State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – October/November 2018

Here are the state pipeline safety legislative updates for October/November 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

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.]

The State Corporation Commission, Division of Utility and Railroad Safety has appointed a new Pipeline Safety Program Manager, Scott Marshall.

Washington, D.C.
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 amended its Marketer rules with final rules filed on 9/14.

Central Region Update

The Illinois Commerce Commission proposed amendments to its rules in two rulemakings published in August:

  • 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.

[Comment period has closed; awaiting final adoption.]

The IURC has amended its minimum pipeline safety standards by incorporating recently enacted federal minimum pipeline safety standards.
[Approved at conference 8/29/18; effective 9/20/18]

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.]

Southwest Region Update

New Mexico
The Public Regulation Commission issued a second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (see pg. 1423) to amend its Excavation Damage Prevention rules. The purpose of the proposed rulemaking is to clarify that the rule applies to all underground facilities, with the exemption of those preempted by federal law; to implement or revise particular procedures, reporting requirements, and deadlines used to prevent damage to underground utilities; and to address procedures to be taken when damage occurs during pipeline excavation activities.
[Written comments due by 12/18/18]

SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and became 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 RRC has proposed amendments to its rules to permit comingling of production from separate reservoirs in certain circumstances.
[Proposed 11/13/18; comments due by 1/2/19]

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.]

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 OSFM pipeline safety division has appointed a new Chief of Pipeline Safety, Ben Ho.

The DRA/PUC has published its regulatory agenda for 2019, with the following rule changes to be considered in May:

  1. Incorporate changes required by PHMSA to include a regulatory process to investigate excavator damage to gas pipeline and codify process for investigations and civil penalties.
  2. Implement a utility’s transparent process to recover actual costs from property owners when the utility has extended its service to the property.

The PUC has proposed amendments to its Utility Safety and Accident Reporting Rules to adopt by reference several national safety codes applicable to electric, telephone, and natural gas utilities and federal safety regulations applicable to natural gas and pipeline utilities. Currently, Rule 101 adopts the 2012 Edition of the National Electric Safety Code (“NESC”). The proposed rule would adopt the 2017 Edition of the NESC.
[Written comments were due by 10/24/18.]

The Public Utilities Commission has adopted proposed amendments to its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments 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 adopted amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Adopted by the Commission on 10/8/18; effective after legislative review]

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