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Pipeline Personnel Qualification. ASME B31Q Update. Presented by Jerry Schmitz, P.E. Southwest Gas Corporation B31Q Technical Committee Chair. Historical Perspective. 1999: PHMSA published Operator Qualification (OQ) rule 2002: NTSB labeled Operator Qualification as “unsatisfactory”

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pipeline personnel qualification

Pipeline Personnel Qualification

ASME B31Q Update

Presented by

Jerry Schmitz, P.E.

Southwest Gas Corporation

B31Q Technical Committee Chair

historical perspective
Historical Perspective
  • 1999:PHMSA published Operator Qualification (OQ) rule
  • 2002: NTSB labeled Operator Qualification as “unsatisfactory”
  • 2003: PHMSA issued 13 areas they considered as gaps in the rule
  • 2003: Four public meetings held to address the 13 issues
  • 2003: ASME B31Q Project Team formed to develop a technically sound, holistic, consensus standard for the qualification of pipeline personnel
  • 2005: PHMSA amended OQ rule to address training, on-the-job performance and reporting significant plan changes
  • 2006: ASME published the first edition of B31Q
13 implementation issues
13 Implementation Issues
  • Scope of OQ inspections
  • Evaluation of knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Re-evaluation intervals
  • Maintenance vs. New Construction
  • Treatment of Emergency Response
  • Missing covered tasks (excavation)
  • Extent of documentation
  • Generic vs. task specific Abnormal Operating Conditions
  • Treatment of Training
  • Criteria for small operators
  • Use of directing and observing
  • Noteworthy practices
  • Persons contributing to an accident
asme b31q
ASME B31Q
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) selected as entity to help develop and house standard
  • ASME B31Q committee selected
    • State and Federal Regulators
    • Operators from all segments of the industry
    • Contractor community
    • Industry Associations
    • Trade Associations
    • Vendors
  • Started August 2003 and published 2006
underlying principles of asme b31q
Underlying Principles of ASME B31Q
  • Scope covers tasks that impact the safety or integrity of the pipeline
  • Technically based
  • Prescriptive and Performance options
    • Performance options should have higher expectations on processes
    • Limited number of simple processes for each technical issue with freedom to develop operator’s own methods
underlying principles of asme b31q1
Underlying Principles of ASME B31Q
  • Clear – should be clear and concise
  • Durable – adequate for multiple cycles
  • Complete – answers all known technical issues
  • Sound – technically sound foundation
  • Use existing rule where practical
  • Not a regulatory document
major aspects of asme b31q
Major Aspects of ASME B31Q
  • Based on holistic approach to address OQ programs in full, not pieces
  • Addresses 12 of PHMSA’s 13 implementation issues
  • Fourteen chapters in B31Q
    • Prescriptive language
    • Performance language (equivalent options for all major requirements)
  • Eight Non-mandatory Appendices
    • Integrated Task List
b31q standard content
Foreword

Introduction

Definitions

References

Qualification Program

Determining Covered Tasks

Abnormal Operating Conditions

Training

Evaluation

Qualifications

Portability

Program Effectiveness

Communicating the Qualification Program and Managing Changes

Documentation Requirements

Bibliography

B31Q Standard Content
non mandatory appendices
Non Mandatory Appendices
  • Appendix 5A – Integrated Task List
  • Appendix 5B – Summary of IntegratedTask List
  • Appendix 5C – Task List Development Process
  • Appendix 5D – Evaluation Criteria
non mandatory appendices1
Non Mandatory Appendices
  • Appendix 6A – Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOCs)
  • Appendix 8A – Evaluation Method Selection
  • Appendix 9A – DIF Analysis for Subsequent Qualification Intervals
  • Appendix 11A – Program Implementationand Effectiveness Appraisals
asme b31q benefits
ASME B31Q Benefits
  • Standardized task list
  • Standardized requalification frequencies
  • Identifies key qualification components
  • Allows for portability
  • Rationales are embedded in document
  • Accepted by PHMSA
overview of b31q committee
Overview of B31Q Committee
  • Part of B31 Committee
  • History
    • B31Q Project Team
    • B31Q Technical Committee
  • Membership
    • 32 voting member positions
    • About 10 contributing members
organization of committee
Organization of Committee
  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  • Teams (Sub-Committees)
    • Team 1: Technical Issues – Task Related
    • Team 2: Technical issues – Non Task Related
    • Team 3: Administrative
  • Membership Diversity
    • Hazardous Liquids - Federal Regulators
    • Gas Transmission - State Regulators
    • Gas Distribution - Contractors
    • Small Operators - Labor
    • Industry/Trade Assoc. - Vendors
key issues being addressed
Key Issues Being Addressed
  • Work-in-progress from 2006 Standard
  • Editorial refinement
  • New tasks
  • Other items
work in progress from 2006 standard
Work-in-Progress from 2006 Standard
  • Portability
  • Jobs vs. Tasks
  • Qualification exemptions
  • New construction
editorial refinement
Editorial Refinement
  • Program effectiveness
  • AOC list items
  • Scope and forward revisions
  • Typographical corrections
new covered tasks under consideration
New Covered TasksUnder Consideration
  • Purging
  • Pigging
  • Operations and maintenance of auxiliary equipment
    • Dehydrators
    • Separators
    • Heaters
    • Coolers
other non task related items under consideration
Other Non Task Related Items Under Consideration
  • New technology
  • Long-term degradation of physical abilities
ways to participate
Ways to Participate
  • Comments to secretary
  • Work through members
  • Attend meetings
  • Upcoming meetings
    • Nashville, October 20-21, 2009
    • Albuquerque, March 2010
  • Web site: www.asme.org
    • Search on B31Q Committee
ansi process
ANSI Process
  • Technical Committee approval
  • B31 Committee approval
  • Public comments
  • Publication of approved revisions
standards vs regulations keeping things in perspective
Standards vs. RegulationsKeeping Things in Perspective
  • International standards
  • No jurisdictional bounds
  • Regulators can adopt all or part of a standard
phmsa perspective
PHMSA Perspective
  • B31Q addresses the OQ non-compliance issues found to date.
  • PHMSA has publicly stated –” If you meet ASME B31Q, you will meet the regulation.”
summary
Summary
  • Value of current standard
  • More work to be done
  • Your participation is welcome
  • Using the standard now and in the future