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August 1, 2011 came and went. Where do we go from here? Now we get to work implementing our plan, and we only have a short time to get it done. The depth of alarm management required today by PHMSA (U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) might be a new undertaking or underestimated by some operators, but it’s a good rule of thumb to reference the details provided by API RP-1167, which is based on the best practices established by ISA 18.2.

As with most new rules, interpretation of the requirements varies within companies and outside resources. TiPS, Inc. experts, Dr. Doug Rothenberg and John Bogdan, along with our partner Telvent, are in agreement that ANSI/ISA 18.2, API 1167, and EEMUA 191 can provide additional guidance when in doubt. In addition, it is advisable to adhere to the most stringent standard or best practice for not only compliance reasons but also for safety and exposure protection.

A little background: Following the release of ISA 18.2 best practices, ANSI adopted it as a standard. Concurrently, PHMSA was developing the CRM rules to prescribe safety requirements for controllers, control rooms, and SCADA systems used to remotely monitor and control pipeline operations. API issued API RP-1167 as a recommended practice to provide compliance guidance to pipeline operators. Each of these follows the ANSI/ISA 18.2 standard very closely.