Here are pipeline safety legislative updates through September 17, 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 was signed by the Governor. 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.
[Signed 8/29/18, effective immediately.]
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.
[Comments are still being received.]
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.
[Adopted 9/17/2018; effective on publication in State Register.]
The RIDPUC has completed codification of its rules with amendments that include new language to meet the Administrative Procedures Act for incorporation by reference under 815-RICR-20-00-1.
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, but the amendments have not been published.
Southern Region Update
The Public Service Commission has adopted rules proposed under five dockets. These include revisions of the rules for:
- Residential Gas Utility Service Disconnections (eff. 9/13/2018)
- Marketer’s Certificate of Authority (eff. 7/8/2018)
- Natural Gas Marketer Billing Practices (eff. 7/8/2018)
- Service Quality Standards for Certificated Marketers and Regulated Providers (eff. 8/12/2018)
- Natural Gas Marketers’ Term of Service (eff. 7/8/2018)
The Public Service Commission filed significant amendments for the following rules with the Legislative Research Council on 11/27/2017. These amendments were adopted and became effective on 8/6/2018.
807 KAR 5:022 – General rules for gas utilities – complete re-write and reorganization that eliminates redundancy and clarifies service requirements for natural gas utilities.
Central Region Update
The Illinois Commerce Commission has proposed amendments to its rules 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.
Comments will be accepted for 45 days.
The Iowa Utilities 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 include two new rules: a master meter systems rule and a farm tap rule.
[Rules filed with JCAR 8/27/2018.]
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 were due by 8/15/2018.
The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on 8/20/2018 regarding EFV’s and curb valves. The order requires that natural gas utilities notify customers that excess flow valves (EFVs) and curb valves are available at no cost, and that EFVs are maintained at no charge. The utilities are required to report the status of EFV, curb valve and manual shut-off valves installations for their service territories, and provide a timeline for remaining installations. The order also requires that utilities identify schools, hospitals, and multi-unit residential and nursing facilities in their territories and develop plans to discuss installations of EFVs and manual service line shutoff valves for those that do not yet have them installed.
HB1024 establishing the Statewide One-Call Notification Board signed was by the Governor in February will become effective on 7/1/2019. 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 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 on 12/28/2017 to update these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act, and the rules will become effective 10/1/2018.
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 revised on 9/7/2018, and include modified dates.]
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 were due by 8/6/2018.]
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.
[Proposed 7/9/2018; workshop 8/20/2018; hearing 9/4/2018]
The Public Utility Commission adopted a new rule that requires each energy utility to file a quarterly report detailing the number of residential service disconnections for non-payment. [Eff. 6/20/2018]
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