Pipeline Safety Update

Recent Enforcement Actions

Access the most up-to-date enforcement documents issued to operators here. Documents are organized in descending order and available for download and/ or print.

The Pipeline Safety Enforcement Program monitors and enforces operators' compliance with pipeline safety regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of pipeline facilities.

Enforcement Actions include: 

  • Notices of Probable Violation (NOPV)
    A Notice of Probable Violation alleges specific violations of federal regulations and proposes corrective action in a Compliance Order and/or civil penalties, where applicable. After routine inspections, incident investigations, or other federal or interstate oversight activity, the PHMSA Regional Director determines if probable violations have occurred, and issues an NOPV to the operator, if appropriate. The operator has a right to respond to the NOPV and request an administrative hearing. Administrative enforcement procedures and other enforcement regulations described in Title 49, Part 190 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Corrective Action Orders (CAO)
    In a Corrective Action Order, PHMSA identifies actions that an operator must take in order to assure safe operation of the pipeline facility in question. Corrective actions may include the shutdown of a pipeline or operation at reduced pressure, physical inspection or testing of the pipeline, repair or replacement of defective pipeline segments, and similar measures. If PHMSA determines that a particular pipeline presents a serious hazard to life, property, or the environment, PHMSA may issue a CAO. CAOs usually address urgent situations arising out of an accident, spill, or other significant or imminent safety or environmental concern. Corrective Action Orders are described in Title 49, Part 190.233 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Notices of Amendment (NOA)
    A Notice of Amendment is a letter that PHMSA sends to operators asserting that the operator's plans and procedures are inadequate and require correction. PHMSA inspections, incident investigations, and other oversight activities routinely identify shortcomings in an operator's plans and procedures under federal regulations. In these situations, PHMSA issues a NOA. The operator has a right to respond to the Notice and to request an administrative hearing. Notices of Amendment and the procedures for their issuance and enforcement are described in Title 49, Part 190.237 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Warning Letters
    For some lower risk probable violations and program deficiencies, PHMSA has the option of issuing a Warning Letter notifying the operator of alleged violations and directing it to correct them or be subject to further enforcement action. PHMSA follows up on these items during subsequent inspections or through other interactions with the operator. Warning Letters are described in Title 49, Part 190.205 in the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Notice of Proposed Safety Order
    A Notice of Proposed Safety Order proposes measures that the operator must take in order to address an identified risk. These can include inspection, testing, repair, or other appropriate actions to remedy the identified risk condition. PHMSA may issue a Notice of Proposed Safety Order to notify an operator that a particular pipeline facility has a condition or conditions that pose a pipeline integrity risk to public safety, property, or the environment. A Notice of Proposed Safety Order addresses pipeline integrity risks that may not constitute a hazardous facility requiring immediate corrective action (see Corrective Action Order described above), but do need to be addressed over time. Notices of Proposed Safety Order are described in Title 49, Part 190.239 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

For a complete catalogue of pipeline enforcement actions, please visit PHMSA’s primary webpage for pipeline safety Enforcement & Inspection.