RP 1162 advances safety


API RP 1162, First Edition (2003)

The first edition of API Recommended Practice (RP) 1162, Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators, was an industry-led effort that followed significant pipeline incidents involving fatalities on June 10, 1999, in Bellingham, Wash., and on August 19, 2000, near Carlsbad, NM. For many years pipeline operators had been conducting key stakeholder pipeline education programs, but there had been no consistent guidance for developing and implementing those programs or for evaluating their effectiveness in raising awareness of pipelines and pipeline safety.

API RP 1162 was published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in December 2003 and incorporated by reference into federal regulation (49 CFR 192.616 and 49 CFR 195.440) in May 2005, amending prior public education requirements for pipeline operators, and became effective on June 20, 2006.

The First Edition was intended to guide pipeline operators on developing, implementing, and evaluating their Public Awareness Programs (PAP).  It established specific stakeholder audience groups (Affected Public, Emergency Officials, Public Officials, and Excavators), specific baseline and supplemental messaging (e.g., leak recognition & response, hazard awareness, pipeline purpose & reliability, damage prevention, pipeline location, and more), delivery methods and required frequencies, and a process for evaluating program effectiveness.

The First Edition was developed through a voluntary, consensus-driven process. The task group was comprised of natural gas and liquid transmission and gathering operators, local distribution companies, trade association representatives, and federal and state regulators.

API RP 1162, Second Edition (2010, 2015)

The Second Edition of API RP 1162 was published in 2010 and introduced changes based on the experience of pipeline operators and the stakeholders of operators’ Public Awareness Programs.  However, API RP 1162, Second Edition was not incorporated by reference into federal pipeline safety regulations. The document was reaffirmed by industry in 2015 for another five years, but operators were still required to comply with requirements in the First Edition.

The Second Edition task group was expanded to include operators of pipelines other than natural gas and hazardous liquids.

PHMSA’s SWOT Analysis and API’s Ad Hoc Group

In 2013, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) formed an industry-wide Public Awareness Program Working Group to review findings from the first round of PAP-focused inspections and to identify areas for continuous improvement.

A PAPWG SWOT Analysis Report-FINAL 05-16-16.pdf (dot.gov) was issued in May 2016; the API Ad Hoc Group was quickly formed to review the report. The group identified a total of 27 risks and 14 themes for consideration in a third edition of API RP 1162. Members of the Ad Hoc Group included representatives of API, Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), American Gas Association (AGA), Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), and PHMSA.

API RP 1162, Third Edition (2022)

API RP 1162, Third Edition, was developed under API’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation process and introduces the iterative four-step Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) approach into the framework of Public Awareness Programs.

Development of API RP 1162, Third Edition, began in July 2017 with a kick-off conference call of a potential task group, which comprised operators across transmission, gathering, and distribution systems, trade organizations representing operators or stakeholder audience groups, consultants and public awareness vendors, special interest or advocacy groups, and state and federal pipeline safety regulators. The task group’s first in-person meeting followed in October 2017, at API’s offices in Washington, D.C. The group met in-person on a quarterly basis through February 2020, when our meetings moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued online through publication in August 2022.

A total of three ballots were conducted on API RP 1162, Third Edition. The first, an informal comment-only ballot for the Task Group, was conducted in December 2019. The second and third, formal ballots with a public comment period, were conducted in March-April 2020 and June-July 2021, respectively. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, comment resolution was completed through virtual meetings. The document was recirculated in June 2022 and finalized in August 2022.


API Standards Development

The American Petroleum Institute (API) was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and is the global leader in convening subject matter experts across segments to establish, maintain and distribute consensus standards for the oil and gas industry. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards and recommended practices (RPs) to enhance operational safety, environmental protection, and sustainability across the industry, primarily through the global adoption of these standards.

API | Standards are developed under API’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited process. The use of the ANSI process ensures that the API standards are recognized for their technical rigor and for their third-party accreditation, which facilitates acceptance by state, federal, and, increasingly, international regulators.

API has been a cornerstone in establishing and maintaining standards for the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. API-developed standards help the industry invent and manufacture superior products consistently, provide critical services, ensure fairness in the marketplace, and promote the acceptance of products and practices by industry and governments globally, as outlined in the new API Standards: International Usage and Deployment. Widely accepted standards help speed acceptance, bring products to market quicker, and avoid reinventing the wheel every time a product is manufactured. Learn more about the benefits of using API Standards.

API standards have been referenced more than 780 times in international laws, regulations, national standards, technical guidance, and operational manuals by state, federal, and international regulators. This use demonstrates the extent regulators and companies rely on API standards to enhance environmental, health, safety, and worker performance. As the global marketplace for natural gas and oil products continues to grow, there are opportunities for the industry to collaborate with multinational companies, standards development organizations, and government agencies on the use of standards, technical cooperation, and adoption of industry-best API standards. Find more information on the usage of international standards in the API International Standards Report.