In December, 2003, the Office of Pipeline Safety issued a final rule requiring operators of natural gas transmission lines to develop a Pipeline Integrity Management Plan. The requirements of the plan can be found in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline Safety Regulations, Part 192 Subpart O. The following is a summary of the City of Warner Robins' Pipeline Integrity Management Program (IMP).
A comprehensive, systematic, and integrated integrity management program can provide a means to improve the safety of pipeline systems. The city's IMP provides the information required to effectively allocate resources for prevention, detection and mitigation activities that will result in improved safety and reduce the number of gas pipeline incidents.
Identification of High Consequence Areas (HCAs)
A high consequence area is an area within a specific distance from the city's transmission line where a pipeline failure could have a greater impact on public health and safety such as a highly populated locale or building.
Data Gathering and Integration
Pipeline data is collected, integrated and analyzed for the entire pipeline including construction, historical, operational, maintenance, and preventative measures data.
For each HCA, the city evaluates the integrated pipeline data to identify potential threats to that particular section of pipeline including corrosion, construction defects, third party or other outside damage and operational error threats.
Upon evaluation of the threat exposure for each HCA, a risk assessment is developed utilizing accepted risk analysis methodologies to help prioritize integrity management plan activities.
Development of a Baseline Assessment Plan
The baseline assessment plan describes how each of the identified threats for each HCA is to be addressed and includes the direct assessment plan, assessment scheduling and procedures for minimizing environmental and safety risks.
Remediation, Prevention, and Mitigation Measures
Prompt action is taken to address all anomalous conditions discovered during all integrity assessments. Additional measures must be taken to prevent a pipeline failure in an HCA and to mitigate the prospective consequences of a pipeline failure.
A semi-annual evaluation is conducted to measure the effectiveness of the integrity management program over time.
The city maintains all records for the useful life of the pipeline to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the pipeline integrity management program.
Management of Change Plan
The city has formal management of change procedures in order to identify and consider the impact of changes to pipeline systems and their integrity.
Quality Assurance Plan
The city incorporates a quality control plan to assure that the requirements of the gas integrity management program are being met and to document integrity management procedures.
A communications plan is being implemented to keep appropriate City personnel, jurisdictional authorities and the public informed about the city's pipeline integrity management efforts and the results of it's integrity management activities.