State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – October 2019

Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Maine

The Maine PUC has initiated a rulemaking to consider adoption of rules for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

[Comment deadline was August 24.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities commenced a rulemaking proceeding and adopted emergency revisions to its procedures for the Determination and Enforcement of Violations of the Dig Safe law effective July 18. The revisions were designed primarily to implement the federal minimum safety requirements for damage prevention, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Parts 192 and 196. The Department also adopted changes to its rules to clarify the obligations of both excavators and utility companies and to establish more efficient procedures for the enforcement of violations.

Effective October 18, in response to comments received, the DPU adopted final regulations under this rulemaking. These kept the 911 call requirement and several other new provisions, but removed the new provisions regarding excavations over 500 ft., marking abandoned facilities, notification of privately owned underground facilities, and (notifying Dig Safe of changes to original excavation. The DPU anticipates that it will revisit these removed provisions with stakeholders prior to opening a new rulemaking to implement them. Other changes improve public safety (e.g., changing time for response to emergency notice from 5 hours to 3 hours) and clarify the criteria for civil penalties.

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees:
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline was extended to September 27, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (Removed from table in Senate 10/23/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, bill currently under council review.]

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed  in November 2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments was held on August 22, 2019. Administrative review was due October 15.

North Carolina

H872, signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:

RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10

RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9

RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate”, includes activities within a public or private right-of-way; modifies the timeline requiring the operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor April 14, effective November 1.]

Texas

The RRC has proposed amendments to its rules, revised after the Commission’s release of draft versions (Ch. 3Ch. 8) and a public workshop. Proposed rules were submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment, due 11/18/2019. A full description of the proposed amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#6 (Ch. 3)

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#8 (Ch. 8)

The Commission also proposed amendments to update and clarify the Commission’s liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas) rules. Amendments are also proposed to implement changes from the 86th Legislative Session. House Bill 2714 removed the requirement that manufacturers of LP-gas containers obtain a license from the Commission and instead requires registration with the Commission. Operators will not be required to comply with changes directly related to manufacturer registrations until approximately March 1, 2020 to allow Commission programming efforts to be completed. Upon adoption, the Commission will specify the effective date relating to requirements for manufacturer registration.
Proposed amendments also reflect changes made to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards since Chapter 9 was last amended. A full description of the amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October252019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#17

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM has updated its procedure and forms for notifying the office of a proposed hydrostatic test or in-line inspection. The new forms are available from the OSFM website at:

https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/pipeline-safety-and-cupa/hydrostatic-testing/

Beginning November 2019 OSFM is asking all Operators to start using the new form when notifying OSFM of Hydrostatic Tests and In-Line inspections on jurisdictional and regulated pipelines. Submissions shall be sent to PipelineNotification@fire.ca.gov. The Notifications to OSFM now also requires a 1 page PDF map of the pipeline to be tested, to be included in the submission to OSFM.

In addition, the Hydrotest Student Manual is currently under revision.

The OSFM has proposed to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

This NOPR was initially issued 2/5/19. Proposed rules were most recently updated on 10/24/19, with a second 15-day public comment period 10/25/19 through 11/7/19.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 Requires that the regional notification center report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[10/2/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

SB463 Requires an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[10/12/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

Colorado

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Colorado (Commission), will consider additions and amendments (see register page 19) to its rules during its rulemaking to adopt the 2019 Flowline Rules. The purpose of the rulemaking is to make necessary changes to Commission Rules to implement SB 19-181. This bill, signed by the Governor in April,  provides that the Commission shall review and amend its flowline and inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in well rules to protect and minimize adverse impacts to the public health, safety, and welfare and the environment by, at a minimum, 1) allowing for the public disclosure of flowline information; 2) evaluating and determining the process for inspecting deactivated flowlines prior to reactivation; and 3) evaluating and determining when inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in wells must be inspected prior to being placed back into production.


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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – August 2019

This update includes information from the August Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list of Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions from the Spring 2019 Agenda:

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

The Office of Management and Budget lists these additional rules in its Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions:

Publication ID: Spring 2019

Final rule stage

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN-2137-AE66 / Docket no. PHMSA-2010-0229
Affects: 49 CFR 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/13/2010
Stage: Final Rule

Previous Stage: ANPRM 10/18/2010 (75 FR 63774); C/P Extended 01/04/2011 (76 FR 303) and 01/18/2011; Extended C/P End 02/18/2011; NPRM 10/13/2015 (80 FR 61610); NPRM C/P End 01/08/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 10/03/2016 09/05/2019
Effective Date 10/05/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72 / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011 (76 FR 53086); C/P Extended 11/16/2011 (76 FR 70953) and 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012. NPRM 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20721); End of C/P/ 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/05/2019
Effective Date 10/05/2019

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

PHMSA issued an interim final rule that requires operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum safety standards, including compliance with API RP 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/17/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 12/19/2016 (81 FR 91860); End of C/P 02/17/2017; Effective Date 01/18/2017. Response to petition 06/20/2017 (82 FR 28224); C/P reopened (82 FR 48655); C/P end 11/20/17.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 11/19/2019

Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

RIN: 2137-AF26  /  Docket no. PHMSA 2016-0091
Affects: 49 CFR 190

PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) that established regulations implementing the emergency order authority conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act of 2016 or Act). These regulations are mandated by the PIPES Act of 2016 and establish procedures for the issuance of emergency orders (restrictions, prohibitions) to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard. The purpose of these requirements is to improve PHMSA’s existing enforcement authority to allow us to respond immediately and effectively to conditions or practices that pose serious threats to life, property, or the environment. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule, as required by the Act..

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/16/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 10/14/2016 (81 FR 70980); C/P End 12/13/2016; Effective Date 10/14/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/05/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/14/2019 06/26/2020

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/12/2019 12/20/2019

Pending rules

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Parts 192 and 195 to Require Valve installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

RIN: 2137-AF06   / Docket no. PHMSA 2013-0255
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

PHMSA is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to improve rupture mitigation and shorten pipeline segment isolation times in high consequence and select non-high consequence areas. The proposed rule defines certain pipeline events as “ruptures” and outlines certain performance standards related to rupture identification and pipeline segment isolation. PHMSA also proposes specific valve maintenance and inspection requirements, and 9-1-1 notification requirements to help operators achieve better rupture response and mitigation. These proposals address congressional mandates, incorporate recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, and are necessary to reduce the serious consequences of large-volume, uncontrolled releases of natural gas and hazardous liquids.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 01/06/2015 09/27/2019
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 11/26/2019

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements

RIN 2137-AF29 / Docket no. PHMSA-2017-0151
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking regards existing class location requirements, specifically as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment would be used to inform future regulatory or deregulatory efforts related to this topic.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 06/29/2017
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: ANPRM 07/31/2018 (83 FR 36861); C/P end 10/01/2018

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 11/15/2019
End of Comment Period 01/15/2020

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF36 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/20/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 02/01/2019 10/15/2019
End of Comment Period 04/01/2019 12/14/2019

Pipeline Safety: Repair Criteria for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN: 2137-AF44 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

PHMSA plans a notice of proposed rulemaking that would modify the provisions for determining the need to make repairs to hazardous liquid pipelines, commonly referred to as repair criteria, in High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and develop new repair criteria for hazardous liquid pipelines in non-HCAs.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None: End of Reopened Comment Period; Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/26/2020
End of Comment period 08/26/2020

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities

RIN: 2137-AF45
Affects: 49 CFR 193

PHMSA is proposing to update incorporated industry standards and revise all subparts of part 193 as needed. These updates to part 193 will address the risks associated with today’s liquefied natural gas facilities, including permanent, small scale liquefied natural gas pipeline facilities as required by Section 27 of the PIPES Act of 2016.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: None: Undetermined: Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/02/2019
End of Comment Period 10/02/2019

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform (Proposed Rule)

RIN: 2137-AF37 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 194 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipeline system. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas (Prerule Stage)

RIN: 2137-AF31 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

As mandated by section 19 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-183), PHMSA will amend the definition of an unusually sensitive area (USA) to explicitly include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches, and marine coastal waters as USA ecological resources for the purposes of determining whether a pipeline is in a high consequence area (HCA), as defined by 49 CFR 195.450. To address this mandate, PHMSA must change the definition of USA and further define what is included in “coastal beaches” and “marine coastal waters.” In this rulemaking, PHMSA will solicit broad input from the pipeline industry and other stakeholders, propose definitions and geographic extents for the new terms to be included in the revised USA definition, and understand industry implications and concerns with the proposed revisions.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 04/00/2020

Pipeline Safety: Periodic Standards Update Rule (Proposed Rule)

RIN: 2137-AF13 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 192    49 CFR 193    49 CFR 194    49 CFR 195

This NPRM proposes to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards. The practice of incorporating voluntary consensus standards requires pipeline operators to use the most current industry technologies, materials, and management practices available on today’s market. The new versions reflect new technology and/or improvements to the existing standards thereby saving the pipeline operators pipeline construction and compliance costs. PHMSA is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. These proposed changes would be relatively minor, and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2020

At ViaData, we help you keep abreast of changes in federal and state pipeline safety regulations. But that’s not all – WinDOT our online pipeline encyclopedia provides you with all the background you need, from the initial incidents that provide the catalyst to change regulations, through the rulemaking process, and finally to the new regulation and its interpretations. Check us out!

State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – September 2019

Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Maine

The Main PUC has initiated a rulemaking to consider adoption of rules for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

[Comment deadline was August 24.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities commenced a rulemaking proceeding and adopted emergency revisions to its procedures for the Determination and Enforcement of Violations of the Dig Safe law effective July 18. The revisions were designed primarily to implement the federal minimum safety requirements for damage prevention, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Parts 192 and 196. The Department also adopted changes to its rules to clarify the obligations of both excavators and utility companies and to establish more efficient procedures for the enforcement of violations.
[Hearing on final adoption was held August 26, and final comments were due September 3.]

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees:
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline has been extended to September 27, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:
SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.
SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on June 19.)
SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced in March, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:
SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.
HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.
HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.
HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.
HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.
HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, bill currently under council review.]

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed  in November 2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held on August 22, 2019.

North Carolina

H872, signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:
RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10
RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9
RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13
Status information on these dockets is available here.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Missouri

As a result of Executive Order 19-02, the Public Service Commission is transferring from the Department of Economic Development to the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Effective August 28, 2019, the Commission’s Administrative rules were transferred to the Department of Commerce.

Nebraska

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on May 31 and became effective on September 1. This bill amended the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provide additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, created a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate”, includes activities within a public or private right-of-way; modifies the timeline requiring the operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor April 14, effective November 1.]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on June 14 and became effective on September 1. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

Several other bills signed by the Governor and effective September 1 made other minor changes and technical corrections to the code.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments to its rules (Ch. 3Ch. 8), revised after the Commission’s public workshop. The comment deadline was extended to August 12, 2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864 and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.
This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued in February. Public hearings were held through April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission concluded its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement. The final decision extends the timeframe from 2020 to 2021 for the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division and Energy Division Staff to complete a written program evaluation of the Natural Gas Leak Abatement Program after Commission approval of the second set of Compliance Plans in late 2020. All directives of Decision D1706015 remain in effect. Following submission of the second set of Best Practices Biennial Compliance Plans due March 2020 and the Natural Gas Leakage Abatement program evaluation in 2021, the Commission will determine the direction of the program moving forward.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[September 10 – Senate amendments concurred to, sent for engrossment/enrollment.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[September 10 – Senate amendments concurred to, sent for engrossment/enrollment.]

Idaho

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission conducted a public meeting August 20 to review its recently reauthorized rules and receive public input. Included in this review are:

  • Safety and Accident Reporting Rules for Utilities Regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission
  • Gas Service Rules

The reauthorized rules were given temporary effective dates of June 30, 2019.


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – August, 2019

Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Maine

LD 1720 Signed by the Governor on June 17 requires excavators to call 9-1-1 if contact with or damage to an underground pipe or another underground facility results in the escape of any natural gas or other hazardous substance or material regulated by PHMSA.
[Effective 9/19/2019]

Massachusetts

H4857 (2018) signed into law on August 8, 2018 requires gas companies to file an annual report with the department of lost and unaccounted-for gas, effective January 1, 2020.

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees: 
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

Comments are due by September 13, 2019.

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee on 2/7/2019:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on 6/19/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee on 2/26/2019:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced on 3/25/19 as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

A public hearing was held on May 13 and the bill is currently under council review.

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has completed its rulemaking to update its LP gas rules to reflect the significant changes were made to Chapter 527, Florida Statutes during the 2018 legislative session. The rules were amended to:

  • Repeal redundant, unnecessary rules;
  • Update incorporated forms and standard references, and eliminate forms that are no longer necessary;
  • Clarify vague definitions;
  • Clarify that department inspectors will no longer use a “Red Tag” to prohibit use, but Stop Use Orders consistent with other bureau programs;
  • Clarify the type of leak survey required for underground tanks, remove unnecessary common use definition and remove exemptions for certain underground tanks defined by 49 CFR;
  • Add required user notification after a dealer repairs or alters a LP gas system in case indoor appliances have been affected posing a safety hazard;
  • Update CEU training requirements;
  • Update penalty rules to be consistent with department standard and add notice of noncompliance in lieu of warning letter to reduce administrative procedures; and
  • update resolution, settlement and remedies rules to meet current department standard.

The first round of amendments was effective July 10, 2019, and the second round of amendments are effective August 20, 2019.

North Carolina

H872 signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:

RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10

RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9

RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Missouri

After adoption as emergency rules in December 2018 and then further amended, the federal pipeline safety laws and standards for liquefied natural gas facilities in 49 CFR Part 193 have been adopted as permanent commission rules in a new section “Safety Standards – Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities” effective July 30, 2019.

Nebraska

The state’s Fire Marshall has amended its rules for pipeline safety and one-call notification center to adopt Federal regulations in 49 CFR (Parts 191, 192, 193, 199 and adding 196) in effect as of April 1, 2019. The new rules change the time limit for reporting incidents to 1 hour; require operators to provide documents in digital format: O&M, Emergency Plan, Damage Prevention program (to be submitted annually); and operation maps for distribution and transmission systems (to be submitted every 5 years).
In addition, the new regulations contain updated definitions and best practices for use in the One Call System, and updates to the composition, qualifications, appointment and retention of the One Call Board of Directors.
[Amended rules were adopted effective August 13, 2019.]

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and becomes effective on September 1, 2019. This bill amends the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provides additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, creates a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 has been signed by the Governor and becomes effective on 8/1/209. This bill:

  • provides if the operator and excavator cannot agree to extend the time and the excavation or demolition activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water, upon written request by the operator, the commissioner of conservation may delay the mark-by time prior to the commencement of any excavation or demolition activity in order to allow for the accurate marking of such pipeline.
  • provides that the commissioner of conservation may extend the time to complete the excavation or demolition activity if such activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water.
  • provides that except as provided in present law, no parish, municipal, local, or state governing authority may enact any ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations which are in conflict with the provisions of present law.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings were concluded with permanent final adoptions of the following rules:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) were amended and become effective 7/25/2019:

  • To update references to the CFR and the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to the most recent version;
  • To require that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline Safety Dept. of change in ownership within 5 days;
  • To add a new subchapter “Obligations under the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act Subject to Commission Enforcement” with new permanent rules:
  1. Requiring underground facility operators to provide additional information to excavators (facility material size and type).
  2. Listing requirements for telephonic damage reporting.
  3. Requiring a written report of damages caused by excavation.
  4. Outlining the procedure for filing a complaint against an excavator for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) were amended and become effective 8/1/2019:

  • For service installations that require open trenches, utilities must inspect or request inspection within 14 days;
  • Utilities must provide a notice of change in contact for PUD and CSD issues within 30 days of the change;
  • Utilities must provide a contact number in local phone directories for emergencies or service deficiencies;
  • Changes to customer service complaint response times and procedures;
  • Utilities are required to follow current PHMSA Pipeline Security Contingency Plan Guidance to develop a Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Plan and report any security breaches that may affect customers to PUD Director.

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor 4/24/2019, effective 11/1/2019]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on 6/14/2019 and becomes effective on 9/1/2019. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments to its rules (Ch. 3Ch. 8), revised after the Commission’s public workshop. The comment deadline was extended to August 12, 2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.

This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on 7/2/2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision on 7/5/2019 to conclude its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement.
In June 2018, Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. The proposed decision reiterates that best practices outlined in the 2017 decision are enforceable and will not be added to an existing or new GO at this time.
The decision proposes to close the rulemaking. It notes that further refinements could be made to Best Practices and to GO 112-F during the evaluation of the program in 2021 to reflect  leak survey cycles (Section 143.1 Distribution and Transmission Leakage Surveys and Procedures); and Leak Classification and Action Criteria Grade Definition of Priority of Leak Repair. The commission will also revisit adding the best practices to 112-F. Alternatively, all climate change requirements that are not safety driven procedures, could be incorporated into a separate GO for the sake of clarity.
The proposed decision will be included in a future Commission hearing for approval, 8/15/19 at the earliest.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[7/10/2019 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[8/12/2019 – in Assembly Committee on Appropriations.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[8/14/2019 – in Assembly Committee on Appropriations.]

Idaho

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct a public meeting August 20, 2019 to conduct a review of its rules and receive public input. Included in this review are:

  • Safety and Accident Reporting Rules for Utilities Regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission
  • Gas Service Rules

Washington

The WTUC has adopted proposed amendments to make commission rules consistent with current published versions of federal rules and reflect the most current versions of the national safety standards. New rules are effective August 3, 2019..

 


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – July 14, 2019

Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Maine

LD 1720 Signed by the Governor on June 17 requires excavators to call 9-1-1 if contact with or damage to an underground pipe or another underground facility results in the escape of any natural gas or other hazardous substance or material regulated by PHMSA.
[Effective 9/19/2019]

Massachusetts

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees: 
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has amended its rules Chapter 56 Standards and Billing Practices for Residential Utility Service, effective June 2, 2019. The rules were updated to conform with Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code (66 Pa.C.S. §§ 1401—1419), Responsible Utility Customer Protection. Those regulations were enacted in 2014, and supersede some of these rules.

In November 2018 the Commission issued a waiver of its rules regarding Standards for changing a customer’s natural gas service in sections 59.93 and 59.94. The waiver maintains the five day waiting period during which an NGS switch request may be canceled before the switch takes place. The Commission proposed to extend the waiver through the end of October 2021.

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee on 2/7/2019:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on 6/19/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee on 2/26/2019:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced on 3/25/19 as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

A public hearing was held on May 13 and the bill is currently under council review.

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has completed the first phase of a rulemaking to update its LP gas rules to reflect the significant changes were made to Chapter 527, Florida Statutes during the 2018 legislative session. The rules are being amended to:

  • Repeal redundant, unnecessary rules;
  • Update incorporated forms and standard references, and eliminate forms that are no longer necessary;
  • Clarify vague definitions;
  • Clarify that department inspectors will no longer use a “Red Tag” to prohibit use, but Stop Use Orders consistent with other bureau programs;
  • Clarify the type of leak survey required for underground tanks, remove unnecessary common use definition and remove exemptions for certain underground tanks defined by 49 CFR;
  • Add required user notification after a dealer repairs or alters a LP gas system in case indoor appliances have been affected posing a safety hazard;
  • Update CEU training requirements;
  • Update penalty rules to be consistent with department standard and add notice of noncompliance in lieu of warning letter to reduce administrative procedures; and
  • update resolution, settlement and remedies rules to meet current department standard.

The first round of rules amended are effective July 10, 2019.

The Public Service Commission has amended to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199, effective July 10, 2019.

North Carolina

H872 has the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill would also authorize the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee would be based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and must be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected would not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.
[Placed on Senate calendar for July 15 after favorable reports from the Finance committee and the Rules committee.]

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:

RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10

RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9

RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.

Missouri

After adoption as emergency rules in December 2018 and then further amended, the federal pipeline safety laws and standards for liquefied natural gas facilities in 49 CFR Part 193 have been adopted as permanent commission rules in a new section “Safety Standards – Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities” effective July 30, 2019.

Nebraska

The state’s Fire Marshall is proposing to amend its rules for pipeline safety and one-call notification center to adopt Federal regulations in 49 CFR (Parts 191, 192, 193, 199 and adding 196) in effect as of April 1, 2019. The proposal changes the time limit for reporting incidents to 1 hour; requires operators to provide documents in digital format: O&M, Emergency Plan, Damage Prevention program (to be submitted annually); and operation maps for distribution and transmission systems (to be submitted every 5 years).
In addition, the proposed regulations contain updated definitions and best practices for use in the One Call System, and updates to the composition, qualifications, appointment and retention of the One Call Board of Directors.
[Amended rules were sent to the state’s Attorney General for a decision on 6/24/2019.]

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and becomes effective in 90 days. amend the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provides additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, creates a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

South Dakota

SB18 was signed by the Governor on 3/7/2019, and became effective on 7/1/2019. The new law doubles South Dakota’s maximum civil penalty for some pipeline safety violations to $2 million.

HB1024 (2018, effective 7/1/2019) establishes the Statewide One-Call Notification Board to provide a service through which a person can notify the operators of underground facilities of plans to excavate and to request the marking of the facilities. It requires all operators to become members of the one-call notification center and submit the locations of their underground facilities to the center.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 has been signed by the Governor and becomes effective on 8/1/209. This bill:

  • provides if the operator and excavator cannot agree to extend the time and the excavation or demolition activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water, upon written request by the operator, the commissioner of conservation may delay the mark-by time prior to the commencement of any excavation or demolition activity in order to allow for the accurate marking of such pipeline.
  • provides that the commissioner of conservation may extend the time to complete the excavation or demolition activity if such activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water.
  • provides that except as provided in present law, no parish, municipal, local, or state governing authority may enact any ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations which are in conflict with the provisions of present law.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings were concluded with permanent final adoptions of the following rules:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) were amended and become effective 7/25/2019:

  • To update references to the CFR and the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to the most recent version;
  • To require that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline Safety Dept. of change in ownership within 5 days;
  • To add a new subchapter “Obligations under the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act Subject to Commission Enforcement” with new permanent rules:
  1. Requiring underground facility operators to provide additional information to excavators (facility material size and type).
  2. Listing requirements for telephonic damage reporting.
  3. Requiring a written report of damages caused by excavation.
  4. Outlining the procedure for filing a complaint against an excavator for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) were amended and become effective 8/1/2019:

  • For service installations that require open trenches, utilities must inspect or request inspection within 14 days;
  • Utilities must provide a notice of change in contact for PUD and CSD issues within 30 days of the change;
  • Utilities must provide a contact number in local phone directories for emergencies or service deficiencies;
  • Changes to customer service complaint response times and procedures;
  • Utilities are required to follow current PHMSA Pipeline Security Contingency Plan Guidance to develop a Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Plan and report any security breaches that may affect customers to PUD Director.

SB1008/HB2097 amends definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor 4/24/2019, effective 11/1/2019]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on 6/14/2019 and becomes effective on 9/1/2019. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments (Ch. 3Ch. 8) to its rules for informal comment, with a comment deadline of 7/31/2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.z
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.

This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on 7/2/2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision on 7/5/2019 to conclude its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement.
In June 2018, Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. The proposed decision reiterates that best practices outlined in the 2017 decision are enforceable and will not be added to an existing or new GO at this time.
The decision proposes to close the rulemaking. It notes that further refinements could be made to Best Practices and to GO 112-F during the evaluation of the program in 2021 to reflect  leak survey cycles (Section 143.1 Distribution and Transmission Leakage Surveys and Procedures); and Leak Classification and Action Criteria Grade Definition of Priority of Leak Repair. The commission will also revisit adding the best practices to 112-F. Alternatively, all climate change requirements that are not safety driven procedures, could be incorporated into a separate GO for the sake of clarity.
The proposed decision will be included in a future Commission hearing for approval, 8/15/19 at the earliest.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[7/10/2019 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[7/10/2019 Voted “Do Pass” in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization after amendment.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[7/10/2019 – received “Do Pass” from Assembly Committee on Natural Resources.]

Idaho

SB1073 was signed by the Governor on 3/28/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. Some underground facility owners are also end user consumers of utility services or commodities. Service laterals are underground facilities located in public rights of way or utility easements. End users do not have operational control of, locational knowledge of, or the expertise or equipment to locate or mark service laterals, despite owning them, because the laterals are in rights of way or utility easements. The new law exempts end users from the requirement to locate and mark service laterals and requires underground facility owners with the ability to locate and mark service laterals to do so.

SB1011 was signed by the Governor on 3/22/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. The Damage Prevention Board (Board) and stakeholders believe underground facility owners are best situated to report damage to their underground facilities and excavators are best situated to report downtime they suffer due to violations of chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code. Accordingly, the Board and stakeholders believe only underground facility owners should be required to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators should be required to report excavator downtime. The new law eliminates potential double reporting by requiring only underground facility owners to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators to report excavator downtime. The new law also adds definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” and “locator” to Idaho Code section 55-2202.

Washington

In an expedited rulemaking filed May 1, 2019 the WTUC proposed to amend its rules to make commission rules consistent with current published versions of federal rules and reflect the most current versions of the national safety standards. Comments were due by July 1, 2019.

Wyoming

HB0152, signed by the Governor on 2/26/2019 and effective 7/1/2019, modifies requirements for architectural and engineering plans that call for excavation and requires the notification center to provide location information to persons preparing such plans; requires operators to give notice to the notification center each 14 days for projects that exceed that time; requires (with some exceptions) excavators to mark their proposed excavation boundaries prior to facility marking by operators; requires an excavator to call 911 for contact with or damage to underground facilities; modifies penalties; requires monthly reports from the notification center to the Attorney General of any non-compliance complaints.


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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – June 2019

This update includes information from the June Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list of Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions from the Spring 2019 Agenda:

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

The Office of Management and Budget lists these additional rules in its Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions:

Publication ID: Spring 2019

Final rule stage

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN-2137-AE66 / Docket no. PHMSA-2010-0229
Affects: 49 CFR 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/13/2010
Stage: Final Rule

Previous Stage: ANPRM 10/18/2010 (75 FR 63774); C/P Extended 01/04/2011 (76 FR 303) and 01/18/2011; Extended C/P End 02/18/2011; NPRM 10/13/2015 (80 FR 61610); NPRM C/P End 01/08/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 10/03/2016 06/28/2019
Effective Date 07/28/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72 / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011 (76 FR 53086); C/P Extended 11/16/2011 (76 FR 70953) and 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012. NPRM 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20721); End of C/P/ 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/30/2019
Effective Date 10/29/2019

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

PHMSA issued an interim final rule that requires operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum safety standards, including compliance with API RP 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/17/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 12/19/2016 (81 FR 91860); End of C/P 02/17/2017; Effective Date 01/18/2017. Response to petition 06/20/2017 (82 FR 28224); C/P reopened (82 FR 48655); C/P end 11/20/17.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/30/2019

Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

RIN: 2137-AF26  /  Docket no. PHMSA 2016-0091
Affects: 49 CFR 190

PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) that established regulations implementing the emergency order authority conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act of 2016 or Act). These regulations are mandated by the PIPES Act of 2016 and establish procedures for the issuance of emergency orders (restrictions, prohibitions) to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard. The purpose of these requirements is to improve PHMSA’s existing enforcement authority to allow us to respond immediately and effectively to conditions or practices that pose serious threats to life, property, or the environment. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/16/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 10/14/2016 (81 FR 70980); C/P End 12/13/2016; Effective Date 10/14/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/01/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/14/2019 06/26/2020

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/12/2019 12/20/2019

Pending rules

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Parts 192 and 195 to Require Valve installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

RIN: 2137-AF06   / Docket no. PHMSA 2013-0255
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

PHMSA is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to improve rupture mitigation and shorten pipeline segment isolation times in high consequence and select non-high consequence areas. The proposed rule defines certain pipeline events as “ruptures” and outlines certain performance standards related to rupture identification and pipeline segment isolation. PHMSA also proposes specific valve maintenance and inspection requirements, and 9-1-1 notification requirements to help operators achieve better rupture response and mitigation. These proposals address congressional mandates, incorporate recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, and are necessary to reduce the serious consequences of large-volume, uncontrolled releases of natural gas and hazardous liquids.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 01/06/2015 09/27/2019
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 11/26/2019

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements

RIN 2137-AF29 / Docket no. PHMSA-2017-0151
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking regards existing class location requirements, specifically as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment would be used to inform future regulatory or deregulatory efforts related to this topic.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 06/29/2017
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: ANPRM 07/31/2018 (83 FR 36861); C/P end 10/01/2018

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 11/15/2019
End of Comment Period 01/15/2020

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF36 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/20/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 02/01/2019 09/30/2019
End of Comment Period 04/01/2019 11/29/2019

Pipeline Safety: Repair Criteria for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN: 2137-AF44 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

PHMSA plans a notice of proposed rulemaking that would modify the provisions for determining the need to make repairs to hazardous liquid pipelines, commonly referred to as repair criteria, in High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and develop new repair criteria for hazardous liquid pipelines in non-HCAs.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None: End of Reopened Comment Period; Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/26/2020
End of Comment period 08/26/2020

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities

RIN: 2137-AF45
Affects: 49 CFR 193

PHMSA is proposing to update incorporated industry standards and revise all subparts of part 193 as needed. These updates to part 193 will address the risks associated with today’s liquefied natural gas facilities, including permanent, small scale liquefied natural gas pipeline facilities as required by Section 27 of the PIPES Act of 2016.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: None: Undetermined: Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/02/2019
End of Comment Period 10/02/2019

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform (Proposed Rule)

RIN: 2137-AF37 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 194 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipeline system. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas (Prerule Stage)

RIN: 2137-AF31 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

As mandated by section 19 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-183), PHMSA will amend the definition of an unusually sensitive area (USA) to explicitly include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches, and marine coastal waters as USA ecological resources for the purposes of determining whether a pipeline is in a high consequence area (HCA), as defined by 49 CFR 195.450. To address this mandate, PHMSA must change the definition of USA and further define what is included in “coastal beaches” and “marine coastal waters.” In this rulemaking, PHMSA will solicit broad input from the pipeline industry and other stakeholders, propose definitions and geographic extents for the new terms to be included in the revised USA definition, and understand industry implications and concerns with the proposed revisions.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 04/00/2020

Pipeline Safety: Periodic Standards Update Rule (Proposed Rule)

RIN: 2137-AF13 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 192    49 CFR 193    49 CFR 194    49 CFR 195

This NPRM proposes to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards. The practice of incorporating voluntary consensus standards requires pipeline operators to use the most current industry technologies, materials, and management practices available on today’s market. The new versions reflect new technology and/or improvements to the existing standards thereby saving the pipeline operators pipeline construction and compliance costs. PHMSA is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. These proposed changes would be relatively minor, and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2020

At ViaData, we help you keep abreast of changes in federal and state pipeline safety regulations. But that’s not all – WinDOT our online pipeline encyclopedia provides you with all the background you need, from the initial incidents that provide the catalyst to change regulations, through the rulemaking process, and finally to the new regulation and its interpretations. Check us out!

State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – May/June 2019

Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Maine

LD 1720 would require excavators to call 9-1-1 if contact with or damage to an underground pipe or another underground facility results in the escape of any natural gas or other hazardous substance or material regulated by PHMSA.
[5/31/2019: reported out of Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology as Ought to Pass.]

Massachusetts

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees:
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Gas regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced recently.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee on 2/7/2019:

  • SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.
  • SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit.
  • SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)
  • The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee on 2/26/2019:
  • SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced on 3/25/19 as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

  • HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.
  • HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.
  • HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.
  • HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.
  • HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Virginia

S1176, approved in March and effective on July 1, 2019 requires that the State Corporation Commission make finalized enforcement actions and reports of investigations available on request. Reports must have sensitive information removed or redacted.

Updated in WinDOT:
Installation of Utility Lines and Pipeline Safety [Va. Code]
56-257.4. Report by the State Corporation Commission on investigation of natural gas utilities incident (new section)

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

A public hearing was held on May 13 and the bill is currently under council review.

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has initiated a rulemaking to update its LP gas rules to reflect the significant changes were made to Chapter 527, Florida Statutes during the 2018 legislative session. The proposed rules are being amended to:

  • Repeal redundant, unnecessary rules;
    Update incorporated forms and standard references, and eliminate forms that are no longer necessary;
  • Clarify vague definitions;
  • Clarify that department inspectors will no longer use a “Red Tag” to prohibit use, but Stop Use Orders consistent with other bureau programs;
  • Clarify the type of leak survey required for underground tanks, remove unnecessary common use definition and remove exemptions for certain underground tanks defined by 49 CFR;
  • Add required user notification after a dealer repairs or alters a LP gas system in case indoor appliances have been affected posing a safety hazard;
  • Update CEU training requirements;
  • Update penalty rules to be consistent with department standard and add notice of noncompliance in lieu of warning letter to reduce administrative procedures; and update resolution, settlement and remedies rules to meet current department standard.

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199.

North Carolina

H872 has the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:

o The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.

o The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.

  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:

o A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.

o The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.

  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill would also authorize the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee would be based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and must be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected would not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.
[In House Finance Committee 5/2/2019]

Central Region Update

Illinois

The Illinois Commerce Commission adopted amendments to its rules, effective May 2, 2019, in two rulemakings:

  • to incorporate by reference 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199 as well as portions of Part 191 that were in effect on July 1, 2018 to comply with the commission’s certification agreement with PHMSA.
  • to update report filing requirements to remove obsolete forms and include electronic submissions.

Updated in WinDOT:
Part 590 Minimum Safety Standards for Transportation of Gas and for Gas Pipeline Facilities [ILAC]
Section 590.10 Standards
Section 590.20 Submission of Federal Reports to the Commission
Section 595.120 Reporting of Accidents or Incidents

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:

  • RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10
  • RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9
  • RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Indiana

The IURC has readopted without amendments its Standards of Service rules for Gas Utilities, effective May 11.

Updated in WinDOT:
170 IAC 5. Gas Utilities
Rule 1. Standards of Service (citations only)

Nebraska

The state’s Fire Marshall is proposing to amend its rules for pipeline safety and one-call notification center to adopt Federal regulations in 49 CFR (Parts 191, 192, 193, 199 and adding 196) in effect as of April 1, 2019. The proposal changes the time limit for reporting incidents to 1 hour; requires operators to provide documents in digital format: O&M, Emergency Plan, Damage Prevention program (to be submitted annually); and operation maps for distribution and transmission systems (to be submitted every 5 years).
In addition, the proposed regulations contain updated definitions and best practices for use in the One Call System, and updates to the composition, qualifications, appointment and retention of the One Call Board of Directors.
[Public hearing eas held 5/13/19]

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and becomes effective in 90 days. amend the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provides additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, creates a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

South Dakota

SB18 was signed by the Governor on 3/7/2019, and becomes effective on 7/1/2019. The new law doubles South Dakota’s maximum civil penalty for some pipeline safety violations to $2 million.

HB1024 (2018, effective 7/1/2019) establishes the Statewide One-Call Notification Board to provide a service through which a person can notify the operators of underground facilities of plans to excavate and to request the marking of the facilities. It requires all operators to become members of the one-call notification center and submit the locations of their underground facilities to the center.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 has been snet to the Governor for signature:

  • provides if the operator and excavator cannot agree to extend the time and the excavation or demolition activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water, upon written request by the operator, the commissioner of conservation may delay the mark-by time prior to the commencement of any excavation or demolition activity in order to allow for the accurate marking of such pipeline.
  • provides that the commissioner of conservation may extend the time to complete the excavation or demolition activity if such activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water.
  • provides that except as provided in present law, no parish, municipal, local, or state governing authority may enact any ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations which are in conflict with the provisions of present law.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings are in progress:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) are being amended [rules submitted to the Governor and the legislature on 3/8/2019 for approval]:

  • To update references to the CFR and the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to the most recent version;
  • To require that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline Safety Dept. of change in ownership within 5 days;
  • To add a new subchapter “Obligations under the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act Subject to Commission Enforcement” with new permanent rules:
    1. Requiring underground facility operators to provide additional information to excavators (facility material size and type).
    2. Listing requirements for telephonic damage reporting.
    3. Requiring a written report of damages caused by excavation.
    4. Outlining the procedure for filing a complaint against an excavator for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019 and transmitted to the Governor and legislature for approval]:

  • For service installations that require open trenches, utilities must inspect or request inspection within 14 days;
  • Utilities must provide a notice of change in contact for PUD and CSD issues within 30 days of the change;
  • Utilities must provide a contact number in local phone directories for emergencies or service deficiencies;
  • Changes to customer service complaint response times and procedures;
  • Utilities are required to follow current PHMSA Pipeline Security Contingency Plan Guidance to develop a Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Plan and report any security breaches that may affect customers to PUD Director.

SB1008/HB2097 amends definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor 4/24/2019, effective 11/1/2019]

Texas

HB866, was signed by the Governor on 6/2/2019 and effective immediately. It prohibits installation of cast iron, wrought iron, bare steel pipe for use in gas distribution pipelines and requires operators to replace said pipe with plastic by 12/31/2020.

Updated in WinDOT:
Utilities Code [TS] Chapter 121. Gas Pipelines
Sec. 121.213. INSTALLATION, REMOVAL, AND REPLACEMENT OF CERTAIN PIPELINES. (new section)

HB 864 was sent to the Governor for signature on 5/29/2019. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concludes on 7/1/2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – is moving forward. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[5/30/2019] In Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[6/10/2019 Re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization after amendment.]

Colorado

On 6/14/2019 the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety rules “Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations”, which were adopted as emergency rules effective 2/14/2019, became permanent.
The regulations establish rules for the Commission under the Excavation Requirements Act §§ 9-1.5-101, et. seq., C.R.S. and cover general provisions, enforcement of violations and best practices.

Updated in WinDOT:
7 CCR 1101-18 Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations

Idaho

SB1073 was signed by the Governor on 3/28/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. Some underground facility owners are also end user consumers of utility services or commodities. Service laterals are underground facilities located in public rights of way or utility easements. End users do not have operational control of, locational knowledge of, or the expertise or equipment to locate or mark service laterals, despite owning them, because the laterals are in rights of way or utility easements. The new law exempts end users from the requirement to locate and mark service laterals and requires underground facility owners with the ability to locate and mark service laterals to do so.

SB1011 was signed by the Governor on 3/22/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. The Damage Prevention Board (Board) and stakeholders believe underground facility owners are best situated to report damage to their underground facilities and excavators are best situated to report downtime they suffer due to violations of chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code. Accordingly, the Board and stakeholders believe only underground facility owners should be required to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators should be required to report excavator downtime. The new law eliminates potential double reporting by requiring only underground facility owners to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators to report excavator downtime. The new law also adds definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” and “locator” to Idaho Code section 55-2202.

Washington

In an expedited rulemaking filed May 1, 2019 the WTUC proposed to amend its rules to make commission rules consistent with current published versions of federal rules and reflect the most current versions of the national safety standards. Comments are due by July 1, 2019.

Wyoming

HB0152, signed by the Governor on 2/26/2019 and effective 7/1/2019, modifies requirements for architectural and engineering plans that call for excavation and requires the notification center to provide location information to persons preparing such plans; requires operators to give notice to the notification center each 14 days for projects that exceed that time; requires (with some exceptions) excavators to mark their proposed excavation boundaries prior to facility marking by operators; requires an excavator to call 911 for contact with or damage to underground facilities; modifies penalties; requires monthly reports from the notification center to the Attorney General of any non-compliance complaints.


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