State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – February through April 2020

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

Maine

3360-A. Protection of Underground Facilities [M.R.S.] (amended; eff. Mar. 17, 2020)

New York

NYCRR Title 16: Part 10 – Referenced Material; Part 255 – Transmission and Distribution of Gas; Part 262 – Drug and Alcohol Testing (amended; eff. Mar. 20, 2020)

Southern Region Update

Kentucky

805 KAR 1:190. Gathering lines. (amended; eff. Feb. 3, 2020)

Central Region Update

Indiana

IC-8-1-26. Damage to Underground Facilities (amended; eff. Mar. 14, 2020)

Iowa

Iowa Administrative Code – Utilities Division [199] Chapter 10 – Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage (amended; eff. Apr. 1, 2020)

Michigan

Michigan Gas Safety Standards [Mich. Admin. Code R. 460.20101 – 20606] – Michigan Gas Safety Standards Guide – 24th edition (draft)

Southwest Region Update

Arkansas

Rule D-17 – General Rule for the Regulation of Natural Gas Pipelines [CARR] (amended; eff. Jan. 10, 2020)

Texas

Title 16 Part 1 Railroad Commission of Texas [TAC] Chapter 3 Oil and Gas Division (amended; eff. March 3, 2020)

Western Region Update

California

List: Approved Hydrostatic Testing Companies
Form: Initial Application Approval as an Independent Hydrostatic Testing Firm

Colorado

COGCC Flowlines Guidance and Notices – Rule 1101.b.(3) Recommended practices for gathering location data

Idaho

IDAPA 31.11.01 Safety and Accident Reporting Rules for Utilities (SARR) (amended; eff. Mar. 20, 2020)

Utah

Utah Admin. Code R746-409  Pipeline Safety (amended; eff. Feb. 10, 2020)

Wyoming

Wyoming Underground Facilities Notification Act (Wyo. Stat. 37-12) (amended; eff. Mar. 12, 2020)


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – January 2020

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

Maine

The Maine PUC has adopted rules  for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

Added to WinDOT:
Chapter 440: Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing, and Related Standards [C.M.R.]

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy held a public hearing featuring more than 30 bills dealing with natural gas on November 12. The majority of these bills were introduced in response to the November 2018 incidents in the Merrimack Valley. Details of the hearing including a complete list of bills discussed are available here.

New regulations have been adopted governing the reporting of Lost and Unaccounted for Gas (LAUF) which apply to every Gas Company within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The rules stipulate that each Gas Company shall file with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) no later than March 15th annually a report of LAUF for the previous calendar year. The report shall contain measurements of LAUF components as specified by the DPU and shall be in a format approved by the DPU.
[Adopted 12/12/19 eff. 12/27/19]

Added to WinDOT:
220 CMR 115: Uniform Reporting of Lost and Unaccounted-for Gas

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened a rulemaking docket (19-G-0736) to propose amendments to rules for gas utilties’ safety to improve operator qualification programs. Two other dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) were opened to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline was extended into October, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (Removed from table in Senate 10/23/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, 2019, bill currently under council review.]

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Updated in WinDOT:
Chapter 15 Notification of Excavation or Demolition Operations. [CA]

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments was held on August 22, 2019. Proposed amendments were modified in November after comments.

Central Region Update

Illinois

The Public Utililites Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the Minimum Safety Standards for Transportation of Gas and for Gas Pipeline Facilities to update the dates for incorporated references.
[Proposed Dec. 2, 2019]

Iowa

The 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.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

Act No. 218 of the 2017 legislative session directed the creation of Damage Prevention rules. The Department of Natural Resources – Office of Conservation has proposed a new subpart “Damage prevention” to provide for locating, notifications, emergency excavations, precautions for avoiding damage and for conducting repairs after damage occurs.
[Comments due by February 10, 2020]

Texas

The Railroad Commission has adopted amendments to its rules in the following chapters, effective January 6, 2020:

  • Chapter 3 Oil And Gas Division – to clarify language related to production and flow lines, allow each operator to renew all its permits in the same month, clarify fee requirements for gathering pipelines, and reduce late fees for operators with 50 miles or less of pipeline.
  • Chapter 8  Pipeline Safety Regulations – relating to General Applicability and Standards, and Definitions; relating to Pipeline Integrity Assessment and Management Plans for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines, New Construction Commencement Report, Waiver Procedure, and Penalty Guidelines for Pipeline Safety Violations; relating to Pipeline Safety and Regulatory Program Fees, Written Procedure for Handling Natural Gas Leak Complaints, Risk-Based Leak Survey Program, Distribution Facilities Replacements, Reports, Plastic Pipe Requirements, School Piping Testing, Natural Gas Pipelines Public Education and Liaison, and Discontinuance of Service; relating to Required Records and Reporting, and Hazardous Liquids and Carbon Dioxide Pipelines or Pipeline Facilities Located Within 1,000 Feet of a Public School Building or Facility. The Commission also adopted a new rule relating to Gathering Pipelines.
  • Chapter 9 LP-Gas Safety Rules – to implement changes from the 86th Legislative Session. House Bill 2714 removed the requirement that manufacturers of LP-gas containers obtain a license from the Commission and instead requires registration with the Commission. Operators will not be required to comply with changes directly related to manufacturer registrations until June 1, 2020 to allow Commission programming efforts to be completed. Additional amendments reflect changes made to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards since Chapter 9 was last amended.

Updated in WinDOT:
Title 16 Part 1 Railroad Commission of Texas [TAC] – Chapter 3 Oil And Gas Division, Chapter 8  Pipeline Safety Regulations and Chapter 9 LP-Gas Safety Rules.

