Operations & Maintenance Enforcement Guidance Part 192 Subparts L and M

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Operations & Maintenance Enforcement Guidance

Part 192 Subparts L and M

Table of Contents

Table of Contents 1

Glossary 4

§192.603 35

§192.605(a) 38

§192.605(b) 45

§192.605(c) 50

§192.605(d) 54

§192.605(e) 58

§192.609 61

§192.611 63

§192.612 68

§192.613 71

§192.614 80

§192.615 88

§192.617 95

§192.619 97

§192.625 107

§192.627 114

§192.629 116

§192.703 118

§192.705 122

§192.706 126

§192.707 128

§192.709 133

§192.711 135

§192.713 138

§192.715 143

§192.717 148

§192.719 153

§192.727 155

§192.731 161

§192.735 165

§192.736 168

§192.739 170

§192.743 178

§192.745 184

§192.749 187

§192.751 189

Operations & Maintenance Enforcement Guidance

Part 192 Subparts L and M


The materials contained in this document consist of guidance, techniques, procedures and other information for internal use by the PHMSA pipeline safety enforcement staff. This guidance document describes the practices used by PHMSA pipeline safety investigators and other enforcement personnel in undertaking their compliance, inspection, and enforcement activities. This document is U.S. Government property and is to be used in conjunction with official duties.

The Federal pipeline safety regulations (49 CFR Parts 190-199) discussed in this guidance document contains legally binding requirements. This document is not a regulation and creates no new legal obligations. The regulation is controlling. The materials in this document are explanatory in nature and reflect PHMSA’s current application of the regulations in effect at the time of the issuance of the guidance to the implementation scenarios presented in the materials. Alternative approaches are not precluded if they satisfy the requirements of the applicable regulation(s).

Nothing in this guidance document is intended to diminish or otherwise affect the authority of PHMSA to carry out its statutory, regulatory or other official functions or to commit PHMSA to taking any action that is subject to its discretion. Nothing in this document is intended to and does not create any legal or equitable right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any person or organization against PHMSA, its personnel, State agencies or officers carrying out programs authorized under Federal law.

Decisions about specific investigations and enforcement cases are made according to the specific facts and circumstances at hand. Investigations and compliance determinations often require careful legal and technical analysis of complicated issues. Although this guidance document serves as a reference for the staff responsible for investigations and enforcement, no set of procedures or policies can replace the need for active and ongoing consultation with supervisors and colleagues in enforcement matters.

Comments and suggestions for future changes and additions to this guidance document are invited and should be forwarded to your supervisor.

The materials in this guidance document may be modified or revoked without prior notice by PHMSA management.




Definition Source


Permanently removed from service

192.3 195.2

Abandoned pipeline

A pipeline permanently removed from service that has been physically separated from its source of gas or hazardous liquid and is no longer maintained under regulation 49 CFR Parts 192 or 195, as applicable. Abandoned pipelines are usually purged of the gas or liquid and refilled with nitrogen, water, or a non-flammable slurry mixture.


Abnormal operating condition

A condition identified by the operator that may indicate a malfunction of a component or deviation from normal operations that may: (a) Indicate a condition exceeding design limits; or (b) Results in a hazard(s) to persons, property, or the environment

192.803 195.503

Abnormal operation

Exceeding operating design limits, including (i) unintended closure of valves or shutdowns; (ii) increase or decrease of flow rate outside of normal operating limits; (iii) loss of communications; (iv) operation of any safety device; and (v) any other foreseeable malfunction of a component, deviation from normal operation, or personnel error which may result in a hazard to persons or property.

192.605(c) 195.402(d)

Accessible to public

An area is accessible to the public if entrance into the area is not physically controlled by the operator and may be entered without difficulty (i.e. - does not have any man-made or natural impediments to prevent public access).



Active corrosion

Continuing corrosion which, unless controlled, could result in a condition that is detrimental to public safety or the environment.



Actual wall thickness

The measured wall thickness of pipe from its inner surface to its outer surface. For new pipe, this measured dimension must be within tolerances stated in the manufacturer's specifications. Actual wall thickness of installed pipe can be determined by using an ultrasonic thickness gauge (UT gauge).


Adhesive joint

A joint made on certain types of plastic piping by the use of an adhesive substance which forms a bond between the mating surfaces without dissolving either one of them.



The Administrator, Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration or his or her delegate.



Aerial crossing

Where a pipeline crosses over a river, deep gully, or other geographic feature, and is not buried or submerged in water but is exposed to atmosphere. The pipeline may be suspended by cables, attached to the girders of a bridge, or for short crossings, engineered to support itself.



An audible or visible means of indicating to the controller that equipment or processes are outside operator-defined, safety-related parameters.



Alternating current (AC)

An electrical current whose direction or polarity changes with time. The polarity or cycles are due to the alternating magnetic fields used in its generation. The time frequency cycle is also referred to as hertz. In North America, the common frequency is 60 hertz (cycles per second).


