Here are pipeline safety legislative updates as of August 7, 2018. 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
SB 189 includes the following summary: The U.S. Department of Transportation has recently found Delaware to be non-compliant with enforcement of underground excavation violations. This jeopardizes federal funding for the Commissions pipeline safety program. Two principal reasons for this have been the lack of notification to State agencies and the lack of enforcement when damage is known. This bill updates Title 26, Chapter 8 by ensuring notification of excavation damage to the appropriate State agencies for potential penalties or other enforcement proceedings. It provides that either the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission may enforce penalties appropriate for the circumstances and gravity of the violation.
[7/1/2018 Ready for Governor action.]
The Department of Public Utilities continues to receive comments in the rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 to establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Hearing was held on 10/25/2017.]
S679 / A2614 (previously S2673 / A4127) was reintroduced on 1/9/2018 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; 2/1/2018 Introduced in Assembly, referred to Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.]
A1471 / S668 (previously A250 / S1135) both introduced at the beginning of 2016 and reintroduced in 2018 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.]
Rulemaking was initiated on June 28, 2017 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.
SB 930 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes for service and facilities to provide for pipeline emergency management information.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]
SB 931 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes to require automatic or remote control shutoff valves on all new gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, and requires testing at specific intervals.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]
Rulemaking to revise the requirements for trenchless excavation was adopted. The Rule (1) provides for greater flexibility when conducting trenchless excavation that crosses gravity fed sewer mains and combination storm/sanitary sewer system utility lines; and (2) enhances the safety and efficiency of conducting such excavations. According to the Petitioner, the new rule recognizes that technology developed since the Commission’s adoption of Rule 150 allows for safe trenchless excavation practices when crossing such utility lines without exposing them by hand digging.
[7/9/2018: Rule adopted.]
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards 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. A second notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 3/9/2018.
Southern Region Update
SB104 signed by the Governor on April 2 and effective July 14, amends the Public Service Commission Utilities law to ensure state penalties for violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act conform with federal penalties; amends the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994 to require underground facility operators to report to the commission excavation damage to an underground facility used in the transportation of gas or hazardous liquid and authorizes the commission to enforce and assess civil penalties for those damages.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will now pursue enforcement actions against excavators who violate Kentucky’s call before-you-dig law and damage natural gas or hazardous liquid lines. The PSC will be able to impose financial penalties if violations are uncovered.
The Public Service Commission filed significant 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. [Rulemaking amended after comments; hearing on May 29; comments were due by May 31.]
807 KAR 5:026 – Gathering lines – changes the engineering specifications of piping to conform with current industry standards. [Rulemaking amended after comments.]
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has changed its name to the Tennessee Public Utilities Commission. This change has been updated in both the Tennessee Code and in the agency’s rules.
SB 1812 / HB 1791 signed by the Governor on 4/12/2018 amends the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act to authorize the underground utility damage enforcement board to establish rules for best practices for uniform color code and marking. Marking methods established pursuant to the rules will be the sole method of marking underground facilities in Tennessee. Operators who have failed to become members of the one-call service by January 1, 2018 are in violation of the amended rule and a $5,000 penalty will be imposed for that violation.
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-2016-0013 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.
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; regulatory impact statement filed 1/12/2018; public hearing held 3/29/2018.]
The Missouri Public Service Commission is engaged in the following rulemakings detailed in its July 16th register:
Amend 4 CSR 240-40.020 Incident, Annual, and Safety-Related Condition Reporting Requirements to address the 2016 amendment of 49 CFR part 191, editorial changes.
Amend 4 CSR 240-40.030 Safety Standards – Transportation of Gas by Pipeline to address amendments of 49 CFR part 192 promulgated between January 2016 and September 2017 and editorial changes.
Amend 4 CSR 240-40.080 Drug and Alcohol Testing to address any amendments of 49 CFR parts 40 and 199 promulgated between October 2015 and September 2017.
Comments on all are due by 8/15/2018.
The Public Service Commission has amended its rules to adopt by reference 49 CFR Part 193 in addition to Parts 190, 191, 192, 194, 195 and 199, in effect as of Dec 31 2017.
A bill signed by the Governor will become effective on 7/1/2019:
HB1024 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
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation has amended its rules for Natural Gas Policy and Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline as required as a part of the Department of Natural Resources certification agreement with the US Department of Transportation. The rule changes are significant, and include new requirements for Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities, as well as changes to documents that are incorporated by reference, excess flow valve (EFV) rule, manual service line shut-off valves rule, pressure regulating / over pressure protection requirements, National Pipeline Mapping System requirements for Hazardous Liquid operators, enhanced rules for inspection of break out tanks, and additional requirements for direct assessment for Hazardous Liquid operators.
[Effective on promulgation – June 2018.]
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 were effective 9/11/2017. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published for these same rules on 12/28/2017 to update these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act, and the rules were adopted by the commission on 2/20/2018, and sent for approval from the legislature on 3/2/2018.
SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and becomes effective November 1, 2018. It changes the definition of an underground facility to include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.
The Railroad Commission of Texas has amended its Oil and Gas division rules to amend pipeline fees and registration/renewal procedures pursuant to HB1818 (2017). It has withdrawn its proposal to amend the rules outlining testing requirements for oil wells.
Western Region Update
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.]
The OSFM is also proposing to amend its regulations for fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The proposed regulation would ensure that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[No public hearing scheduled; written comments due by 8/6/2018.]
SB 167 was signed by the Governor on 5/25/2018, and will become effective 8/08/2018. It increses enforcement of requirements related to the location of underground facilities. In 2016 PHMSA conducted an adequacy evaluation of Colorado’s enforcement of its excavation damage prevention law and determined that the enforcement is inadequate. The bill creates the underground damage prevention safety commission (commission). The commission has rule-making and enforcement authority regarding specified portions of the excavation damage prevention law. Effective January 1, 2021, all underground facility owners and operators are full members of the notification association with full benefits, and excavators will no longer need to contact the owners or operators to arrange for the marking. All new underground facilities installed on or after January 1, 2020, must be electronically locatable when installed.
The Public Utilities Commission is proposing to amend its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments would require an excavator to call emergency 911 services if the damage to the subsurface installation causes the release of certain gases or hazardous liquids. If an excavator provides such notice to emergency 911 services in relation to the release of a gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator is excused from providing notice to local public services agencies or providing additional notice to emergency 911 services if the release of the gas or hazardous liquid also presents an emergency.
Existing regulations require the excavator and the operator of a subsurface installation to submit a report in connection with an excavation or demolition that occurs on or after January 1, 2008, but before January 1, 2009. The proposed amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Initiated 5/24/2018; comments due 6/6/2018; workshop 6/11/2018]
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