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM has updated its procedure and forms for notifying the office of a proposed hydrostatic test or in-line inspection. The new forms are available from the OSFM website at:

https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/pipeline-safety-and-cupa/hydrostatic-testing/

Beginning November 2019 OSFM is asking all Operators to start using the new form when notifying OSFM of Hydrostatic Tests and In-Line inspections on jurisdictional and regulated pipelines. Submissions shall be sent to PipelineNotification@fire.ca.gov. The Notifications to OSFM now also requires a 1 page PDF map of the pipeline to be tested, to be included in the submission to OSFM.

In addition, the Hydrotest Student Manual is currently under revision.

New excavation rules are currently under development by the OSFM. The proposed regulations will require excavators and utility operators to provide contact information to regional call centers; require regional notification centers to remind holders of annual tickets for areas of continual excavation to renew tickets before they expire; permit excavators to perform planned, recurring work in areas of continual excavation during a certain time period following renewal of the ticket; require persons working under tickets for areas of continual excavation to have knowledge of the information on the ticket; and permit excavators to use certain power tools in the tolerance zones in specified circumstances. Details are available here.
[Comments due December 23, 2019]

The OSFM has proposed to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2, 2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

This NOPR was initially issued 2/5/19. Proposed rules were most recently updated on 10/24/19, with a second 15-day public comment period 10/25/19 through 11/7/19.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 effective 1/1/2020, requires that the regional notification center report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.

Updated in WinDOT:
Protection of Underground Facilities – Regional Notification Center System [CGC 4216-4216.24]

SB463 effective 1/1/2020, requires an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.

Updated in WinDOT:
Public Resources Code – Natural Gas Storage Wells [PRC §§3180-3187]

Colorado

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Colorado (Commission), adopted additions and amendments to its flowline rules during its hearing November 19-21. The rules will become effective 1/14/2020.

Background: On April 16, 2019, Governor Polis signed SB 19-181, which provided that the Commission shall review and amend its flowline and inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in well rules to protect and minimize adverse impacts to the public health, safety, and welfare and the environment by, at a minimum, 1) allowing for the public disclosure of flowline information; 2) evaluating and determining the process for inspecting deactivated flowlines prior to reactivation; and 3) evaluating and determining when inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in wells must be inspected prior to being placed back into production. Additional rulemakings will be conducted at a later date – see regulatory agenda notes below.

Agencies published their regulatory agendas for 2020 in the Colorado Register of November 10, 2019.

  • The Department of Natural Resources/Oil and Gas Conservation Commission agenda includes rulemakings related to SB 19-181 slated for January 2020 (Definitions) with a hearing to be conducted in February, and June 2020 (Pipelines). Docket link
  • The Department of Regulatory Affairs/Public Utilities agenda includes a rule revision to incorporate changes required by PHMSA to include a regulatory process to investigate excavator damages to gas pipeline and codify the process for investigations and civil penalties, scheduled for January 2020. Docket link
  • The Department of Labor and Employment/Division of Oil and Public Safety agenda indicates that it intends to amend its rules primarily pertaining to enforcement of violations in November 2020.

Utah

The Utah Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for pipeline safety to update references to 49 CFR. The amended rule is expected to become effective on January 7.


Stay up-to-date on all the latest in pipeline rules and regulations with WinDOT, the online Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia. Sign up for our free Rapid Update service and a free trial today!

We can make your manuals easy to access and use, anywhere and any time. Check out our Manuals Online service to see how.

State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – November 2019

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

Maine

The Maine PUC has initiated a rulemaking to consider adoption of rules for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

[Comment deadline was August 24.]

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy held a public hearing featuring more than 30 bills dealing with natural gas on November 12. The majority of these bills were introduced in response to the November 2018 incidents in the Merrimack Valley. Details of the hearing including a complete list of bills discussed are available here.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened a rulemaking docket (19-G-0736) to propose amendments to rules for gas utilties’ safety to improve operator qualification programs. Two other dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) were opened to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline was extended to September 27, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (Removed from table in Senate 10/23/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, bill currently under council review.]

Amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards were adopted on 11/6/2019 and became effective on 11/22/2019.
The amendments modify (1) Reporting Requirements for Reportable and Limited Service Outage and Gas Incidents; (2) Reporting and Repairing Requirements for Gas Leaks and Odor Complaints; (3) Reporting and Responding Requirements for Gas Emergencies; (4) Customer Service Standards, Customer Surveys, Service Provisioning; (5) Reliability Standards, Low Pressure Water Infiltration, Underground Damage Prevention, Lost Time Accidents OSHA 300 Log; (6) Billing Error Notification; (7) Compliance Reporting; (8) Penalties; (9) Waiver; and (10) Definitions.
The Natural Gas Utility shall have until April 30, 2020, to comply fully with the reporting requirements (1), (2), (3), and the Natural Gas Utility and the Natural Gas Suppliers are to continue to file Compliance Reports consistent with (7).

Southern Region Update

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments was held on August 22, 2019. Proposed amendments were modified in November after comments.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional 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

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate”, includes activities within a public or private right-of-way; modifies the timeline requiring the operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor April 14, effective November 1.]

Texas

The RRC has proposed amendments to its rules, revised after the Commission’s release of draft versions (Ch. 3Ch. 8) and a public workshop. Proposed rules were submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment, due 11/18/2019. A full description of the proposed amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#6 (Ch. 3)

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#8 (Ch. 8)

The Commission also proposed amendments to update and clarify the Commission’s liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas) rules, and to implement changes from the 86th Legislative Session. House Bill 2714 removed the requirement that manufacturers of LP-gas containers obtain a license from the Commission and instead requires registration with the Commission. Operators will not be required to comply with changes directly related to manufacturer registrations until approximately March 1, 2020 to allow Commission programming efforts to be completed. Upon adoption, the Commission will specify the effective date relating to requirements for manufacturer registration.
Proposed amendments also reflect changes made to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards since Chapter 9 was last amended. A full description of the amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October252019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#17

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM has updated its procedure and forms for notifying the office of a proposed hydrostatic test or in-line inspection. The new forms are available from the OSFM website at:

https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/pipeline-safety-and-cupa/hydrostatic-testing/

Beginning November 2019 OSFM is asking all Operators to start using the new form when notifying OSFM of Hydrostatic Tests and In-Line inspections on jurisdictional and regulated pipelines. Submissions shall be sent to PipelineNotification@fire.ca.gov. The Notifications to OSFM now also requires a 1 page PDF map of the pipeline to be tested, to be included in the submission to OSFM.

