State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates to kick off 2018 through January 16. 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

Massachusetts

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 11/7/2017 and hearing was held on 10/25/2017.]

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.

New Jersey

S679 (previously 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; 1/9/2018 Introduced in Senate, referred to Economic Growth Committee.]

A1471 / S668 (previously 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.
[1/9/2018: Introduced in Assembly, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee; Introduced in Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee.]

New York

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.

The following bills are going through the legislative process:

A03771S3743S6756 – Would require all excavators to complete the training and education program provided by the one-call system..
[1/3/2018: in Senate Consumer Protection committee and Assembly Ways and Means committee.]

A00467 / S04264 establishes a uniform leak classification system and would require classification of reported leaks.
[1/16/2018: Assembly amended on 3rd reading; 1/17/2018: Senate amended and recommitted to Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A00656 would 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.
[1/3/2018: in Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee.]

A00661 / S00066 / S02186 would 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.
[1/3/2018: In Assembly Energy committee; in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A00917 Changes the description of fuel gas transmission line that requires reporting to include transmission lines of any pressure used to transport fuel gas. Currently, low pressure transmission lines (lines with pressures of 124 pounds per square inch (psi) or less) are not regulated, inspected, or mapped in any systematic way.
[1/17/2018: Passed Assembly; to Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A01016 would amend the definition of “excavation” to require excavators to request mark outs for excavations of greater than 6″ depth using hand tools; operators would be required to mark all facilities they operate, whether or not they installed them.
[1/3/2018: in Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee.]

A01975 would implement the New York propane education and safety act which would authorize the creation of certain propane education programs, require the creation of a New York propane education and safety council, and enumerate its duties and purposes.
[1/3/2018: In Assembly Energy committee.]

A02320 / S04715 would require gas corporations to submit annual reports that include an explanation of methods used to establish replacement priorities, its operating and maintenance activities related to gas safety and a list of completed replacement projects.
[1/3/2018: Assembly ordered to 3rd reading; in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A30621 would require an operator of an underground facility to notify of the Department of Public Service of an incident involving damage to any underground facilities.
[1/3/2018: Referred to Ways and Means committee.]

S05930 would amend the definition of excavation to include addtional activities.
[1/3/2018: in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

Pennsylvania

HB 47 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.
[1/23/2017: Introduced and referred to the Consumer Affairs committee.]

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 commission’s authority and powers of enforcement with regard to these operators.
[Introduced 3/6/2017 and referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee.]

HB 1700 “Pipeline Safety and Communication Board Act.” The board’s purpose would be to (1) To collect and disseminate to the public information of Commonwealth agencies relative to the planning, siting, construction, operation, maintenance, management, inspection and safety of and emergency response procedures for pipelines. (2) To coordinate communications relating to pipeline activities with Federal, State and local government agencies and regulatory authorities, pipeline companies and the public.
[Introduced 8/15/2017 and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.]

SB 930 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes for service and facilities to provide for pipeline emergency management information.
[11/1/2017: Introduced and referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee.]

Washington, D.C.

Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was added to WinDOT. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to this chapter was filed on 8/11/2017 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

Georgia

Rulemaking dockets were opened on 9/6/2017 to amend the PSC’s gas rules.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission filed amendments for the following rules with the Legislative Research Council on 11/27/2017:

807 KAR 5:022 – General rules for gas utilities Eliminates redundancy and clarifies service requirements for natural gas utilities.

807 KAR 5:026 – Gathering lines, Changes the engineering specifications of piping to conform with current industry standards.

807 KAR 5:027 – amended establishes rules which apply to gas pipeline safety, reports of leaks, and drug testing by operators of natural gas facilities, to eliminate redundant and unnecessary state regulations that essentially mirror the federal standards

807 KAR 5:081 – repeal of 807 KAR 5:023 and 807 KAR 5:031 as a result of the Governor’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative. 807 KAR 5:023 is being repealed in order to incorporate the federal requirement for drug testing of employees of operators of natural gas facilities found in 49 C.F.R. into 807 KAR 5:027. 807 KAR 5:031 is being repealed due to the enactment of the Natural Gas Wellhead Decontrol Act of 1989, which eliminated the need for gas well determinations.

A public hearing will be held on 1/24/2018, and written comments will be accepted through 1/31/2018.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has changed its name to the Tennessee Public Utilities Commission. This change has been updated in the Tennessee Code, but not in the agency’s rules.

Central Region Update

Illinois

SB1383 would amend the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act to specify additional required activities for an excavator who engages in nonemergency excavation or demolition, modify the requirements for an excavator who engages in emergency excavation or demolition, provide notice requirements for damaged, dislocated, and exposed underground utility facilities. Provides additional requirements for record of notice and the marking of underground utility facilities. Modifies Sections concerning liability, financial responsibility, negligence, and penalties for violating the provisions of the Act. Repeals a Section concerning preconstruction conferences. Makes certain provisions apply to home rule municipalities with a population over 1,000,000.
[8/4/2017: In Senate Assignments committee.]

