Why must I submit pipeline data to the NPMS?

The NPMS program began in 1999 and was populated with data that was voluntarily submitted by pipeline facility operators. Effective October 1, 2015 the Pipeline Safety Miscellaneous Changes to Pipeline Safety Regulations requires operators of pipelines (except distribution and gathering lines) and LNG plants to submit geospatial, metadata, and attribute data to the NPMS. Section 191.29 of the regulations manual pertains to gas transmission, and LNG plant operators and Section 195.61 pertains to hazardous liquid pipelines. This rule replaces the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 as the NPMS requirement to submit. This information collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is referenced under OMB Control Number 2137-0596.

PHMSA issued an advisory bulletin in February 2003 that explained operators’ responsibility to submit data and gave instructions on how to submit data. Several points in the advisory bulletin have changed and are summarized below:

  • Submit all pipeline data and contact information in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the NPMS Operator Standards document. A complete data submission includes a cover letter, geospatial data, attribute data, metadata, and public contact information for all liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipeline systems operated by a company. For hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipeline submissions only, a submission via OSAVE eliminates the need to prepare separate cover letter and metadata files. OSAVE is accessible to pipeline operators using their PIMMA username and password.
  • Operators are required to update their submissions on an annual basis. Updates must reflect any and all changes in geospatial data, attribute data, metadata, or public contact information. Updates are required from gas transmission and LNG plant operators every year between January 1st and March 15th, and from hazardous liquid operators every year between January 1st and June 15th.
  • Operators can review their NPMS data and public contact information online via the OSAVE application.

In addition, PHMSA accepts voluntary data submissions to the NPMS for “breakout” tanks under PHMSA’s jurisdiction.

For additional details regarding the NPMS submission process and required components for a specific type of asset/facility (i.e. pipelines, LNG, or breakout tanks), operators should refer to the corresponding website page under the Pipeline Operator page.