In addition, the Hydrotest Student Manual is currently under revision.

New excavation rules are currently under development by the OSFM. The proposed regulations will require excavators and utility operators to provide contact information to regional call centers; require regional notification centers to remind holders of annual tickets for areas of continual excavation to renew tickets before they expire; permit excavators to perform planned, recurring work in areas of continual excavation during a certain time period following renewal of the ticket; require persons working under tickets for areas of continual excavation to have knowledge of the information on the ticket; and permit excavators to use certain power tools in the tolerance zones in specified circumstances. Details are available here.
[Comments due December 23, 2019]

The OSFM has proposed to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2, 2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
This NOPR was initially issued 2/5/19. Proposed rules were most recently updated on 10/24/19, with a second 15-day public comment period 10/25/19 through 11/7/19.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 Requires that the regional notification center report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[10/2/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

SB463 Requires an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[10/12/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

Colorado

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Colorado (Commission), adopted additions and amendments to its flowline rules during its hearing November 19-21. The rules are expected to become effective 1/14/2020.

Background: On April 16, 2019, Governor Polis signed SB 19-181, which provided that the Commission shall review and amend its flowline and inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in well rules to protect and minimize adverse impacts to the public health, safety, and welfare and the environment by, at a minimum, 1) allowing for the public disclosure of flowline information; 2) evaluating and determining the process for inspecting deactivated flowlines prior to reactivation; and 3) evaluating and determining when inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in wells must be inspected prior to being placed back into production. Additional rulemakings will be conducted at a later date – see regulatory agenda notes below.

Agencies published their regulatory agendas for 2020 in the Colorado Register of November 10, 2019.

  • The Department of Natural Resources/Oil and Gas Conservation Commission agenda includes rulemakings related to SB 19-181 slated for January 2020 (Definitions) and June 2020 (Pipelines).
  • The Department of Regulatory Affairs/Public Utilities agenda includes a rule revision to incorporate changes required by PHMSA to include a regulatory process to investigate excavator damages to gas pipeline and codify the process for investigations and civil penalties, scheduled for January 2020.
  • The Department of Labor and Employment/Division of Oil and Public Safety agenda indicates that it intends to amend its rules primarily pertaining to enforcement of violations in November 2020.

Utah

The Utah Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for pipeline safety to update references to 49 CFR. Comments are due by 12/31.


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – October 2019

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

Maine

The Maine PUC has initiated a rulemaking to consider adoption of rules for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

[Comment deadline was August 24.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities commenced a rulemaking proceeding and adopted emergency revisions to its procedures for the Determination and Enforcement of Violations of the Dig Safe law effective July 18. The revisions were designed primarily to implement the federal minimum safety requirements for damage prevention, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Parts 192 and 196. The Department also adopted changes to its rules to clarify the obligations of both excavators and utility companies and to establish more efficient procedures for the enforcement of violations.

Effective October 18, in response to comments received, the DPU adopted final regulations under this rulemaking. These kept the 911 call requirement and several other new provisions, but removed the new provisions regarding excavations over 500 ft., marking abandoned facilities, notification of privately owned underground facilities, and (notifying Dig Safe of changes to original excavation. The DPU anticipates that it will revisit these removed provisions with stakeholders prior to opening a new rulemaking to implement them. Other changes improve public safety (e.g., changing time for response to emergency notice from 5 hours to 3 hours) and clarify the criteria for civil penalties.

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees:
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline was extended to September 27, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (Removed from table in Senate 10/23/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, bill currently under council review.]

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed  in November 2018 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

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments was held on August 22, 2019. Administrative review was due October 15.

North Carolina

H872, signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional 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.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate”, includes activities within a public or private right-of-way; modifies the timeline requiring the operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor April 14, effective November 1.]

Texas

The RRC has proposed amendments to its rules, revised after the Commission’s release of draft versions (Ch. 3Ch. 8) and a public workshop. Proposed rules were submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment, due 11/18/2019. A full description of the proposed amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#6 (Ch. 3)

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October182019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#8 (Ch. 8)

The Commission also proposed amendments to update and clarify the Commission’s liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas) rules. Amendments are also proposed to implement changes from the 86th Legislative Session. House Bill 2714 removed the requirement that manufacturers of LP-gas containers obtain a license from the Commission and instead requires registration with the Commission. Operators will not be required to comply with changes directly related to manufacturer registrations until approximately March 1, 2020 to allow Commission programming efforts to be completed. Upon adoption, the Commission will specify the effective date relating to requirements for manufacturer registration.
Proposed amendments also reflect changes made to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards since Chapter 9 was last amended. A full description of the amendments can be found at:

https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/archive/October252019/Proposed%20Rules/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#17

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM has updated its procedure and forms for notifying the office of a proposed hydrostatic test or in-line inspection. The new forms are available from the OSFM website at:

https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/pipeline-safety-and-cupa/hydrostatic-testing/

Beginning November 2019 OSFM is asking all Operators to start using the new form when notifying OSFM of Hydrostatic Tests and In-Line inspections on jurisdictional and regulated pipelines. Submissions shall be sent to PipelineNotification@fire.ca.gov. The Notifications to OSFM now also requires a 1 page PDF map of the pipeline to be tested, to be included in the submission to OSFM.

