The conflicted nature of the American Petroleum Institute, which acts as both standards-setter and (rather shrill) lobbyist, was made clear recently. The API’s midstream group director Robin Rorick has, on the one hand, welcomed the adoption by the US Pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration of API recommended practices 1170 and 1171. The 2015 standards cover underground hydrocarbon storage construction methods, materials and maintenance practices for ensuring safe operations. These are written into Phmsa’s new underground natural gas storage rule.
But the API is not so pleased with the speed at which Phmsa wants the rules applied. Rorick opined, ‘While we are encouraged that the new rule adopts API’s rigorous safety management practices, we fear that the new rule’s unrealistic compliance timeline will prevent operators from effectively implementing the requirements of the rule and could potentially undermine the very safety efforts the rule is trying to promote.’ Can you believe it? Industry gets together on a safety standard and then the blooming ‘guvmint’ goes and actually applies it! What’s the world coming to?
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