Regulatory Activities

APGA Monthly Pipeline Safety Regulatory Updates

APGA staff provides monthly updates on Pipeline Safety Regulatory activities.

APGA Federal Comments

Pipeline safety is regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). APGA actively participates in PHMSA’s rulemaking process through written comments, participation in public workshops, and during PHMSA’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee Meetings.

Click here for a list of APGA’s written comments on current and recent pipeline safety rulemakings.


APGA State Comments

Pipeline safety statues allow for states to assume safety authority over gas distribution and intrastate transmission pipelines. Thirty-eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico provide serve in that capacity. Each of those states are permitted to apply more stringent regulations above and beyond the federal minimum standard through. When requested by an APGA member, APGA will participate in a state pipeline safety rulemaking process.

Click here for a list of APGA’s written comments on state based pipeline safety issues.

Pipeline Safety Reauthorization & PIPES Act

Every four years Congress must pass legislation to reauthorize the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to regulate the safety of the nation’s pipeline system. The three committees with jurisdiction over pipeline safety are the Senate Committee on Commerce, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.

Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2020
This bipartisan law signed on December 27, 2020, both reauthorizes PHMSA to serve as the regulator of pipeline safety activities and mandates additional oversight, research, or regulations. Several of the mandates are directly a result of the 2018 incident in Merrimack Valley. Some of the new mandates include:
  • PHMSA must require operators to update their new distribution integrity management plans, emergency response plans, and O&M plans. PHMSA must also require operators to implement leak detection and repair programs that consider the environment.
  • Operators must manage records, and update, as necessary their district regulator stations to eliminate a common mode of failure. Operators must also locate and categorize all leaks that are hazardous to human safety, the environment, or can become hazardous. (Page 1693/5593)

Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS)

In 2015 during the aftermath of several significant large pipeline incidents and at the recommendation of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the pipeline industry came together to develop a safety management framework for pipelines. The goal of this framework was to further assist pipeline operators to achieve the ultimate goal of zero incidents. The result of this effort was the publication of the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 1173, titled: Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS).

The APGA PSMS Task Group and ENERGY worldnet have collaborated to provide PSMS Planning / Gap Analysis Tool for Small Operators. This is a self-assessment tool intended to introduce users to the elements of API RP 1173, while helping identify potential areas for improvement. 

Go to the PSMS Planning webpage to learn more.

PHMSA Advisory Bulletins

As an agency committed to ensuring the safe transport of hazardous materials within the nation’s 2.3 million pipeline system, PHMSA utilizes and presents public notices and advisory bulletins as sources of information collection, public meetings, safety advisories and general notices. Additionally, the notices and advisory bulletins are linked to the Federal Register as an official public record.

Go to the PHMSA Advisory Bulletins webpage.