Iowa

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-2016-0013 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

SB0125 would add to and amend the Indiana Code in Title 8, Chapter 26 Damage to Underground Facilities. Provides that a person may not excavate real property or demolish a structure served by an underground utility facility without first being authorized to do business in Indiana. Provides that in an entity filing required or permitted under the Uniform Business Organizations Administrative Provisions Act, a person that seeks to excavate real property or demolish a structure served by an underground utility facility in Indiana must include a signed statement that the person will comply with the Indiana statute concerning underground utility facilities. Provides that before commencing such an excavation or demolition, a communications service provider shall serve notice on the executive of each municipality and county in which any part of the excavation or demolition will be performed. Provides that the required notice must be received by each municipal or county executive at least 10 full working days before the commencement of the excavation or demolition and must: (1) include documentation that all employees or contractors who will perform the excavation or demolition have received training on excavation industry best practices and on the requirements of the Indiana statute concerning underground utility facilities; (2) include documentation that all contractors who will perform the excavation or demolition are authorized to do business in Indiana; and (3) be signed by or on behalf of a person authorized to sign the notice. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications.)

Michigan

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (see 2016-057) to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The proposed amendments may also make minor changes to Michigan rules so that the language in these rules conforms more closely to the federal rules.
[Request for rulemaking approved by ORR 9/15/2016; draft rule approved by ORR 1/2/2018.]

Minnesota

HF2637 / SF2376 would require the filing of a plan for abandonment of a pipeline and approval of the plan by the public safety commissioner.
[5/8/2017: In the House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance committee and the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy committee.]

SF2217 would add a new section to the MN statutes requiring notice of a pipeline integrity dig; allowing for state inspectors at an integrity dig; requiring notice of contamination; providing for assessing the cost of inspections to a pipeline.
[3/23/2017: Introduced and referred to Transportation Finance and Policy committee.]

HF2719 proposes that the notification center be required to create contact database for all MN operators; stipulates that all underground facilities must be buried between 2 and 4 feet below the surface; and specifies conditions where an excavator is not required to reimburse an operator for damage to facilities, and when the operator is required to reimburse the excavator for additional work.
[05/21/2017: Introduction and first reading, referred to Transportation and Regional Governance Policy committee.]

Missouri

SB0816 would increase civil penalty for damage to underground facilities from $10,000 to $50,000.
[1/18/2018: Second reading and referred to Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee.]

South Dakota

HB1023 would amend the state law to remove the exemption of rural gathering facilities (as defined by 49 C.F.R. 192.8) from enforcement under the state pipeline safety regulations.
[1/19/2018: Passed the House.]

Wisconsin

AB532 / SB475 creates a framework for the settlement of contested matters at the PSC; establishes a new framework regarding pipeline safety enforcement that complies with Federal PHMSA rules.
[11/2/2017: passed Assembly; 1/10/2018: Passage recommended by Senate Committee on Elections and Utilities.]

Southwest Region Update

New Mexico

HB94 would change the civil penalties for violations of the Pipeline Safety Act to amounts to be determined by the Public Utilities Commission as established by applicable federal law.
[1/8/2018: Introduced.]

Oklahoma

The State Corporation Commission adopted amendments to its rules for Gas & Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety to amend the dates for federal regulations adopted by reference. The rules are effective 9/11/2017. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published for these same rules on 12/28/2017 to updated these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

SB997 would change the definition of an underground facility include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.
[1/11/2018: Introduced.]

Texas

The Commission has proposed amendments to its Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention rules in Chapter 18 pursuant to HB 1818 (2017) and federal pipeline safety requirements on 11/24/2017. Comments were due by 1/2/2018.

Western Region Update

California

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 original scoping memo).
[Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. A new scoping memo was issued on 9/20/17 to determine data requirements, how to integrate best practices and annual reporting requirements with federal and other state requirements, how to incorporate requirements into General Order 112-F, and ratemaking treatment. A proposed decision on Phase 2 is expected in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

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 would be required to 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.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were last revised on 4/17/17.]

SB 801 was passed to amend the penalty assessment provisions of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 2011, effective 1/1/2018.

Colorado

On August 22, 2017, Governor Hickenlooper announced his seven policy initiatives developed during the State’s review of oil and gas operations. The State conducted the review after the home explosion in Firestone in April, 2017. The changes contemplated by two initiatives – strengthening COGCC’s flowline regulations and enhancing the 8-1-1 “one-call” program – will be proposed through a COGCC rulemaking process.
The flowline rulemaking scoping packet, proposed rules and the agenda have been posted on the COGCC site. The scoping packet includes COGCC’s Flowline Guidance and FAQ updated in May, 2017. COGCC Pipeline (Flowline) Regulations and the COGCC Flowline Guidance and FAQ have been added to WinDOT.
Rulemaking hearings held on January 8-9, 2018 concluded without a decision. Hearings will resume on February 13.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is engaged in an ongoing rulemaking to amend its Gas Rules. A hearing on the proposed rules was conducted on 10/16/17. Supplemental comments have been received through 11/13/2017.

Wyoming

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (ARR 17-069 filed 8/10/2017) to its rules for electric, gas and water utilities outlining more detailed requirements for Integrated Resource Plans. The deadline for comments was 10/4/2017.


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