Alternating current voltage gradient (ACVG)

A method of measuring the change in electrical voltage gradient in the soil along and around a pipeline to locate coating holidays and characterize corrosion activity.


Amphoteric metal

A metal that is susceptible to corrosion in both acidic and alkaline environments.

NACE/ASTM G193 Corrosion Terms


The electrode in a corrosion cell where oxidation or corrosion occurs. In a pipeline-related CP system, the anode is designed as the sacrificial material installed to purposely corrode and protect the structure (pipeline, tank bottom, or other underground structure). There are two basic types of anodes: the galvanic and the impressed current types.


Anode (ground) bed

One or more anodes installed below the earth's surface for the purpose of supplying cathodic protection.


Anodeless riser

A plastic pipe sheathed inside a protective steel metallic casing. The steel-cased plastic pipe protrudes from the soil and is part of the service line carrying gas to the customer meter. An anode is not required in this instance because the plastic pipe contains the gas pressure and is not susceptible to the typical corrosive processes.



Any kind of imperfection, defect, irregularity, or deviation from the normal that may be present in either measurements or the physical facility.



Any part of a pipeline that may be subjected to pump or compressor discharge pressure including, but not limited to, pipe, valves, fittings, flanges, and closures.



The use of testing techniques as allowed in this subpart (O) to ascertain the condition of a covered pipeline segment.



The technique for covering a newly constructed or recently unearthed pipeline so that adequate fill material is provided and compacted around the pipe to completely fill the excavation. The fill material must be suitable and free of rocks and other debris to prevent damage to the coating and the pipe. Rock shield, concrete and other coating methods may help protect the pipe during backfilling. Proper backfilling is critical so that the pipe is properly supported and not subjected to added stresses due to soil subsidence or movement.


Ball valve

A valve in which a solid metal sphere with a hole in the center rotates within the valve body to control the flow of fluids. The ball usually rotates within a set of sealing rings.



A small diameter hole in the ground made by a plunger bar or probe. These holes are made along the route of a gas pipeline to check the subsurface soil for an indication of gas accumulations due to leaks or to check the depth of pipe.


Barlow's formula

P= 2St/D The mathematical formula that calculates the relationship of internal pressure to allowable stress, nominal thickness, and diameter of the pipe. Simply stated, Barlow's Formula calculates the pressure containing capabilities of pipe. The formula takes into account the pipe diameter (D), wall thickness (t), and the manufacturer's specified minimum yield strength of the pipe (S).


Bell hole

An enlarged hole other than a continuous trench, dug over and along the side of buried pipelines or in a trench to allow room for persons to perform maintenance-related work on the pipeline (i.e., coating repairs, welding, connections, or replacing pipe). In the broad sense, any larger hole, other than a ditch, opened for pipeline work. Smaller holes may be called key holes or pot holes.



A dome-shaped projection on the surface of a coating resulting from the local loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from an underlying coat or from the base substrate.

NACE/ASTM G193 Corrosion Terms


The depressurizing of a natural gas pipeline to facilitate maintenance on the pipeline, and is accomplished by opening a valve and allowing the gas to escape to atmosphere, usually through a vertical pipe or "stack".



A connection, usually metallic, that provides electrical continuity between structures that can conduct electricity.



A gas tight structure completely fabricated from pipe with integral drawn, forged end caps and tested in the manufacturer's plant (per ASME guidelines).


Bottle-type holder

Any bottle or group of interconnected bottles buried underground installed in one location and used for the sole purpose of storing gas.


Branch service line

A distribution line that delivers gas to an end user is considered a service line if it serves a single property, two adjacent properties, or an assembly containing multiple meters. If two properties are not adjacent, the pipe from the branch and upstream of that point becomes the main.



A strong solution of salt(s) with totally dissolved solid concentrations in the range from 40,000 to 300,000 or more ppm (parts per million or milligrams per liter).


British thermal unit (BTU)

The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1° F under standard pressure. BTU values of gas indicate the amount of heat a given unit of gas will provide and helps to compare the heating values of different gases.



A partial collapse of the pipe wall causing the pipe to flatten, become more oval or flatten due to excessive stresses associated with soil instability, landslides, washouts, frost heaves, earthquakes, etc. Buckles may be small, causing localized kinking or wall wrinkles, or global, involving several lengths of pipe that may buckle down, laterally, or vertically. Buckles cause localized stress concentrations and must not be installed in new construction. If found in existing systems, an analysis should be performed.



A localized expansion or swelling of pipeline components beyond their specified diameter. Bulging may be caused by over pressurization or exceeding the specified yield strength of the material.



Covered or in contact with soil.


