Under the auspices of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a new standard supplement has been produced to aid operators in the development and implementation of an integrity management program. This new standard supplement will outline the technical requirements for implementation of an operator’s integrity management plan as well as the programmatic elements overall. Historically, integrity management has been an integral part of pipeline operations. Contained throughout ASME B31.8, integrity management requirements are specified. One purpose of this new supplement is to formalize a more deliberate process for the management of integrity and to push adoption of an industry consensus standard by the Office of Pipeline Safety. An ad-hoc task team was assembled earlier this year to develop the standard supplement. The task team consists of members from the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), from the National Association of Pipeline Safety Regulators, and from the gas transmission and distribution industry. With an opportunity to create a new standard, the task team was able to fundamentally and deliberately rethink the process and the protections provided. The standard supplement is the repository for twenty technical studies and reports completed by a variety of scientific and technical organizations. These studies and reports provide the technical platform for the standard supplement. It is anticipated that the standard will serve as a “hub” for many other standards, eight of which are presently under development. The B31.8 code was the predecessor to the pipeline safety regulations, which were first promulgated in 1970. The code is an international code and is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It was felt that an ASME consensus standard would be the best home as the companion to the proposed regulations due to the strict policies of both ASME and ANSI for public comment, due process, and technical justification. The standard supplement provides guidance for two methods of compliance, a prescriptive track and a performance track. The prescriptive track will be very conservative but easier to implement. The performance track will be more flexible but will require significantly more data to implement. Within the standard supplement, the operator would have the option of following either track. This new standard supplement represents a new way for regulations, research and standards to be coordinated. It provides for performance based regulations referencing technically based standards that are developed from focused research.

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