In addition, the Hydrotest Student Manual is currently under revision.

The OSFM has proposed to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

This NOPR was initially issued 2/5/19. Proposed rules were most recently updated on 10/24/19, with a second 15-day public comment period 10/25/19 through 11/7/19.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 Requires that the regional notification center report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[10/2/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

SB463 Requires an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[10/12/2019 – Signed by Governor; effective 1/1/2020]

Colorado

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Colorado (Commission), will consider additions and amendments (see register page 19) to its rules during its rulemaking to adopt the 2019 Flowline Rules. The purpose of the rulemaking is to make necessary changes to Commission Rules to implement SB 19-181. This bill, signed by the Governor in April,  provides that the Commission shall review and amend its flowline and inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in well rules to protect and minimize adverse impacts to the public health, safety, and welfare and the environment by, at a minimum, 1) allowing for the public disclosure of flowline information; 2) evaluating and determining the process for inspecting deactivated flowlines prior to reactivation; and 3) evaluating and determining when inactive, temporarily abandoned and shut-in wells must be inspected prior to being placed back into production.


Stay up-to-date on all the latest in pipeline rules and regulations with WinDOT, the online Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia. Sign up for our free Rapid Update service and a free trial today!

We can make your manuals easy to access and use, anywhere and any time. Check out our Manuals Online service to see how.

State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – September 2019

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

Maine

The Main PUC has initiated a rulemaking to consider adoption of rules for Gas Utility Meter Performance, Accuracy, Testing and Related Standards. The rules:

  • Provide that meters shall be owned and maintained by the gas utility, except where it is impracticable to do so, and defines recordkeeping and retention requirements.
  • Address performance and accuracy standards, providing that all meters shall comply with applicable codes and standards, and that gas utilities shall include in their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) the applicable standards, codes and requirements for each meter type used, and the process by which gas utilities shall ensure and document compliance with these standards.
  • Address testing protocols, including the removal and testing of meters that do not meet applicable performance and accuracy standards, or customer-requested tests requires the utility to provide the customer a written report upon completion of a meter test.
  • Specify how each gas utility will develop and apply ccf-to-therm conversion factors used for customer billing

[Comment deadline was August 24.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities commenced a rulemaking proceeding and adopted emergency revisions to its procedures for the Determination and Enforcement of Violations of the Dig Safe law effective July 18. The revisions were designed primarily to implement the federal minimum safety requirements for damage prevention, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Parts 192 and 196. The Department also adopted changes to its rules to clarify the obligations of both excavators and utility companies and to establish more efficient procedures for the enforcement of violations.
[Hearing on final adoption was held August 26, and final comments were due September 3.]

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees:
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

[Comment deadline has been extended to September 27, 2019.]

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee in February:
SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.
SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on June 19.)
SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced in March, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee in February:
SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced in March as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.
HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.
HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.
HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.
HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.
HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

[Public hearing held May 13, bill currently under council review.]

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed  in November 2018 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

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules for the installation of gathering lines, reclamation of disturbed areas, and safety requirements of gathering lines as they pertain to oil and gas production operations. This amendment deletes the definition section (definitions for entire chapter included in a new Definitions regulation at top of chapter), outlines more specific testing requirements, and corrects citations in the administrative regulation. It also amends two forms that are incorporated by reference: “Application for Gathering Line Operator’s License” and “Notification/Application for a Gathering Line Permit: Installation, Reclamation and Operation Plan”.
A public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held on August 22, 2019.

North Carolina

H872, signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional 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.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Missouri

As a result of Executive Order 19-02, the Public Service Commission is transferring from the Department of Economic Development to the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Effective August 28, 2019, the Commission’s Administrative rules were transferred to the Department of Commerce.

Nebraska

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on May 31 and became effective on September 1. This bill amended the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provide additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, created a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate”, includes activities within a public or private right-of-way; modifies the timeline requiring the operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor April 14, effective November 1.]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on June 14 and became effective on September 1. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

Several other bills signed by the Governor and effective September 1 made other minor changes and technical corrections to the code.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments to its rules (Ch. 3Ch. 8), revised after the Commission’s public workshop. The comment deadline was extended to August 12, 2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864 and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.
This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on July 2]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued in February. Public hearings were held through April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission concluded its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement. The final decision extends the timeframe from 2020 to 2021 for the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division and Energy Division Staff to complete a written program evaluation of the Natural Gas Leak Abatement Program after Commission approval of the second set of Compliance Plans in late 2020. All directives of Decision D1706015 remain in effect. Following submission of the second set of Best Practices Biennial Compliance Plans due March 2020 and the Natural Gas Leakage Abatement program evaluation in 2021, the Commission will determine the direction of the program moving forward.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[July 10 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[September 10 – Senate amendments concurred to, sent for engrossment/enrollment.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[September 10 – Senate amendments concurred to, sent for engrossment/enrollment.]

Idaho

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission conducted a public meeting August 20 to review its recently reauthorized rules and receive public input. Included in this review are:

  • Safety and Accident Reporting Rules for Utilities Regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission
  • Gas Service Rules

The reauthorized rules were given temporary effective dates of June 30, 2019.


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – August, 2019

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

Maine

LD 1720 Signed by the Governor on June 17 requires excavators to call 9-1-1 if contact with or damage to an underground pipe or another underground facility results in the escape of any natural gas or other hazardous substance or material regulated by PHMSA.
[Effective 9/19/2019]

Massachusetts

H4857 (2018) signed into law on August 8, 2018 requires gas companies to file an annual report with the department of lost and unaccounted-for gas, effective January 1, 2020.

