Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-87-034
Details
Synopsis: ON MARCH 12, 1986, A CONTRACTOR OPERATING A BACKHOE IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS, SNAGGED, LIFTED, AND PUNCTURED A LONE STAR GAS COMPANY NATURAL GAS SERVICE LINE AT 9:15 A.M. THE GAS SER VICE LINE SUPPLIED GAS TO AN UNOCCUPIED BUILDING. GAS UNDER 22 PSI PRESSURE ESCAPED INTO THE AIR AND ALSO LEAKED AT A POINT 18 FEET UNDER THE BUILDING WHERE THE SERVICE LINE HAD ALSO BEEN PULLED APART AT A GIRTH WELD. THE CONTRACTOR NO TIFIED THE LONE STAR GAS COMPANY OF THE LINE PUNCTURE AND A GAS COMPANY CREW AND SUPERVISOR WERE DISPATCHED TO THE SCENE. WHILE THE GAS COMPANY CREW WAS ATTEMPTING TO SHUT OFF THE FLOW OF GAS TO THE PUNCTURED PIPE, THE UNOCCUPIED BUILDING EXPLODED AND BURNED AT 10:09 A.M. TWENTY-TWO PER SONS WERE INJURED, THE UNOCCUPIED BUILDING WAS DESTROYED, AND 40 OTHER BUILDINGS WERE DAMAGED. FIFTY-SEVEN AUTOMO BILES STORED INSIDE THE DESTROYED BUILDING WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY OF THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: REVISE 49 CFR 192 TO REQUIRE THAT GAS COMPANY SYSTEM MAPS AND RECORDS BE MAINTAINED ACCURATELY TO IDENTIFY THE LOCATIONS, SIZE, AND OPERATIONS PRESSURE OF ALL OF THEIR PIPELINES; HOWEVER, THIS REVISION SHOULD NOT INCLUDE NONPERTINENT FACTORS AS APPEARED IN THE ADVANCE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ON THIS ISSUE IN DOCKET PS-61, NOVEM BER 29, 1979.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA86FP010
Accident Reports:
Lone Star Gas Company Gas Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-87-03
Accident Date: 3/12/1986
Issue Date: 9/24/1987
Date Closed: 12/4/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 12/4/2002
Response: While RSPA has not revised 49 CFR 192, as requested, the Safety Board believes that the issuance of ADB-02-03 provides an acceptable alternative solution to this issue. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-87-34 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/20/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/03/2002 12:13:48 PM MC# 2020838 Actions: 08/99 - Published a report, Common Ground: Study of One-Call &stems and Damage Prevention Best Practices, including a chapter on mapping. 07/01 - Published National Pipeline Mapping Standards for Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Operator Submissions (66 FR 37268) 06/02 - Issued Advisory Bulletin on Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Mapping (67 FR 40768) 09/30/02 - Award of research and development contracts to improve pipeline-locating technology. Undated Response: The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) agrees that pipeline operators need to maintain accurate system maps and records. Our regulations for both gas and hazardous liquid operators require operators to maintain current records and maps of the location of their facilities for use in operations, maintenance, and emergency response activities (49 CFR 192.605, 195.402 and 195.405). Field experience shows that improvements have been made in mapping and record keeping practices since this recommendation was issued in 1987. Pipeline companies do not necessarily note operating pressures on maps, but a variety of records are maintained that document operating pressures including, hydrostatic test pressure records, SCADA records, compressor and pump station records, etc. To emphasize the importance of maintaining accurate maps and communications, RSPA has issued an advisory to all gas and hazardous liquid operators (67 FR 40768, June 13, 2002). This advisory directs pipeline operators to review their information and mapping systems to ensure that they have clear, accurate, and useable information on the location, characteristics, and operating pressures of all pipes, valves, regulators, and other pipeline elements for use in operations and maintenance, emergency response, pipe location and marking, and preconstructing planning. The advisory notes that the mapping systems should, at a minimum, provide the following information: (1) Location and identification of pipeline facilities, including key features needed in emergency response; (2) Crossings of roads, railroads, rivers, buried utilities, and pipelines; (3) The maximum operating pressure of each pipeline; and, (4) The diameter, grade, type, and nominal wall thickness of pipe. Further, RSPA urges every pipeline operator to keep the required maps and records up-to-date as pipeline construction and modifications take place, to ensure that pipeline personnel are knowledgeable about the location of abandoned lines, and to communicate pipeline information and maps to appropriate operating, maintenance, and emergency response personnel. Operators are also encouraged to collaborate with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and with Federal and State pipeline safety program managers to improve all phases of underground facility damage prevention, including improved mapping standards. RSPA has also developed a national mapping system for use by Federal and State pipeline inspectors. The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) contains a variety of selected data on natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines. The NPMS data standards are consistent with the policies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the mapping application uses commercial mapping software. Although the data submissions to the NPMS are limited in comparison to the requirements for the detailed maps used by pipeline operators, these standards emphasize the importance of using accurate geospatial data, multi-user access, and standardized pipeline mapping data. RSPA's intention in creating a mapping standard is to harmonize efforts across Federal and State agencies to set criteria for map quality and to have a