Exactly how the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 will impact pipeline owners and operators is unknown at this time, but the act is even more far-reaching than industry experts might expect.
The act significantly expands operators' record-keeping requirements to include inspection-upon-demand by government and law enforcement personnel.
Based on plain language within the act, operators will be required to satisfy the following inspection-upon-demand record-keeping requirements including; self-reporting to regulators of any pipe or sections where the operator cannot fully confirm its physical and operating characteristics, including maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP); detailed response planning and actions for leaks and emergencies response; and a technical description of physical characteristics of each asset including its construction, maintenance, and operating history. There is also the potential for additional inspection-upon-demand requirements.
The requirements are far-reaching – and few, if any, pipeline operators can claim they currently meet the record-keeping or, in particular, inspection-upon-demand requirements. This part of the act is a game-changer and this KPMG paper focuses on the extensive record-keeping requirements that operators must start preparing for now.