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Title: The benefits of consensus standards: a pipeline case study
Category: Technical papers from the Journal of Pipeline Integrity
Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: 2069
Date of Publication: First Quarter 2005
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Terry Boss, Andy Drake, Keith Leewis, Bernie Selig, and John Zurcher
Abstract: The pipeline industry has implemented a process for acquiring data and information necessary to support technically-based standards and regulations through technical studies and research and development (R&D). This process enabled the development of ASME B31.8S based on the technical facts gathered, drawing upon all stakeholders including Federal and State regulators, pipeline operators, manufacturers and suppliers, and members of the public.

This paper describes the process being used by the gas pipeline industry to develop standards such as B31.8S and provides examples of the benefits derived from standards. It examines in detail the benefits that the pipeline industry and regulators derived from the timely development of ASME B31.8S Managing system integrity of gas pipelines and the process used to support the standards development.

The Office of Pipeline Safety developed a cost/benefit analysis to support the final rule on Integrity management in high consequence areas. The OPS analysis indicates that the net cost for the gas pipeline industry to implement this program is now $4.7billion over the next 20 years, compared to the proposed rule based on the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 which it estimated would cost $10.9 billion over the same period. OPS has incorporated B31.8S into its regulations, which has significantly simplified them, yet through prescriptive requirements, has provided an equal or better level of safety as envisioned by Congress.

While the timely development played a major role in the distillation of the regulations, B31.8S cannot take credit for the full $6.2-billion savings to the industry. The estimated savings provided by B31.8S to the industry will be described. Industry management and the regulators are encouraged to fully support the continuing development of standards for the pipeline industry, utilizing the model developed by the gas pipeline industry.

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