PHMSA Notice on Enforcement

This Notice advises operators affected by the National Emergency that PHMSA does not intend to take any enforcement action with regard to Operator Qualification (OQ) and Control Room Management (CRM) requirements, and will consider exercising its enforcement discretion with regard to Part 199 drug testing requirements. PHMSA will also not object to waivers, special permits, stays of enforcement or similar measures granted by State authorities to pipeline operators for noncompliance due to COVID-19 with State regulations equivalent to the Federal regulations. In addition to these three specific areas, PHMSA realizes there may be other regulatory requirements under the Federal pipeline safety laws in 49 C.F.R. Parts 190 through 199 that pose compliance challenges for operators during this National Emergency. In such cases, it is important that operators adequately document any such issues and communicate promptly with their regulator about them. PHMSA will exercise discretion in its overall enforcement of other parts of the pipeline safety regulations with the intent of providing operators with the flexibility. Intrastate Operators who determine that they cannot comply with the regulations described in this Notice because of challenges due to COVID-19 should promptly notify Maryland’s Program Manager, John Clementson.