Business district

A 'business district' is an area marked by a distinguishing characteristic of being used in the conducting of buying and selling commodities and service, and related transactions. A 'business district' would normally be associated with the assembly of people in shops, offices and the like in the conduct of such business.



Caliper pig

A mechanical device used to measure the internal diameter of a pipeline.


Cap pass

The final pass of the welding process.


Carbon steel

By common custom, steel is considered to be carbon steel when (1) no minimum content is specified or required for aluminum, boron, chromium, cobalt, columbium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zirconium, or any other element added to obtain a desired alloying effect; or (2) the specified minimum content does not exceed 1.62% for manganese or 0.60% for copper. All carbon steels may contain small quantities of unspecified residual elements unavoidably retained from raw materials. These elements (copper, nickel, molybdenum, chromium, etc.) are considered incidental and are not normally determined or reported.



A pipe designed and installed to surround and protect a pipeline from external stresses and damage.


Cast iron

An unqualified term that applies to gray cast iron which is a cast ferrous material in which a major part of the carbon content occurs as free carbon in the form of flakes interspersed through the metal. Because the carbon flakes do not bond with the ferrous material on the molecular level, the metal is brittle and susceptible to stress cracking under higher pressure situations.


Cathodic protection

A technique to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making the structure work as the cathode of an electrochemical cell. (Typically, two types of CP systems are used: Galvanic systems use a series of sacrificial anodes of a more active metal (typically zinc or magnesium) to supply the current to the buried structure. Galvanic anodes continue to corrode, and need to be replaced periodically. Impressed current systems use anodes connected to a DC power source (rectifier - see definition). Anodes are installed as a ground bed or deep well to provide the current flow to the buried structure.)



The process of investigating and approximating a leak location by determining the perimeter of the migrating gas, and locating the area that has the highest gas concentration.


Centrifugal compressor

Mechanical devices used to boost the pressure of the gas at key locations on transmission pipeline system. Centrifugal compressors are typically used in higher flow applications and impart the rotational energy provided by their prime movers to the gas to move it along within the pipeline.


Check valve

A valve that permits fluid to flow freely in one direction and contains a mechanism to automatically prevent flow in the other direction



A chiller is generally a heat exchanger, designed to remove thermal energy or heat from a gas flow stream.


City gate

A location at which gas may change ownership from one party to another (e.g., from a transmission company to a local distribution company), neither of which is the ultimate consumer. May also be referred to as a gate station or town border station.


Class 1 location

(i) An offshore area; or (ii) Any class location unit that has 10 or fewer building intended for human occupancy


Class 2 location

Any class location unit that has more than 10 but fewer than 46 building intended for human occupancy.


Class 3 location

(i) Any class location unit that has 46 or more buildings intended for human occupancy; or (ii) An area where the pipeline lies within 100 yards (91 meters) of either a building or a small, well-defined area (such as a playground, recreation area, outdoor theater, or other place of public assembly) that is occupied by 20 or more persons on at least 5 days a week for 10 weeks in any 12-month period. (the days and weeks need not be consecutive.)


Class 4 location

Any class location unit where buildings with four or more stories above ground are prevalent.


Class location unit

An onshore area that extends 220 yards (200 meters) on either side of the centerline of any continuous 1-mile (1.6 kilometers) of a pipeline.


Cleaning pig

A mechanical device run inside a pipeline that uses cups, scrapers, or brushes to remove dirt, paraffin, rust, mill scale, or other foreign matter from the inside of a pipeline. Cleaning pigs are run to increase the operating efficiency of a pipeline or to prepare the pipeline for an internal inspection. May be used in conjunction with cleaning fluids.


Close interval survey

A potential survey with pipe-to-soil readings generally taken a maximum of two and one half (2 1/2) to five (5) feet apart.



The joining or fusing of metals produced by extreme temperatures achieved from an electrical arc between the metal electrode of a welding rod and the base metal of the pipe or other metallic structure. The welding machine produces the high electrical current and voltage necessary to get the arc to jump between the two metals.



A liquid, liquefiable or mastic composition that, after application to a surface, is converted into a solid protective, decorative or functional adherent film.


Combustible gas indicator (CGI)

A device used to detect flammable gas concentrations. A 2 to 3 foot probe rod and hose assembly is normally attached to an electronic unit that draws in an air sample by squeezing a rubber bulb.



The process of burning where a flammable substance is subjected to a heat source in the presence of oxygen. The degree of heat and the ratio of air to fuel will depend on the flammability characteristics of the substance.



The mixing of gases or liquid products in a pipeline. With liquids, commingled products between batches in a pipeline are also referred to as "interface."


Composite pipe repair

A non-metallic reinforcement of pipe using a variety of composite repairs. The reinforcements may include fiberglass, carbon fibers, and epoxies to provide hoop reinforcement to corrosion and mechanical damage. Varieties of composite repairs include Clockspring®, Armor Plate®, and Diamond Wrap®.


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