Overview of the Pipeline Submission Process

The NPMS Operator Standards is an online document that contains detailed information about the NPMS data submission requirements. The Operator Submission Guide is an online document that contains tips for preparing a complete and accurate NPMS submission. The NPMS Operator Standards and the Operator Submission Guide may be viewed via a web browser or saved as a PDF file to your local computer.

Determine Applicable Pipeline Submission Timeline

Operators are required to make a NPMS submission each year. Effective October 1, 2015 per the Pipeline Safety: Miscellaneous Changes to Pipeline Safety Regulations rule, gas transmission pipeline operators are required to make their submission by March 15 of each year and hazardous liquid pipeline operator are required to make their submission by June 15 each year. All pipeline submissions should reflect the status of the data as of December 31 of the previous year (e.g., the March 15, 2018 submission reflects data as of December 31, 2017).

For those operators reporting both gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines under one OPID, a single submission including both gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines is requested by March 15. The submission should clearly state that the data reflects both gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines as of December 31 of the previous year. If the operator is unable to submit updated hazardous liquid pipelines by the March 15 deadline, the operator should submit only the updated gas transmission pipelines. The operator should then submit only the updated hazardous liquid pipelines by June 15. Both submission packages must include all submission components. When the gas transmission portion is received, NPMS staff will conduct an initial review of the data. The comprehensive review of the OPID’s submission will occur after both the gas transmission and hazardous liquid portions are received.

Determine if Changes Have Occurred

Operators can review their existing NPMS data with the OSAVE application (login with your PIMMA account). If there have been no changes to the data since the previous submission, the operator should alert NPMS staff; this notification of no changes fulfills the yearly NPMS submission requirement. The operator may send NPMS staff their no change notification via OSAVE (preferred) or via an email to npms@dot.gov. The email sent to the staff should indicate that there are no changes to the data or public contact; a notification of no changes email template has been provided for your convenience.

Please note that if at any time throughout the year, the primary, technical or public contact has changed, the contact information should be updated via OSAVE. Primary and technical contacts for the OPID are used by NPMS staff for questions regarding the OPID or submission data or to convey general NPMS information. However, the public contact is posted on the NPMS website for the general public to use whenever they have questions in regards to the pipelines in their area. OSAVE is accessible to pipeline operators using their PIMMA username and password.

Determine if Pipelines Have Been Abandoned

The regulation of abandoned pipelines defined in 49 CFR 195.59 (a) and 49 CFR 192.727 (g) Abandonment or Deactivation of Facilities states that “For each abandoned offshore pipeline facility or each abandoned onshore pipeline facility that crosses over, under or through a commercially navigable waterway, the operator of that facility must file a report upon abandonment of that facility.” The preferred method to submit data on pipeline facilities abandoned after October 10, 2000 that meet this criteria is to the NPMS in accordance with the NPMS Operator Standards.

In addition to the NPMS-required attributes, operators must submit a letter which contains the date of abandonment, diameter of the pipeline, method of abandonment, and certification that, to the best of the operator’s knowledge, the abandonment was completed in accordance with applicable laws. An abandonment certification template is provided for your convenience. Please note that the abandonment certification is not needed for abandoned onshore pipelines that do not cross a commercially navigable waterway.

In regards to abandoned pipelines in general (regardless if they must be certified or not), please note that once a pipeline is officially abandoned in the NPMS, it should not be included in future NPMS submissions. Since abandoned pipelines are disassociated from your OPID, your company’s abandoned lines will not appear in your PIMMA account. However, there is an abandoned pipeline layer in the OSAVE map viewer which will display all pipelines which your OPID reported as abandoned. NPMS staff can also send your previously submitted abandoned pipelines in shapefile format for use in your own GIS to assist you with this process. Please contact NPMS staff if you are unsure of the lines that are currently abandoned in the NPMS for your OPID.

Develop Pipeline Submission Components

Section 2 General Requirements (Key Terms and Definitions) of the NPMS Operator Standards outlines the main components of the NPMS submission. This section also defines the types of pipelines that must be included in the NPMS submission. If you are unsure whether your pipelines meet PHMSA’s definition and are, therefore, required to be submitted to the NPMS, please refer to this section. The Summary of Required Components provides of a brief overview of the submission components.

Submit Pipeline Components via OSAVE

Once all of the components of the NPMS submission are completed, the operator should send the submission to NPMS staff.

The pipeline submission may be transmitted digitally via the OSAVE submission workflow tool. The files from your local computer will be automatically sent to our NPMS server where NPMS staff will retrieve it. Please note that a PIMMA login is required to access this tool.

The NPMS submission data files may also be mailed on CD-ROM/DVD to the NPMS National Repository; please refer to the address located under the Contact Us link on the NPMS website.

Review Processed Pipeline Data

Once NPMS staff receives your NPMS submission, staff will verify that the submission contains the expected components. You will be sent an email confirming receipt of your complete submission or requesting additional information. Once all of the components are received and validated, NPMS staff will process your submission. Please note that submissions are processed in the order they arrive.

As soon as the NPMS pipeline data submission has completed all stages of processing, it will be incorporated into the NPMS national layer. Once the incorporated pipeline data is viewable on the online map viewers, NPMS staff will notify the primary and technical contacts via email. This step finalizes the NPMS submission and concludes the NPMS submission process. If any errors are identified with the incorporated data at that time, please contact NPMS staff to determine the best approach for making necessary corrections to your pipeline data.

Questions regarding the NPMS data or submission should be directed to NPMS staff at npms@dot.gov or 703-317-6294.