[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 112 (Monday, June 11, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34457-34458]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14089]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0079]


Pipeline Safety: Mechanical Fitting Failure Reports

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

ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

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SUMMARY: This notice provides clarification to owners and operators of 
gas distribution pipeline facilities when completing the Mechanical 
Fitting Failure Report Form, PHMSA F 7100.1-2. Initial reviews of 
reports submitted for calendar year 2011 failures have identified a 
need for PHMSA to issue this notice to provide operators with 
additional guidance for reporting the apparent cause. PHMSA has also 
enhanced the online submittal process and plans to implement further 
improvements.

ADDRESSES: This document can be viewed on the PHMSA home page at: 
http://www.phmsa.dot.gov and in docket number PHMSA-2012-0079 at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris McLaren, Distribution Integrity 
Management Program Coordinator at 281-216-4455, or by email at 
chris.mclaren@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Section 192.1009 of the pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR parts 
190-199) requires each owner or operator of a gas distribution pipeline 
facility to file a written report for any mechanical fitting failure 
that results in a hazardous leak. A hazardous leak is defined in Sec.  
192.1001 as a leak that represents an existing or probable hazard to 
persons or property and requires immediate repair or continuous action 
until the conditions are no longer hazardous. Each report must be filed 
by March 15 of the following year on a Mechanical Fitting Failure 
Report Form (PHMSA F 7100.1-2).
    A report is required for all failures regardless of the material 
composition, type, manufacturer, or size of the fitting. The reporting 
requirements apply to all failures that result in a hazardous leak due 
to the use of a fitting and may include failures in the body of the 
mechanical fitting, failures in the joints between the fitting and the 
pipe, indications of leakage from the seals associated with the 
fitting, and partial or complete separation of the pipe from the 
fitting. Operators are to report all mechanical fitting failures 
regardless of the cause. It is important to note that PHMSA does not 
seek information related to failures of cast iron bell and spigot 
joints unless the leak resulted from a failure of a mechanical fitting 
used to repair or reinforce a joint.
    Question 15, ``Apparent Cause of Leak'', under Part C of PHMSA F 
7100.1-2 specifies various apparent causes of leaks. These causes 
include ``Corrosion,'' ``Natural Forces,'' ``Excavation Damage,'' 
``Other Outside Force Damage,'' ``Material or Welds/Fusions,'' 
``Equipment,'' ``Incorrect Operation,'' and ``Other.'' These apparent 
cause options contain two potential options for a failure that 
apparently results from incorrect installation of the mechanical 
fitting. One option is ``Material or Welds/Fusions'' with a subcategory 
of ``Construction/Installation Defect.'' The other option is 
``Incorrect Operation.'' PHMSA prefers that failures resulting from an 
installation defect be reported

[[Page 34458]]

using ``Incorrect Operation'' as the apparent cause. It is PHMSA's 
intent to capture failure data under the ``Material or Welds/Fusions'' 
leak cause category that is specific to manufacture, fabrication, 
material, and design defects.
    In addition, operators have contacted PHMSA with a suggestion to 
expedite the finalization and electronic submission of reports. Many 
operators have developed unique identifiers for their mechanical 
fitting failures. These operators have suggested that the form be 
revised to allow the addition of this unique identifier to each report. 
This will allow for ease of identification and prevention of duplicate 
filing. PHMSA has revised the form to collect this information.
    Over eight thousand Mechanical Fitting Failure Reports were 
received during calendar year 2011. Several operators have requested 
the ability to submit multiple reports simultaneously. PHMSA has begun 
work on a function within the online system to allow the simultaneous 
submission of multiple reports.

II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2012-07)

    To: All Gas Distribution Operators.
    Subject: Completion of Mechanical Fitting Failure Report Form, Leak 
Causes.
    Advisory: As specified in Sec.  192.1009, operators of all gas 
distribution pipeline facilities are required to report the failure of 
any mechanical fitting that results in a hazardous leak on a Mechanical 
Fitting Failure Report Form (PHMSA F 7100.1-2). The report is required 
for all failures regardless of the material composition, type, 
manufacturer, or size of the fitting. Operators are to report all 
mechanical fitting failures regardless of the cause. Reporting 
requirements also apply to failures resulting from the use of a fitting 
and may include failures in the body of mechanical fitting, failures in 
the joints between the fitting and the pipe, indications of leakage 
from the seals associated with the fitting, and partial or complete 
separation of the pipe away from the fitting. However, PHMSA does not 
seek information related to failures of cast iron bell and spigot 
joints unless the leak resulted from a failure of a mechanical fitting 
used to repair or reinforce a joint.
    The apparent cause options under Part C, Question 15 (Apparent 
Cause of Leak) on PHMSA F 7100.1-2 contain two potential options for a 
failure that apparently results from incorrect installation of the 
mechanical fitting. One option is ``Material or Welds/Fusions'' with a 
subcategory of ``Construction/Installation Defect.'' The other option 
is ``Incorrect Operation.'' PHMSA prefers that failures resulting from 
an installation defect be reported using ``Incorrect Operation'' as the 
apparent cause. It is PHMSA's intent to capture failure data under the 
``Material or Welds/Fusions'' leak cause category that is specific to 
manufacture, fabrication, material, and design defects.
    When creating a report in PHMSA's online system, operators may now 
include a unique identifier for each report to help operators 
distinguish reports.
    Several operators have requested the ability to submit multiple 
reports simultaneously. PHMSA has begun work on a function within the 
online system to allow the simultaneous submission of multiple reports.

    Issued in Washington, DC on June 4, 2012.
Jeffrey D. Wiese,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2012-14089 Filed 6-8-12; 8:45 am]
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