TRB Special Report 327: Safety Regulation for Small LPG Distribution Systems examines the regulatory framework for gas pipeline systems that transport propane and other types of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for service to 100 or fewer customers. Most of the more than 12 million households and businesses that use LPG are on single-customer systems but a small number—between 3,800 and 5,800—are served by multi-user systems. These systems are potentially subject to federal safety regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
In response to a congressional request under the direction of PHMSA, the report reviews the safety regulatory framework that applies to small multi-user LPG pipeline systems, reviews what is known about their safety performance, and provides recommendations on ways to make their regulatory requirements more risk-based. The committee recommends that PHMSA develop more effective means of identifying small, multi-user LPG systems and to ensure they are inspected and their risks are better understood. The report recommends actions intended to allow more uniform interpretations of regulatory terms, the collection of condition and safety information on small LPG systems, and state regulators to seek permission from PHMSA to allow some small systems to opt out of certain federal regulatory requirements that are not applicable to their risks.
Table of Contents
|1 Introduction and Background||9-20|
|2 Basic Configurations and Uses of LPG Distribution Systems||21-29|
|3 Hazard Characteristics and Safety Performance||30-53|
|4 Safety Regulation and Its Applicability to Small LPG Distribution Systems||54-80|
|5 Summary Review and Advice||81-90|
|APPENDIX A: Questionnaire to State Pipeline Safety Program Managers on the Regulation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distribution Systems||91-92|
|APPENDIX B: Interpretation Letters Regarding the Definition of Public Place Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration||93-100|
|APPENDIX C: NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, Adoption in the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration||101-103|
|APPENDIX D: Agendas||104-106|
|Study Committee Biographical Information||107-112|
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