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees: 
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Ohio

The Ohio PUC is conducting a 5-year review of its Gas Pipeline Safety rules. Notice inviting comments on proposed amendments was filed on August 14, 2019. The amendments would make the following changes:

  • require each operator to have a plan for abandoning inactive service lines
  • add requirements for the reevaluation of repaired or reclassified leaks would apply to below grade hazardous leaks
  • require gas gathering/processing plant pipeline operators to provide total mileage of gas gathering piping operated in Ohio and counties of operation in the 24-hour contact report
  • reduce the number of reports required for important additions to intrastate gas pipeline facilities

Comments are due by September 13, 2019.

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee on 2/7/2019:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on 6/19/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee on 2/26/2019:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced on 3/25/19 as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

A public hearing was held on May 13 and the bill is currently under council review.

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 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

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has completed its rulemaking to update its LP gas rules to reflect the significant changes were made to Chapter 527, Florida Statutes during the 2018 legislative session. The rules were amended to:

  • Repeal redundant, unnecessary rules;
  • Update incorporated forms and standard references, and eliminate forms that are no longer necessary;
  • Clarify vague definitions;
  • Clarify that department inspectors will no longer use a “Red Tag” to prohibit use, but Stop Use Orders consistent with other bureau programs;
  • Clarify the type of leak survey required for underground tanks, remove unnecessary common use definition and remove exemptions for certain underground tanks defined by 49 CFR;
  • Add required user notification after a dealer repairs or alters a LP gas system in case indoor appliances have been affected posing a safety hazard;
  • Update CEU training requirements;
  • Update penalty rules to be consistent with department standard and add notice of noncompliance in lieu of warning letter to reduce administrative procedures; and
  • update resolution, settlement and remedies rules to meet current department standard.

The first round of amendments was effective July 10, 2019, and the second round of amendments are effective August 20, 2019.

North Carolina

H872 signed by the Governor on August 1, 2019 and effective on October 1, 2019, includes the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill also authorizes the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee is based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and will be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected will not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional 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.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.
[Request for rulemaking approved June 24, 2019.]

Missouri

After adoption as emergency rules in December 2018 and then further amended, the federal pipeline safety laws and standards for liquefied natural gas facilities in 49 CFR Part 193 have been adopted as permanent commission rules in a new section “Safety Standards – Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities” effective July 30, 2019.

Nebraska

The state’s Fire Marshall has amended its rules for pipeline safety and one-call notification center to adopt Federal regulations in 49 CFR (Parts 191, 192, 193, 199 and adding 196) in effect as of April 1, 2019. The new rules change the time limit for reporting incidents to 1 hour; require operators to provide documents in digital format: O&M, Emergency Plan, Damage Prevention program (to be submitted annually); and operation maps for distribution and transmission systems (to be submitted every 5 years).
In addition, the new regulations contain updated definitions and best practices for use in the One Call System, and updates to the composition, qualifications, appointment and retention of the One Call Board of Directors.
[Amended rules were adopted effective August 13, 2019.]

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and becomes effective on September 1, 2019. This bill amends the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provides additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, creates a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 has been signed by the Governor and becomes effective on 8/1/209. This bill:

  • provides if the operator and excavator cannot agree to extend the time and the excavation or demolition activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water, upon written request by the operator, the commissioner of conservation may delay the mark-by time prior to the commencement of any excavation or demolition activity in order to allow for the accurate marking of such pipeline.
  • provides that the commissioner of conservation may extend the time to complete the excavation or demolition activity if such activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water.
  • provides that except as provided in present law, no parish, municipal, local, or state governing authority may enact any ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations which are in conflict with the provisions of present law.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings were concluded with permanent final adoptions of the following rules:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) were amended and become effective 7/25/2019:

  • To update references to the CFR and the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to the most recent version;
  • To require that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline Safety Dept. of change in ownership within 5 days;
  • To add a new subchapter “Obligations under the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act Subject to Commission Enforcement” with new permanent rules:
  1. Requiring underground facility operators to provide additional information to excavators (facility material size and type).
  2. Listing requirements for telephonic damage reporting.
  3. Requiring a written report of damages caused by excavation.
  4. Outlining the procedure for filing a complaint against an excavator for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) were amended and become effective 8/1/2019:

  • For service installations that require open trenches, utilities must inspect or request inspection within 14 days;
  • Utilities must provide a notice of change in contact for PUD and CSD issues within 30 days of the change;
  • Utilities must provide a contact number in local phone directories for emergencies or service deficiencies;
  • Changes to customer service complaint response times and procedures;
  • Utilities are required to follow current PHMSA Pipeline Security Contingency Plan Guidance to develop a Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Plan and report any security breaches that may affect customers to PUD Director.

SB1008/HB2097 amends the definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor 4/24/2019, effective 11/1/2019]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on 6/14/2019 and becomes effective on 9/1/2019. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments to its rules (Ch. 3Ch. 8), revised after the Commission’s public workshop. The comment deadline was extended to August 12, 2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.

This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on 7/2/2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision on 7/5/2019 to conclude its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement.
In June 2018, Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. The proposed decision reiterates that best practices outlined in the 2017 decision are enforceable and will not be added to an existing or new GO at this time.
The decision proposes to close the rulemaking. It notes that further refinements could be made to Best Practices and to GO 112-F during the evaluation of the program in 2021 to reflect  leak survey cycles (Section 143.1 Distribution and Transmission Leakage Surveys and Procedures); and Leak Classification and Action Criteria Grade Definition of Priority of Leak Repair. The commission will also revisit adding the best practices to 112-F. Alternatively, all climate change requirements that are not safety driven procedures, could be incorporated into a separate GO for the sake of clarity.
The proposed decision will be included in a future Commission hearing for approval, 8/15/19 at the earliest.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[7/10/2019 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[8/12/2019 – in Assembly Committee on Appropriations.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[8/14/2019 – in Assembly Committee on Appropriations.]

