Today the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration (PHMSA) published a pipeline safety interim final rule (IFR) in the
Federal Register (86
FR 73173-73186
) for “Unusually Sensitive Areas for the Great Lakes,  Coastal Beaches, and Certain Coastal Waters”.
The IFR amends “the pipeline safety regulations to explicitly state that certain coastal
waters, the Great Lakes, and coastal beaches are classified as unusually
sensitive areas for the purpose of compliance with the hazardous liquid
integrity management regulations.”

The rule makes two changes to 49 CFR 195.6, Unusually
Sensitive Areas (USAs), pursuant to the requirements of §120 of the PIPES Act
of 2020 (PL
116-260
). First, in paragraph (b) it adds “A coastal beach” and “Certain
coastal waters” to the definition of an unusually sensitive area. Then in
paragraph (c) it adds definitions of those two terms. These additions to the
USA definition expand the coverage of PHMSA’s integrity management rules as
these areas now become high consequence areas (HCAs) as defined in 49
CFR 195.450
.

The effective date for this IFR is February 25th,
2022. PHMSA is soliciting public comments on the IFR. Those comments will not
affect the application of the IFR, but may be considered in the development of
the final rule. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.Regulations.gov; docket #PHMSA-2017-0152).

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Author Of this post: PJCoyle

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