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Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

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Briefing: National Consensus Standards

National consensus standards on a variety of specific areas relative to pipeline safety are established and periodically updated by committees of engineers and technical experts. Sometimes referred to as "technical standards" they establish standard practices, methods or procedures that have been evaluated, tested, and proven by analysis and/or application.

Consensus standards help to ensure the safe design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of pipelines. In fact, they can carry the equivalent weight of law, and many of them are codified by incorporation of all or parts of them into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by reference. (See 49 CFR § 192.7, § 193.2013, and § 195.3)

National consensus standards apply to many aspects of pipeline safety, including the following and many others:

  • Transportation of line pipe
  • Specification for line pipe
  • Specification for pipeline valves
  • Tank operation and construction
  • Underground storage caverns
  • Manufacture of line pipe
  • Cathodic protection against corrosion
  • Welding
  • Pipeline awareness
  • Pipeline integrity
  • Pipeline wall thickness

For more information on national consensus standards affecting energy pipelines, contact PHMSA PHMSA Community Liaison Services.