Idaho

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct a public meeting August 20, 2019 to conduct a review of its rules and receive public input. Included in this review are:

  • Safety and Accident Reporting Rules for Utilities Regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission
  • Gas Service Rules

Washington

The WTUC has adopted proposed amendments to make commission rules consistent with current published versions of federal rules and reflect the most current versions of the national safety standards. New rules are effective August 3, 2019..

 


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – July 14, 2019

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

Maine

LD 1720 Signed by the Governor on June 17 requires excavators to call 9-1-1 if contact with or damage to an underground pipe or another underground facility results in the escape of any natural gas or other hazardous substance or material regulated by PHMSA.
[Effective 9/19/2019]

Massachusetts

In response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions a group of new bills was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. The bills below are representative of some of the major themes addressed in the proposed legislation:

SD2160 An Act Relative to Gas Leaks and Infrastructure outlines proposed new regulations for Emergency response (operators to immediately inform fire department and chief law enforcement officers, all departments must generate a report after each event). Operators would be required to provide grade 2 and 3 monthly leak reporting to fire department, conduct public way site repair after project and subsequent maintenance of site for 5 years. The DPU would be required to review the number of pipeline inspectors at least annually. Operator penalties for failure to comply include denial of rate increase and/or financial penalties.

SD2153 An Act to Promote Gas Safety
Boards and committees: 
Establishes an energy infrastructure oversight board, to be appointed by the governor to make recommendations with respect to gas safety, oversight and inspection of gas facilities, employment of inspectors and engineers to oversee pipeline construction and maintenance, and emergency response protocols for gas-related incidents. Annual reports from the committee will be presented to the governor and Senate House committees on ways and means. Also creates a commission to review the state’s gas infrastructure and provide a report to the general court by January 1, 2020.
Cooperative reporting with neighboring states:
Establish a notification system to provide and receive information regarding incidents.
Leaks reported by public:
response to be timely, all leak reports from customers will be logged in a publicly-accessible database.
LNG safety:
All proposals for substantial construction, renovation, repair or expansion for facilities that store, vaporize or produce liquefied natural gas are subject to DPU review, must include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on the safety of the facility and the distribution system during and after construction and may be further reviewed by energy facilities siting board and Mass environmental policy act office.
More pipeline engineers:
The department shall employ pipeline engineers to oversee construction on or adjacent to distribution company pipelines, ensure compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and investigate complaints. All pipeline engineers shall receive the necessary training and qualification to perform field duties, as determined by the department, not later than 6 months after employment. The department shall employ not less than 1 pipeline engineer for every 100 miles of pipeline owned by a distribution or one pipeline engineer for every 2,000 customers, whichever is greater.
Regulators:
The department of public utilities shall promulgate regulations establishing requirements for the maintenance and security of gas regulators, including, but not limited to, service quality metrics. The department shall implement these regulations not later than January 1, 2021

HD 1097 Act for field safety in gas infrastructure
Maps and records:
DPU to promulgate regulations by 1/1/2021 establishing requirements for the maintenance, timely updating, accuracy, and security of gas LDC maps and records. Each LDC shall report each disruption in its ability to provide electronic data, including but not limited to, maps and records relevant to inspections, maintenance, repairs, and construction to its in-house workforce and contractors lasting more than 30 minutes – disruptions will be incorporated as a metric in the DPU’s service quality indicators for LDCs.
In addition:

  • Each LDC shall maintain a central control room within its service territory with trained staff sufficient to monitor its pipeline and respond to fluctuations in pressurization, reportable incidents, and infrastructure failures.
  • Outlines system of uniform natural gas leaks classification/reporting for all gas companies.
  • Leak detection and repair of leaks prior to projects on public way by municipalities, state or LDC; ensure safety valves function
  • Leaks within school zone are priority
  • Inside meter safety

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced.

New York

The Public Service Commission has opened rulemaking dockets (19-G-018119-G-0182) to update its rules to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has amended its rules Chapter 56 Standards and Billing Practices for Residential Utility Service, effective June 2, 2019. The rules were updated to conform with Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code (66 Pa.C.S. §§ 1401—1419), Responsible Utility Customer Protection. Those regulations were enacted in 2014, and supersede some of these rules.

In November 2018 the Commission issued a waiver of its rules regarding Standards for changing a customer’s natural gas service in sections 59.93 and 59.94. The waiver maintains the five day waiting period during which an NGS switch request may be canceled before the switch takes place. The Commission proposed to extend the waiver through the end of October 2021.

The following bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure committee on 2/7/2019:

SB263 would add a new section “Pipeline Safety Valves” requiring that all facilities of a public utility engaged in the transmission of gas or hazardous liquids placed into service after the effective date of this section to have automatic or remote controlled shutoff valves installed. Annual testing of these valves would be required.

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit. (First consideration in Senate on 6/19/2019.)

SB 260 outlines types of information that pipeline operators must provide to schools, if requested, that fall within 1000 ft of PUC-jurisdictional hazardous liquids and natural gas pipelines, including how to respond to a leak or product release. (Similar to HB 733 introduced on 3/18/19, now in House Consumer Affairs committee.)

The following bill was introduced and referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy committee on 2/26/2019:

SB 283 would replace the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth; and providing for Federal delegation. The bill would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania’s lateral regulatory agency to PHMSA. Second, PennDOT would be required to make application to the federal government for designation as an Interstate Agent in the inspection of interstate pipelines traversing Pennsylvania.

A group of bills were introduced on 3/25/19 as part of a “Pipeline Safety Package” and are currently in the House Consumer Affairs committee.

HB 886 would require a public utility operating a pipeline in a high consequence area to install automatic or remote shutoff valves within 100 feet of each municipal boundary crossed by the facility and within 100 feet of the facility’s entry and exist of each high consequence area. A public utility is required to test the reliability of shutoff valves annually and provide the results of these tests to each municipality where a shutoff valve is located.

