What is a Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) required by 49 CFR 192.1001
Distribution Integrity Management (DIM) in 49 CFR 192.1001 refers to a set of regulations
established by the United States Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for the safe operation and maintenance of natural
gas distribution pipelines. 49 CFR 192.1001, outlines the requirements for Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP). DIMP is a comprehensive approach that natural gas pipeline operators must implement to ensure the integrity of their distribution systems.
Key components of Distribution Integrity Management Programs typically include:
Identification of Threats: Operators are required to identify and assess all reasonably foreseeable threats to the integrity of their pipeline systems. These threats may include factors such as corrosion, excavation activities, equipment failure, natural disasters, and third-party damage.
Risk Assessment: Operators must evaluate the risks associated with identified threats. This involves quantifying the likelihood and potential consequences of incidents resulting from these threats.
Mitigation Measures: Based on the risk assessment, operators must develop and implement measures to mitigate or reduce the identified risks. This can involve activities like regular inspections, maintenance, monitoring, and employing technologies to detect and prevent potential issues.
Performance Metrics and Monitoring: Operators must establish performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of their integrity management programs. They are also required to monitor these metrics and make adjustments to their programs as needed.
Documentation and Record Keeping: Operators must maintain comprehensive records of their integrity management activities, including assessments, inspections, repairs, and preventive measures. This documentation is crucial for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements.
Continuous Improvement: The DIMP process is iterative, meaning that operators are expected to continuously review and improve their programs based on lessons learned, new technologies, and changing circumstances.
The ultimate goal of Distribution Integrity Management is to ensure the safe and reliable operation of natural gas distribution pipelines, thereby protecting the public, property, and the environment from potential hazards associated with the transportation of natural gas. It also helps to promote confidence in the integrity of the nation's natural gas infrastructure.