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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-03-001
Details
Synopsis: At 5:26 a.m., mountain daylight time, on Saturday, August 19, 2000, a 30-inch-diameter natural gas transmission pipeline operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company (EPNG) ruptured adjacent to the Pecos River near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The released gas ignited and burned for 55 minutes. Twelve persons who were camping under a concrete-decked steel bridge that supported the pipeline across the river were killed and their three vehicles destroyed. Two nearby steel suspension bridges for gas pipelines crossing the river were extensively damaged. According to EPNG, property and other damages or losses totaled $998,296.
Recommendation: The National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (Originally issued to RSPA): Revise 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 192 to require that new or replaced pipelines be designed and constructed with features to mitigate internal corrosion. At a minimum, such pipelines should (1) be configured to reduce the opportunity for liquids to accumulate, (2) be equipped with effective liquid removal features, and (3) be able to accommodate corrosion monitoring devices at locations with the greatest potential for internal corrosion.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Carlsbad, NM, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA00MP009
Accident Reports:
Natural Gas Pipeline Rupture and Fire
Report #: PAR-03-01
Accident Date: 8/19/2000
Issue Date: 2/27/2003
Date Closed: 9/20/2007
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 9/20/2007
Response: The Safety Board has reviewed PHMSA’s final rule, published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2007, Design and Construction Standards to Reduce Internal Corrosion in Gas Transmission Lines. The Board is pleased to note that a new subsection cross-references the design and installation requirements, specifically addressing corrosion control in 49 CFR Part 192, Subpart I, Requirements for Corrosion Control. The final rule also adds a new section to Subpart I, Section 192.476, to require an operator to address internal corrosion risk when designing and constructing a new gas transmission line or when replacing line pipe or components in a transmission line. The Safety Board further notes that 49 CFR 192.476(a) imposes a general performance requirement that the design and construction of new and replaced pipelines include features to reduce the risk of internal corrosion. An operator must provide three categories of corrosion control: (1) configuration to reduce the risk that liquids will collect in the line, (2) effective liquid removal features, and (3) the ability to use corrosion monitoring devices in locations with significant potential for internal corrosion. In addition, Section 192.150 now requires an operator to design most new and replaced transmission lines to allow the use of instrumented internal inspection devices, with this limited exemption: certain lower risk gathering lines and those too small in diameter to accommodate instrumented internal inspection devices. Paragraph (b) removes exceptions to applicability; paragraph (c) requires an operator to consider and address the impact of changes in the physical features of a pipeline on internal corrosion risks of existing pipelines downstream, which will ensure that changes in configuration that are made after a pipeline begins operation do not inadvertently increase the risk of internal corrosion. Paragraph (d) requires an operator to maintain records demonstrating compliance with the regulations and to follow written procedures, which can be supported by the as-built drawings and other construction records. Because the final rule incorporated all the recommended changes, Safety Recommendation P-03-1 is classified Closed Acceptable Action.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/31/2007
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 8/8/2007 2:24:08 PM MC# 2070395: PHMSA published an NPRM on December 15,2005 (70 FR 74262). The Notice proposed a performance-based requirement to design and construct pipelines with internal corrosion in mind. The Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committees held a public meeting June 26-28,2006 to discuss this issue. On August 24, 2006 the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committees voted to support the Internal Corrosion for Natural Gas Transmission Lines NPRM. PHMSA issued a final rule directly addressing NTSB concerns on April 23,2007 (72 FR 20055), and is requesting closure of this recommendation.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/14/2006
Response: In its 4/14/2006 report to Congress, "National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG): PHMSA published an NPRM on December 15,2005. The Notice proposed a perfonnanee-based requirement to design and construct pipelines with internal corrosion in mind. PHMSA will brief and request a vote at the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committees meeting in June 2006.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/28/2005
Response: In its 2/28/2005 report to Congress, "Open Statutory Mandates Regarding Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety," the DOT wrote: RSPA is evaluating regulatory options and plans to meet with NTSB in January 2005.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 11/21/2003
Response: The Safety Board notes that in early 2004, RSPA expects to issue a proposed rule to address internal corrosion issues in the design and construction of gas transmission pipes. RSPA indicates that the rule will require pipeline operators to implement measures to reduce the opportunity for liquids to accumulate and provide for effective liquid removal features. Pending issuance of a final rule addressing the recommendation, Safety Recommendation P-03-1 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/2003
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 9/3/2003 2:08:46 PM MC# 2030445 We expect to request closure of Recommendation P-03-1 in early 2004 with the issuance of a proposed rule to address internal corrosion issues in the design and construction of gas transmission pipes. This rule will require pipeline operators to implement measures to reduce the opportunity for liquids to accumulate, provide for effective liquid removal features, require accommodation of corrosion monitoring devices, and incorporate by reference consensus standards and the results of ongoing research.