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The final version of TRB Special Report 327: Safety Regulation for Small LPG Distribution Systems is now available. The report examines the regulatory framework for gas pipeline systems that transport propane and other types of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for service to 100 or fewer customers. Most of the more than 12 million households and businesses that use LPG are on single-customer systems but a small number—between 3,800 and 5,800—are served by multi-user systems. These systems are potentially subject to federal safety regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

In response to a congressional request under the direction of PHMSA, the report reviews the safety regulatory framework that applies to small multi-user LPG pipeline systems, reviews what is known about their safety performance, and provides recommendations on ways to make their regulatory requirements more risk-based. The committee recommends that PHMSA develop more effective means of identifying small, multi-user LPG systems and to ensure they are inspected and their risks are better understood. The report recommends actions intended to allow more uniform interpretations of regulatory terms, the collection of condition and safety information on small LPG systems, and state regulators to seek permission from PHMSA to allow some small systems to opt out of certain federal regulatory requirements that are not applicable to their risks.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Safety Regulation for Small LPG Distribution Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

124 pages |  6 x 9 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-48392-6
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