HB 887 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require General Assembly approval, by concurrent resolution, prior to the construction or development of any pipeline that traverses three or more counties.

HB 888 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require that, following an incident that results in a shutdown of a pipeline, the operator must inspect the entirety of the pipeline before resuming operations. Under federal regulations, a pipeline operator may voluntarily or involuntarily, by action of the Public Utility Commission, suspend operations of a pipeline when a leak occurs that results in a death or personal injury requiring hospitalization, property damage of $50,000 or more, loss of three million cubic feet or more of product, or any other event deemed significant in the judgment of the operator.

HB 889 would amend the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act to require a pipeline operator, upon written request, to release any safety assessment studies or data that were conducted or collected about their facilities.

HB 890 would require a public utility with facilities transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids to meet with the county emergency coordinators along the pipeline route to identify any high consequence areas and the potential impact radius around the pipeline. The public utility must also share its current emergency operating procedures with the emergency coordinators.

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development and scheduled for a public hearing on May 13, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

  • Amends the definition of excavation to include trenchless technology
  • Requires that utilities respond to request from One-Call within 48 hours
  • Requires that a project provide adequate protection, including supports as needed, to utility operator workers when they enter the immediate vicinity of the facility.
  • Eliminates an exception for small excavation projects that were contained within the limits of the original excavation and did not exceed twelve inches in depth.
  • Increases the civil penalty for subsequent violations from $3,500 to $5,000 for a second offense and from $5,000 to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. As an alternative to these civil penalties, the bill authorizes the Mayor to issue civil fines and penalties under the Civil Infraction Act
  • Authorizes the Mayor to implement educational programs, collect data, and require reporting by entities subject to the Act in order to develop an effective damage prevention program.

A public hearing was held on May 13 and the bill is currently under council review.

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 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

Alabama

SB315 was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2020. It creates the 17-member Underground Damage Prevention Authority to enforce the notification requirement penalties provisions of the “One-Call Notification System”;  (1) for a first violation, a fine not to exceed $500; (2) for a second violation, a fine not to exceed $1,000; (3) for a third and subsequent violations, a fine not to exceed $4,000; and (4) for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a violation that is a result of gross negligence. This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide administrative support to the Authority.

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has completed the first phase of a rulemaking to update its LP gas rules to reflect the significant changes were made to Chapter 527, Florida Statutes during the 2018 legislative session. The rules are being amended to:

  • Repeal redundant, unnecessary rules;
  • Update incorporated forms and standard references, and eliminate forms that are no longer necessary;
  • Clarify vague definitions;
  • Clarify that department inspectors will no longer use a “Red Tag” to prohibit use, but Stop Use Orders consistent with other bureau programs;
  • Clarify the type of leak survey required for underground tanks, remove unnecessary common use definition and remove exemptions for certain underground tanks defined by 49 CFR;
  • Add required user notification after a dealer repairs or alters a LP gas system in case indoor appliances have been affected posing a safety hazard;
  • Update CEU training requirements;
  • Update penalty rules to be consistent with department standard and add notice of noncompliance in lieu of warning letter to reduce administrative procedures; and
  • update resolution, settlement and remedies rules to meet current department standard.

The first round of rules amended are effective July 10, 2019.

The Public Service Commission has amended to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199, effective July 10, 2019.

North Carolina

H872 has the following provisions:

  • Modifies the information an operator must provide to excavators designating the location of underground facilities in the area of a proposed excavation to require operators to mark:
    • The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.
    • The operator’s identity in an area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. At a minimum, the operator’s identity must be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition.
  • Modifies the minimum requirements for the notice that an excavator must provide to the Notification Center concerning the location of a proposed excavation or demolition, by identifying:
    • A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.
    • The lesser of five adjoining parcels, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by addresses.
  • Prohibits an excavator from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is a highly volatile liquid pipeline system (in addition to existing prohibitions on gas, oil, and petroleum transmission lines).
  • Modifies the exemption concerning routine maintenance in a right-of-way, requiring that persons doing such maintenance must be on “permanent payroll” of the entity performing the maintenance, and not a contractor acting behalf of such an entity.
  • Adds an exemption for pavement milling and resurfacing (which had previously been included in the exemption for maintenance activities).
  • Modifies the notice provision for emergency excavation or demolition to require written notice to the Notification Center as soon as practicable.
  • Adds a new requirement that the Board approve training courses and the sponsors of those training courses in connection with actions or penalty the Board may impose for a violation.

The bill would also authorize the Board to impose a fee on operators in order to fund the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing reports of alleged violations of this Article. The fee would be based on the jurisdictional revenues of an operator, and must be set at a rate that the total proceeds of all fees collected would not exceed $200,000 annually to fund the activities and operations of the Board.
[Placed on Senate calendar for July 15 after favorable reports from the Finance committee and the Rules committee.]

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Board is engaged in the following additional 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.

Michigan

The MPSC is proposing to adopt amendments to its rules governing gas safety to adopt by reference current federal regulations and standards and to define record retention periods.

Missouri

After adoption as emergency rules in December 2018 and then further amended, the federal pipeline safety laws and standards for liquefied natural gas facilities in 49 CFR Part 193 have been adopted as permanent commission rules in a new section “Safety Standards – Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities” effective July 30, 2019.

Nebraska

The state’s Fire Marshall is proposing to amend its rules for pipeline safety and one-call notification center to adopt Federal regulations in 49 CFR (Parts 191, 192, 193, 199 and adding 196) in effect as of April 1, 2019. The proposal changes the time limit for reporting incidents to 1 hour; requires operators to provide documents in digital format: O&M, Emergency Plan, Damage Prevention program (to be submitted annually); and operation maps for distribution and transmission systems (to be submitted every 5 years).
In addition, the proposed regulations contain updated definitions and best practices for use in the One Call System, and updates to the composition, qualifications, appointment and retention of the One Call Board of Directors.
[Amended rules were sent to the state’s Attorney General for a decision on 6/24/2019.]

