Updated PHMSA Statement on the Plastic Pipe Rule

Updated PHMSA Statement on the Plastic Pipe Rule

As the whole natural gas pipeline industry is aware, the Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) implemented a new Plastic Pipe Rule in 2019. Everyone in the industry has been engaged in working to meet the new rulings by the deadlines originally laid out.

With input from industry organizations and leaders, PHMSA has identified two implementation issues with the Plastic Pipe Rule and issued a statement providing additional information involving those two issues.

1) Compliance with Category 1 Requirements for Large Diameter (4 Inches or Greater) Transition Fittings
Originally, this compliance was scheduled for January 2020. Real-world implementation has shown, however, that the process is taking longer. This new PHMSA statement gives the mechanical joint manufacturers until August of 2020 to complete their designs for Category 1 tested transition fittings. PHMSA will not enforce the ruling until then and recommends that states do the same.

2) Fusion Qualification: Considering Alternative Procedures to ASTM F2620 for Polyethylene (PE)
The PHMSA statement indicates that the spirit of the Plastic Pipe Rule also allows heat fusion procedures other than F26220-13 to be acceptable, if they can demonstrate it is an equal or better practice. They are reviewing a formal rule change, but until that time will enforce based on this spirit of the rule and again, recommends that states do the same.

With PHMSA and the natural gas industry working closely together, the ruling is increasing safety, while being workable for well-done implementation.

For the entire statement by PHMSA, click here: https://files.groebner.com/pdfs/2020PHMSAStatement.pdf