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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-12-004
Details
Synopsis: On Sunday, July 25, 2010, about 5:58 p.m., eastern daylight time, a segment of a 30-inch-diameter pipeline (Line 6B), owned and operated by Enbridge Incorporated (Enbridge) ruptured in a wetland in Marshall, Michigan. The rupture occurred during the last stages of a planned shutdown and was not discovered or addressed for 17 hours. During the time lapse, Enbridge twice pumped additional oil (81 percent of the total release) into Line 6B during two startups; the total release was estimated to be 843,444 gallons of crude oil. The oil saturated the surrounding wetlands and flowed into the Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. Local residents self-evacuated from their houses, and the environment was negatively affected. Cleanup efforts continue as of the adoption date of this report, with continuing costs exceeding $767 million. About 320 people reported symptoms consistent with benzene exposure. No fatalities were reported.
Recommendation: TO THE PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Revise Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations 195.452(h)(2), the “discovery of condition,” to require, in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection, that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and provide an expected date when adequate information will become available.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Marshall, MI, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA10MP007
Accident Reports: Enbridge Incorporated Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Rupture and Release
Report #: PAR-12-01
Accident Date: 7/25/2010
Issue Date: 7/25/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: PHMSA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/1/2019
Response: -From Howard R. Elliott, Administrator: On October 13, 2015, PHMSA published an NPRM titled "Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines."5 This NPRM proposes amendments to the existing "discovery of condition" language in the pipeline safety regulations, which would require pipeline operators to provide PHMSA with an expected date when adequate information will become available, in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained, within 180 days following the date of inspection. The final rule was withdrawn from the Federal Register on January 23, 2017. According to the DOT' s March 2019 Significant Rulemakings Report, PHMSA currently plans to publish the rule in June 2019.

From: NTSB
To: PHMSA
Date: 2/21/2018
Response: We note that, on October 13, 2015, you published an NPRM, “Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines,” which proposed amending the existing “discovery of condition” language to require pipeline operators to provide you with an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where pipeline threats have not been determined within 180 days after the date of inspection. Although you originally expected to publish a final rule based on the NPRM by the start of 2017, this has been delayed by the governmentwide regulatory review required by executive order. Pending publication of the final rule, Safety Recommendation P-12-4 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: -From Howard R. Elliott, Administrator: On October 13, 2015, PHMSA published an NPRM titled "Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines" (80 FR 61609, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2015/10/13/2015-25359/pipeline-safetysafety-of-hazardous-liguid-pipelines), which proposes to amend the existing "discovery of condition" language in the pipeline safety regulations to require pipeline operators to provide PHMSA with an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection. The final rule was withdrawn from the Federal Register on January 23, 2017. Like many other issues before us, this is part of an ongoing regulatory review pursuant to the executive order issued by the President.

From: NTSB
To: PHMSA
Date: 12/5/2016
Response: We understand that “Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines” proposes amending the existing “discovery of condition” language in the pipeline safety regulations to require pipeline operators to provide you with an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where a pipeline threat has not been determined within 180 days following the date of inspection. We note that you are reviewing comments and anticipate publishing a final rule by the end of 2016. Pending our review of the final rule, Safety Recommendation P-12-4 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/17/2016
Response: -From Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator: On October 13, 2015, PHMSA published its NPRM titled "Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines," which proposes to amend the existing "discovery of condition" language in the pipeline safety regulations to require pipeline operators to provide PHMSA with an expected date when adequate infom1ation will become available in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection. Comments are being analyzed and a final rule is under agency review. We anticipate publication by the end of 2016.

From: NTSB
To: PHMSA
Date: 4/8/2015
Response: We are disappointed that you still have not issued the NPRM expected in 2013, Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines; however, we are encouraged that you plan to issue the NPRM in 2015, and that it will address both these recommendations. We encourage you to expedite this action. Pending timely publication of a final rule that satisfies these recommendations, Safety Recommendations P 12-3 and -4 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/22/2015
Response: -From Timothy P. Butters, Acting Administrator: PHMSA has drafted an NPRM titled "Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines," which proposes to amend the existing "discovery of condition" language in the pipeline safety regulations to require pipeline operators to provide PHMSA with an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection. The NPRM is currently under review with the Office of Management and Budget, and our anticipated publication date is May 2015.

From: NTSB
To: PHMSA
Date: 1/3/2014
Response: We are encouraged that PHMSA’s pending NPRM, Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines, addresses the issues specified in these two recommendations. Pending the publishing of a final rule as recommended, Safety Recommendations P-12-3 and -4 remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/29/2013
Response: -From Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator: PHMSA is developing a NPRM titled “Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines.” The NPRM proposes to amend the existing “discovery of condition” language in the pipeline safety regulations to require pipeline operators to provide PHMSA with an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection. The NPRM is expected to be published by the end of CY2013.

From: NTSB
To: PHMSA
Date: 1/11/2013
Response: The NTSB notes that PHMSA is developing rulemaking, Pipeline Safety: Safety of On Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines, to amend the existing “discovery of condition” language in the pipeline safety regulations, as recommended. Pending issuance of the final rule as described, Safety Recommendation P-12-4 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: PHMSA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/1/2012
Response: -From Cynthia Quarterman, Administrator: A rulemaking entitled “Pipeline Safety: Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines,” currently under development, proposes to amend the existing “discovery of condition” language in the pipeline safety regulations to require that pipeline operators must notify PHMSA and provide an expected date when adequate information will become available in cases where a determination about pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180 days following the date of inspection.