Summary of Required Components – Pipeline Submissions

The following summarizes the five main components of a NPMS pipeline submission:

1. Cover/Transmittal Letter

The cover/transmittal letter collects basic information about the submission from the operator such as the Operator ID (OPID), type of submission, and type of pipelines. The specific questions in the cover letter that are required to be addressed by pipeline operators are identified in the NPMS Operator Standards. Submitting via the OSAVE workflow, which includes the cover letter-related questions, eliminates the need to submit a separate cover letter file.

Refer to Section 2.3 Cover/Transmittal Letter Requirement of the NPMS Operator Standards for additional information.

2. Metadata

Metadata is “data about data” and answers the “who, what, when, where” questions about the data. The customized NPMS metadata collects from the operator the general location of the data and the projection in which the data is submitted. Submitting via the OSAVE workflow, which includes the metadata-related questions, eliminates the need to submit metadata information on a separate cover letter file.

Refer to Section 2.3 Cover/Transmittal Letter Requirement of the NPMS Operator Standards for additional information

3. Geospatial Data

NPMS geospatial data captures the physical location of your pipelines on the earth’s surface. The geospatial data may be submitted in several different formats; the operator should select the format that best fits their capabilities and resources.

In some cases, like the GIS Esri shapefile and CAD formats, the pipelines are represented by a series of line segments. In the case of the coordinate format, the pipeline is represented by a series of points – the start point, end point and any inflection points. For submissions which include the coordinate format, the NPMS staff will create lines from the submitted points.

Refer to Section 4 Geospatial Data in the NPMS Operator Standards and Section 4 Submitting Your Geospatial and Attribute Data, Section 8 Tips for Accurate Spatial Representation of Pipelines and Section 9 Tips for CAD Drawing Submissions of the Operator Submission Guide for additional details.

4. Attribute Data

Attribute data captures descriptive information about your pipelines, such as operator name, system name, transported commodity, and status. The attributes may be incorporated with the geospatial data, like in the case of the Esri shapefile. However, not all geospatial formats, like the coordinate format, integrate these two types of data. In this case, the operator must submit the attribute data as a separate component in a tab or comma delimited text format or Microsoft Excel format (preferred). When the geospatial and attribute data are submitted as separate items, the OPER_LINK value allows NPMS staff to correctly connect each pipeline feature to its corresponding attributes.

The specific attributes that are required for the NPMS submission are described in detail in Section 3 Attributes of the NPMS Operator Standards. Specifically, Figure 3.1 in Section 3 of the NPMS Operator Standards lists the required field names, field types and acceptable values. For users working with a GIS software system, templates of the required attributes in Esri shapefile and personal geodatabase file formats have been developed for your convenience. These templates contain the required NPMS attributes with the proper field names, field types, and field length definition. The templates have a defined projection of Geographic Latitude Longitude NAD 83 Decimal Degrees; if your pipeline data is not in this projection, you MUST re-project the downloaded template before adding your pipeline data. For operators who will submit the required attributes in Microsoft Excel format, a template of the pipeline attribute fields was developed to ease the process. Various sections of the Operator Submission Guide provide detailed information about the submission component combinations, how to populate the attributes and example scenarios; refer to the Table of Contents to identify the sections applicable to your situation.

5. Primary, Technical, and Public Contact Information

For pipeline OPIDs, there are three contacts - primary, technical, and public – that are associated with the OPID. The primary and technical contacts are used by NPMS staff; these contacts are not distributed. During the review and processing of the NPMS data submission, NPMS staff will reach out to the technical contact when clarification or re-submission is needed. If the communication is by email, NPMS staff will often include the primary contact as well. NPMS staff will also email both primary and technical contacts to alert the operator that the submission has passed the initial review and is progressing to the processing workflow stage. The primary and technical contacts are also both included on the email NPMS staff sends alerting the operator that the submission data has been incorporated into the NPMS national layer and is viewable on the PIMMA and Public Viewer map viewers.

Once the data submission has completed the entire NPMS submission workflow, if a question about the pipeline data or OPID in general arises, NPMS staff will reach out to the primary contact for assistance. If the communication is by email, depending on the topic, the technical contact may also be included in the email. Additionally, the primary contact is the one to receive mass communication emails from NPMS staff to all operators, for instance, when a change in the submission workflow or requirements has occurred (such as the release of OSAVE) or when a reminder regarding submission dates is sent. Depending upon the topic, the technical contact may also be included on the mass communication emails.

The primary contact must be directly employed by the operating company. The technical contact may be directly employed by the operating company or may be a consultant/subcontractor that the operator designates to fill that role. In some cases, the same person that is directly employed by the operating company may fill the role of both the primary and technical contact. Within OSAVE the operator has the option to mark that the technical contact is the same person as the primary contact; the tool will copy over the information automatically, preventing the operator from expending duplicate effort.

Unlike the primary and technical contacts, the public contact is posted on the NPMS website and is available to every website visitor. Specifically, visitors may view this information via the Find Who’s Operating Pipelines in Your Area tool, PIMMA, and the Public Viewer. The public contact may be a person or an entity; however, both a person and an entity cannot be entered. The person/entity designated as the public contact should expect to receive communications from the general public, emergency responders as well as local, state, and federal government staff with questions regarding the operator’s pipelines. Like the primary contact, the public contact must be directly employed by the operating company; the public contact may not be a consultant/subcontractor.

The primary, technical, and public contacts may be updated, as needed, anytime throughout the year. A submission is not required to update contact information for an OPID. Additionally, operators are prompted to review and update, if applicable, all contact information as part of the NPMS submission and notification workflows. Through OSAVE, the operator can view the current contact information and change only the information that needs to be updated. When the operator updates the primary and technical contact information through OSAVE, the NPMS database source tables are edited directly; the operator is not editing a copy/staging table. As a result, changes should be made with extra care. On the other hand, while the operator is directly editing the source table for the public contact information, the exported ‘snapshot in time’ that PIMMA and the Public Viewer utilize is not automatically edited. The ‘snapshot in time’ version displayed on PIMMA and the Public Viewer is updated by NPMS staff, along with the other map viewer data, approximately every two months.