be directed to the Office 
of Pipeline Safety operator helpline at 202-366-8075.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2012.
Jeffrey D. Wiese,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2012-6860 Filed 3-20-12; 8:45 am]
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