uniform standard for various mapping purposes. Another initiative to improve the accuracy of information in pipeline location is RSPA's issuance of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for research and development proposals on damage prevention and leak detection, including development of advanced pipe location technologies. RSPA is awarding contracts to advance pipeline locating technology in September and will share information on the awards as soon as they are completed. The technology will address distribution pipelines. RSPA finalized a Cooperative Agreement with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) to assist with public education at the National, State, and local levels and to provide State and local officials with information and tools to help their residents live safely with pipelines, and to become familiar with pipeline locations. The CGA is examining and promoting practices that have proven to effectively reduce the risk of damage to underground facilities, including pipeline data and mapping systems. We have a meeting planned with the CGA and NTSB in early October to get further advice for the research and development committee {met and decided..???..}. We urge all pipeline operators to contribute to pipeline research and development on location technologies and to work with CGA to improve and standardize pipeline mapping systems. This includes the promotion of consistent mapping symbols for pipeline components and common notational systems. We are also working with our inspectors and our pipeline safety partners in the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) to focus during standard inspections on ensuring that operators are maintaining clear and current records and maps. And, we are also inspecting operator qualification programs to ensure that pipeline operations and maintenance workers have demonstrated their ability to use company maps and records for timely and decisive emergency response, as well as to support accurate underground facility marking. Action Requested: RSPA requests that Safety Recommendation P-87-34 be reclassified as "Closed - Acceptable Action" based on the information provided.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 7/13/2000
Response: ON 6/29/99, BASED ON INFORMATION IN THE RSPA LETTER OF 10/30/98, P-87-34 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," PENDING A FURTHER RESPONSE FROM RSPA. COPIES OF RECOMMENDATIONS P-87-34, P-90-21, P-95-4, P-96-1, P-97-6, P-97-7, P-97-8, P-98-1, P-98-2, P-98-3, P-98-4, P-98-5, AND P-98-25 AND ASSOCIATED CORRESPONDENCE ARE ENCLOSED. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY ACTION TAKEN OR PLANNED TO COMPLY WITH THESE RECOMMENDATIONS, ESPECIALLY P-97-7 AND -8, WHICH MAY BE DISCUSSED AT A BOARD MEETING.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 6/29/1999
Response: THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THE REGULATIONS AT PART 192 DO NOT REQUIRE RECORDING OF OPERATING PRESSURE, BUT DO REQUIRE THAT THE OPERATING COMPANY'S SYSTEM MAPS AND RECORDS BE MAINTAINED ACCURATELY AND IDENTIFY THE LOCATIONS AND SIZE, OF ALL OF THEIR PIPELINES. THE BOARD REQUESTS THAT RSPA REEXAMINE ITS RESPONSE AND REQUIRE THAT THE REGULATION BE AMENDED TO INCLUDE THE RECORDING OF THE OPERATING PRESSURE. PENDING A REPLY FROM RSPA, P-87-34 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/30/1998
Response: THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS REQUIRE GAS OPERATING COMPANIES TO "MAKE CONSTRUCTION RECORDS, MAPS, AND OPERATING HISTORY AVAILABLE TO APPROPRIATE OPERATING PERSONNEL" (49 CFR 192.605(B)(3)). IN ADDITION, THE ACCOUNTABLE PIPELINE SAFETY AND PARTNERSHIP ACT OF 1996 REQUIRES THAT GAS TRANSMISSION COMPANIES PROVIDE, UPON REQUEST, STATES AND LOCALITIES WITH MAPS SHOWING THE ROUTING AND LOCATION OF PIPELINES. THE PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS REQUIRE REDUCED OPERATING PRESSURES OF GAS PIPELINES IN AREAS OF GREATER POPULATION (49 CFR 192.5). THE FOCUS ON OPERATING PRESSURES, RATHER THAN THE PHYSICAL SIZE OF THE PIPELINE, ENSURE SAFE TRANSPORTATION OF ENERGY BY REDUCING THE RISK OF PIPELINE FAILURE BY LIMITING PRESSURES IN MORE POPULATED AREAS. FOR EXAMPLE, PIPELINES IN CLASS 4 LOCATIONS, OR URBAN AREAS, ARE REQUIRED TO OPERATE AT MUCH LOWER PRESSURES THAN THOSE IN CLASS I LOCATIONS, OR AREAS THAT CONTAIN 10 OR FEWER BUILDINGS USED FOR HUMAN OCCUPANCY. GIVEN THE EXISTING REGULATIONS TO MAINTAIN DIFFERENT OPERATING PRESSURES IN AREAS OF DIFFERENT POPULATION DENSITY, REQUIRING INFORMATION ABOUT SPECIFIC OPERATING PRESSURES WOULD NOT ADD TO WHAT COMMUNITIES ALREAD KNOW. WE BELIEVE THE EXISTING REGULATIONS FULLY ADDRESS THIS RECOMMENDATION. RSPA REQUESTS THAT P-87-34 BE RECLASSIFIED AS "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 10/31/1997
Response: NTSB REQUESTED A FOLLOWUP ON THIS DATE 10/31/97.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/31/1992
Response:

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 9/29/1988
Response:

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 12/7/1987
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/20/1987
Response: RSPA INTENDS TO EXAMINE MAPPING AND RECORDS REQUIREMENTS AS PART OF ITS REVIEW OF THE PART OF ITS REVIEW OF THE COMPARATIVE STRINGENCY OF THE NATURAL GAS AND HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINE REGULATIONS STARTED THIS YEAR. THE REQUIREMENT IS MORE EXPLICIT FOR HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINE OPERATORS THAN FOR NATURAL GAS OPERATORS. RSPA WILL ASSURE COMPARABLE SPECIFICITY AND STRINGENCY BY SEEKING A RULE CHANGE IN PART 192 WHEN OUR EVALUATION IS COMPLETED. RSPA AGREES THAT THE AMBIENT CONDITION FACTORS INCLUDED IN THE ANPRM ARE NOT ESSENTIAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR GAS COMPANY MAPS AND RECORDS AND WILL NOT INCLUDE THESE FACTORS IN NEW RULEMAKING.