The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) oversees a national network of more than 2.8 million miles of pipeline. OPS conducts pipeline safety inspections to verify that operators comply with Federal regulations and manage pipelines safely. OPS developed the integrated inspection program, which combines elements from other inspection types, such as operator qualifications and control room management, into one risk-based assessment of a pipeline. OPS uses the Agency’s Risk Ranking Index Model to prioritize the inspection of pipeline systems by risk. According to PHMSA data, integrated inspections accounted for more than half of OPS inspections in 2019.
Because integrated inspections make up the majority of OPS inspections and can identify potential impacts on pipeline safety, we are initiating this audit. Our audit objective will be to assess PHMSA’s implementation of the integrated inspection program. Specifically, we will assess PHMSA’s policies and procedures, risk-based approach, and conduct of integrated inspections.