PHMSA Stays Enforcement in Alaska After Earthquake

The agency's stay provides temporary relief for pipeline and liquefied natural gas facility operators from certain federal pipeline safety regulations, including compliance with operator qualification requirements, but it does not relieve operators of their safety responsibility to use trained, non-impaired workers to perform operation and maintenance tasks.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued an Emergency Stay of Enforcement for pipeline and liquefied natural gas facility operators dealing with limited resources in Alaska because of the 7.0 magnitude Nov. 30 earthquake that caused damage in and around Anchorage, the state's largest city. The agency's stay provides temporary relief from certain federal pipeline safety regulations, including compliance with operator qualification requirements, but it does not relieve operators of their safety responsibility to use trained, non-impaired workers to perform operation and maintenance tasks.

The stay says PHMSA does not intend to take any enforcement action related to the operators' temporary non-compliance with the operator qualification requirements found in 49 CFR 192.801-809 and 195.501-509, or from the pre-employment and random drug testing requirements in 49 CFR 199.105(a)(c). It says operators who determine they cannot comply with the requirements must notify PHMSA's national safety coordinator, Rod Seeley, and also must maintain documentation of instances when they can't fully comply.

The Emergency Stay took effect Dec. 1 and will remain in effect for 45 days, unless PHMSA determines in writing that it should be extended.

In support of actions taken by EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard, PHMSA also issued an Emergency Waiver Order on Dec. 2 to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a threat to public health, welfare, or the environment caused by actual or potential oil and hazardous materials incidents resulting from the earthquake. The agency reported that it continues to monitor and respond to the effects of the earthquake and to understand its potential effects on hazmat and pipeline operations.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue