Pipeline safety legislative and rulemaking updates through July 17, 2017 are summarized. 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
The Department of Public Utilities is engaged in the following rulemaking:
Docket 16-31 will establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Reply comments have been received through 1/25/2017 and hearing officer assigned on 2/28/2017.]
Three bills would impact the Dig Safe laws:
S1838 would require a survey by the gas company prior to an excavation project, and verification that gate valves are installed for all shutoff valves in the area are closed before beginning excavation, and that the valves are cleared and accessible.
H1813 would require land surveyors on construction projects to premark subsurface utilities. Violators could be required to attend Dig Safe training.
H3388 would clarify marking standards, and types of excavation exempt from marking requirements. Violators could be required to attend Dig Safe training.
All three have been referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.
S2673 / A4127 was introduced on 10/13/2016 and 9/19/2016 to increase civil penalties for safety violations with respect to natural gas pipelines and distribution facilities and hazardous liquid underground pipeline and distribution facilities. Under current law, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $1,000,000 for any related series of violations. Under the bill, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $2,000,000 for any related series of violations.
[11/21/2016: Passed unanimously by the Assembly; 12/5/2016 received in Senate, to Economic Growth Committee.]
A436 would require BPU to adopt rules that would require natural gas pipeline utilities to repair or replace pipelines that leak natural gas, within time frames to be established by the Department of Environmental Protection.
[2/4/2016: reported out of Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, 2nd reading.]
A250 / S1135 both introduced at the beginning of the 2016 legislative session would require public utilities and pipeline operators to reimburse a municipality for costs it incurs in providing emergency services to respond to any emergency involving a pipeline.
A1725 would require BPU to designate certain natural gas transmission lines as interstate natural gas transmission extension lines and define PHMSA jurisdiction for those lines.
A2416 / S2324 would expand the One-Call Damage Prevention System to include underground contamination with engineering or institutional controls.
[5/19/2016: reported out of Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading; 6/6/2016 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee.]
A1252 would allow use of master meter system in residential multiple dwellings under certain conditions.
A1702 would prohibit the placement or replacement without prior approval of intrastate natural gas pipelines with an MAOP greater than 250 psig within 100 feet of buildings.
Title 16 NYCRR Part 293 Retention by Gas Corporations of Records at Principal Office has been added to WinDOT.
Rulemaking was initiated on June 28 by the NY State Department of Public Service to amend their rules of procedure and gas utilities laws to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192.
A1016 / S5930– Amends the Public Service Law (PBS) to expand the definition of “excavation” for the purposes of the protection of underground facilities. The Assembly bill would also amend the General Business Law (GBS).
A0917 would add a new section to the PBS to require filing of location data before constructing a gathering line or pipeline facility.
[5/4/2017: Advanced to 3rd reading in Assembly.]
S2186 /A0661 /S0066 would add a new section to the PBS to require liquid petroleum pipeline facilities to accelerate the repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of equipment or pipelines that are leaking or at a high-risk of leaking
S4264 /A0467 would add a new section to the PBS to require classification and reporting of natural gas leaks by gas corporations, and give the Public Service Commission the authority to oversee response and reporting by those corporations.
[Both bills are in the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]
A0656 would add a new section to the PBS to Require gas corporations to file a plan with the public service commission addressing aging or leaking pipelines within their service territory and outlining plans for the replacement of such pipelines.
A2320 would add a new section to the PBS detailing requirements for the annual filing of gas safety reports.
[3/28/2017: In Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]
A3621 would add new regulations requiring notification to the department of public service of any incident involving damage to any underground facility.
052 PA Code §56.100 Winter Termination Procedures has been added to WinDOT.
HB47 would amend Underground Utility Line Protection Law, requiring the use of steel products made in the United States for the construction of new gathering lines.
HB284/SB 242 would amend Underground Utility Line Protection Law to add to clarify definitions, and to amend the language describing both the One Call system and facility owners’ duties and to modify and clarify the procedures for One Call notification.
[5/24/2017: The Senate bill has been placed on the legislative calendar.]
SB 488 “Rural Pennsylvania Pipeline Safety Act” would create new statutes requiring the PUC to maintain a registry of all rural pipeline operators, and detailing the commision’s authority and powers of enforcement with regard to these operators.
S00552A was signed into law by the Governor on 6/29/2017, effective on signature. It amends the digsafe law to remove the sixty (60) day excavation completion requirement for work near public utilities, and requires that accidents be reported to 911.
Southern Region Update
The Liquefied Petroleum inspection rules have been amended effective 6/28/17 to incorporate updated national (NFPA) standards, provide guidance to applicants seeking a veteran military fee waiver, and eliminate the truck inspection fee and associated form in compliance with 2016 legislative changes and the sale of liquefied petroleum gas law.
HB379/SB446 revises the information that must be submitted to the Legislature annually by the board of directors of Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc.; requires excavators to call the 911 emergency telephone number under certain circumstances; and specifies how certain civil penalties issued by state law enforcement officers shall be distributed.
[Signed by the Governor 5/3/17; effective 7/1/17.]
SB257 (largely an appropriations bill) includes a section that clarifies who is exempt from excavation or demolition notice requirements.
[6/27/2017: Vetoed by Governor; 6/28/2017 Veto overridden; effective 7/1/17.]
Central Region Update
The Iowa Utilites Board is engaged in the following rulemakings:
RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10
RMU-2016-0007 Review of Service Supplied by Gas Utilities Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 19
RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9
RMU-2016-0014 Review of Interstate Natural Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 12
RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13
Status information on these dockets is available here.
S472 amends and adds to the statute concerning the locating and marking of underground utility facilities (Indiana’s 811 law) to allow a person responsible for: (1) a construction project; or (2) any other project or operation; that will involve an excavation or demolition operation to provide a voluntary design information notice to the association known as the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service (association) before commencing preliminary engineering studies or construction planning activities in the project area that will be affected by the excavation or demolition.
[4/21/17: Signed by the Governor; effective 7/1/2017.]
The Public Service Commission has adopted proposed amendments to its rules for Gas Utilities and Gas Safety Standards to update references to current standards and federal regulations.
LB 263 provides for promulgation and adoption of rules by the State Fire Marshal regarding digsafe activities and increases fines for violations of digsafe rules.
[4/27/17: Signed by the Governor; effective immediately.]
HB1026, signed by the Governor and effective on 8/1/2017 amends the North Dakota One-Call Excavation Notice System laws to expand and clarify definitions, to amend the locate request and marking process and adds a new section describing the process for requesting a survey for information, design, or purposes other than excavation.
HB 1151 signed by the Governor and effective on 8/1/2017 amends the statutes relating to the reporting of well pad or oil and gas production facility fluid spills.
HB 1398 signed by the Governor and effective on 8/1/2017 exempts certain small gas suppliers from specific statutes enforced by the Commission.
Southwest Region Update
HB 389 would authorize the commissioner of conservation of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to enforce the La. Underground Utilities and Facilities Damage Prevention (OneCall) law as it applies to pipelines.
[6/14/2017: Signed by the Governor; effective immediately.]
SB 303 signed by the Governor on April 6 and effective on July 1, enhances civil penalties for violations of the Pipeline Safety Act.
HB 1376 amends the digsafe laws to clarify definitions of a public agency and the party responsible for damage.
[5/3/2017: Signed by the Governor; effective 11/1/2017.]
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved updates to its pipeline safety rules to update references to federal regulations and to amend the maximum fine amount to reflect recently updated statutory fine amounts.
HB 1818 outlines establishing new pipeline safety and regulatory fees that may be imposed on operators by the Railroad Commission, to be credited to the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund.
[5/22/2017: Signed by the Governor; effective 9/1/17.]
Western Region Update
SB92 includes a section reffered to as the Dig Safe Act of 2016 Clean-up. Clarifies the intent and requirements for an “area of continual excavation,” extends the dates by which the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board is required to complete their regulations and begin enforcement, from November 2017 to July 2020, and makes other technical changes.
[6/27/2017: Signed by the Governor; effective immediately.]
In 2015, the CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking to adopt rules and procedures governing commission-regulated natural gas pipelines and facilities to reduce natural gas leakage consistent with SB 1371 (see the scoping memo).
[Comments on annual reporting requirements were due by June 16.]
The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
[Draft regulations were last revised on 4/17/17.]
HB365 significantly revises laws regarding excavations near underground facilities to establish an advisory council, define duties of the council and department, the rulemaking process, and procedures for legal proceedings, for collecting penalties and fees, and for incident reporting. The new law applies to incidents that occur on or after 10/1/2017.
[5/4/2017: Signed by the Governor; effective 7/1/2017.]
The WUTC has proposed amendments to its rules for Annual pipeline safety fee methodology for gas and hazardous liquid pipeline companies that would address allocating annual charges, accounting for money collected under the dig safe law, assessing an annual fee for master meter operators and federal funds received vs. those projected.
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