[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Pages 28669-28670]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11715]



Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0086]

Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Excess Flow 
Valve Census

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

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, PHMSA 
invites comments on a new one-time Information Collection (IC) on 
Excess Flow Valves (EFVs). PHMSA will request approval for this new 
information collection from the Office and Management and Budget (OMB). 
The collection involves a census of gas operators to gather data on 
operators' experiences, practices, benefits, and costs associated with 
the use of EFVs. This data is necessary to conduct a cost-benefit 
analysis of requiring an expansion in the use of EFVs.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
July 16, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted in the following ways:
    E-Gov Web Site: http://www.regulations.gov. This site allows the 
public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any 
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. DOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., West Building, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. 
and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: Identify the docket number, PHMSA-2012-0086, at the 
beginning of your comments. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. You should know that anyone is able to 
search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our 
dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). Therefore, you may want to review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or visit http://www.regulations.gov before 
submitting any such comments.
    Docket: For access to the docket or to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room W12-
140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. If you wish to receive confirmation of receipt 
of your written comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped 
postcard with the following statement: ``Comments on PHMSA-2012-0086.'' 
The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard prior to returning it to 
you via the U.S. mail. Please note that due to delays in the delivery 
of U.S. mail to Federal offices in Washington, DC, we recommend that 
persons consider an alternative method (internet, fax, or professional 
delivery service) of submitting comments to the docket and ensuring 
their timely receipt at DOT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cameron Satterthwaite by telephone at 
202-366-1319, by fax at 202-366-4566, or by mail at U.S. DOT, PHMSA, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., PHP-30, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal 
Regulations requires PHMSA to provide interested members of the public 
and affected agencies an opportunity to comment on information 
collection and recordkeeping requests. This notice identifies a new 
one-time information collection request that PHMSA will be submitting 
to OMB for approval. The information collection will be titled: 
``Information Collection on Excess Flow Valves.''
    In 1996, PHMSA's predecessor agency, the Research and Special 
Programs Administration (RSPA), issued a final rule adopting a 
performance standard for the use of excess flow valves (EFVs) in 
single-family-residence service lines (61 FR 31449; codified at 49 CFR 
192.381). That standard only applied to the EFVs voluntarily installed 
on service lines that operated at pressures at or above 10 pounds per 
square inch gas (psig) on a continuous basis throughout the year.
    In 2001, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued 
Safety Recommendation P-01-2 to RSPA. This recommendation, which was 
based on the results of NTSB's investigation into a 1998 natural 
pipeline accident that occurred in South Riding, Virginia, advised RSPA 
to require the installation of EFVs in all new and renewed gas service 
lines, regardless of a customer's classification, when operating 
conditions are compatible with readily available valves.
    On December 29, 2006, Congress enacted the Pipeline Inspection, 
Protection, Enforcement, and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-
468). Section 9 of the PIPES Act (codified at 49 U.S.C. 60109(e)) 
stated that ``[n]ot later than December 31, 2007, the Secretary [of 
Transportation] shall prescribe minimum standards for integrity 
management programs for distribution pipelines.'' Section 9 further 
stated that those ``minimum standards shall include a requirement for 
an operator of a natural gas distribution system to install an excess 
flow valve on each single family residence service line'' under certain 
prescribed conditions.
    In 2009, PHMSA issued the Distribution Integrity Management Program 
(DIMP) final rule (74 FR 63906). The DIMP final rule required that 
operators install EFVs on all new or

[[Page 28670]]

replaced service lines serving single family residences, subject to 
certain exceptions (e.g., if a line does not operate at or above 10 
psig throughout the year, if contaminants in the gas stream could 
affect the operation of an EFV or cause service interruptions, if 
installation of an EFV could interfere with operations and maintenance 
activities, or if an acceptable EFV is not commercially available) 
(codified at 49 CFR 192.383).
    In 2011, PHMSA also published an Advance Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (ANPRM) (November 25, 2011; 76 FR 72666) seeking public 
comment on several issues relating to the expanded use of EFVs in gas 
distribution systems. During the comment period, President Obama signed 
the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 
2011. Section 22 of the Act (codified in Section 60109(e)(3)(B)) states 
that ``[n]ot later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the 
Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, 
and after issuing a final report on the evaluation of the National 
Transportation Safety Board's recommendation on excess flow valves in 
applications other than service lines serving one single family 
residence, the Secretary, if appropriate, shall by regulation require 
the use of excess flow valves, or equivalent technology, where 
economically, technically, and operationally feasible on new or 
entirely replaced distribution branch services, multifamily facilities, 
and small commercial facilities.''
    To comply with Congress's recent mandate and address NTSB's prior 
safety recommendation, PHMSA needs comprehensive data on the 
operations, costs, and benefits of EFVs, as well as information on how 
those operations, costs, and benefits may vary for other customer 
classification service lines (in addition to single family residence 
service lines). This information collection will provide the data 
necessary to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of EFVs for different 
customer classification service lines.
    PHMSA is proposing to use an online census for this information 
collection. A copy of the census will be placed in the docket for 
comment. The following information is provided for this information 
collection: (1) Title of the information collection; (2) OMB control 
number; (3) Type of request; (4) Abstract of the information collection 
activity; (5) Description of affected public; (6) Estimate of total 
annual reporting and recordkeeping burden; and (7) Frequency of 
collection. PHMSA will request a three-year term of approval for this 
information collection activity.
    PHMSA requests comments on the following information collection:
    Title: Information Collection on Excess Flow Valves.
    OMB Control Number: Pending.
    Type of Request: New information collection.
    Abstract: PHMSA is conducting a census of gas operators to gather 
data on operators' experiences, practices, benefits, and costs with 
EFVs. This data is necessary in order to conduct a cost-benefit 
analysis of requiring an expansion in the use of EFVs.
    Affected Public: Gas Operators.
    Estimated number of responses: 1,235 operators.
    Estimated annual burden hours: 19,760.
    Frequency of collection: One-time collection.
    Comments are invited on:
    (a) The need for the proposed collection of information for the 
proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether 
the information will have practical utility;
    (b) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.

    Dated: Issued in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2012.
Alan K. Mayberry,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations.
[FR Doc. 2012-11715 Filed 5-14-12; 8:45 am]