LB 462 was approved by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and becomes effective in 90 days. amend the One-Call Notification System Act to add notification requirements, provides additional authority and duties for the One-Call Board of Directors and the State Fire Marshal, creates a dispute resolution board, and requires utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.

South Dakota

SB18 was signed by the Governor on 3/7/2019, and became effective on 7/1/2019. The new law doubles South Dakota’s maximum civil penalty for some pipeline safety violations to $2 million.

HB1024 (2018, effective 7/1/2019) 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

Louisiana

SB 82 has been signed by the Governor and becomes effective on 8/1/209. This bill:

  • provides if the operator and excavator cannot agree to extend the time and the excavation or demolition activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water, upon written request by the operator, the commissioner of conservation may delay the mark-by time prior to the commencement of any excavation or demolition activity in order to allow for the accurate marking of such pipeline.
  • provides that the commissioner of conservation may extend the time to complete the excavation or demolition activity if such activity could impact a pipeline located on or in water.
  • provides that except as provided in present law, no parish, municipal, local, or state governing authority may enact any ordinance or promulgate any rules or regulations which are in conflict with the provisions of present law.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings were concluded with permanent final adoptions of the following rules:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) were amended and become effective 7/25/2019:

  • To update references to the CFR and the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to the most recent version;
  • To require that pipeline operators notify the Pipeline Safety Dept. of change in ownership within 5 days;
  • To add a new subchapter “Obligations under the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act Subject to Commission Enforcement” with new permanent rules:
  1. Requiring underground facility operators to provide additional information to excavators (facility material size and type).
  2. Listing requirements for telephonic damage reporting.
  3. Requiring a written report of damages caused by excavation.
  4. Outlining the procedure for filing a complaint against an excavator for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act.

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) were amended and become effective 8/1/2019:

  • For service installations that require open trenches, utilities must inspect or request inspection within 14 days;
  • Utilities must provide a notice of change in contact for PUD and CSD issues within 30 days of the change;
  • Utilities must provide a contact number in local phone directories for emergencies or service deficiencies;
  • Changes to customer service complaint response times and procedures;
  • Utilities are required to follow current PHMSA Pipeline Security Contingency Plan Guidance to develop a Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Plan and report any security breaches that may affect customers to PUD Director.

SB1008/HB2097 amends definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[Approved by the Governor 4/24/2019, effective 11/1/2019]

Texas

HB 864 was signed by the Governor on 6/14/2019 and becomes effective on 9/1/2019. This bill adds a new code section regarding pipeline incident reporting and records. It defines “incident” and directs the RRC to promulgate rules by December 31, 2019 to require an operator to notify the commission within 1 hour of the confirmed discovery of an incident to provide contact information, incident location and any other known pertinent information.

The RRC has offered drafts of amendments (Ch. 3Ch. 8) to its rules for informal comment, with a comment deadline of 7/31/2019. The rule drafts are working drafts that have not been finalized and have not been submitted to the Texas Register for publication for public comment.z
The draft rules include amendments regarding:

  • Class 1 and rural gathering (gas and hazardous liquid) lines (§8.110. Gathering Pipelines);
  • implementation of HB 864and HB866 requirements;
  • reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators;
  • amendments to the pipeline permits rule; and
  • clean-up amendments to Chapter 8.

These amendments relate to the intrastate natural gas gathering pipelines located in Class 1 locations and not regulated by 49 CFR 192.8.  Activities to be required for these applicable pipelines:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MAOP
  • Install & maintain line markers
  • Conduct leakage surveys using leak detection equipment & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

In addition, Class 1 onshore natural gas gathering lines greater than 12.75 inches in diameter with a MAOP that produces a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR §192 applicable to transmission lines, except for integrity management and ability to run ILI/smart pig.

This same section applies to those intrastate hazardous liquids and carbon dioxide gathering pipelines located in a rural location as defined by 49 CFR §195.2 and not regulated by 49 CFR §195.1, §195.11, or §8.1. These lines must comply with the following requirements:

  • Corrosion control
  • Damage Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Establish MOP
  • Install and maintain line markers
  • ROW inspections & promptly repair hazardous leaks
  • Reporting

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM is proposing to develop new rules for the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board – Investigations and Enforcement

  • This rulemaking action implements, interprets, clarifies, and makes specific investigation of possible violations and enforcement of article 2, chapter 3.1, division 5, of title 1 of the Government Code (“Dig Safe Law”), and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.
  • The proposed regulations will require members of regional notification centers to maintain valid and current contact information with the appropriate regional notification center; require regional notification centers to provide updated contact information for their members to the Board upon request; require excavators to notify the appropriate regional notification center of certain types of damages to subsurface installations; require regional notification centers to transmit the damage notifications to the Board; establish investigation and enforcement processes, including types of sanctions, of the Dig Safe Law on excavators and operators; and establish requirements for excavators and operators for onsite meetings and agreements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations.

[Comment period concluded on 7/2/2019]

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop regulations as required by legislation that was passed after the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill – AB 864 (2015) – continues. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”
Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision on 7/5/2019 to conclude its rulemaking regarding rules for Gas Leak Abatement.
In June 2018, Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. The proposed decision reiterates that best practices outlined in the 2017 decision are enforceable and will not be added to an existing or new GO at this time.
The decision proposes to close the rulemaking. It notes that further refinements could be made to Best Practices and to GO 112-F during the evaluation of the program in 2021 to reflect  leak survey cycles (Section 143.1 Distribution and Transmission Leakage Surveys and Procedures); and Leak Classification and Action Criteria Grade Definition of Priority of Leak Repair. The commission will also revisit adding the best practices to 112-F. Alternatively, all climate change requirements that are not safety driven procedures, could be incorporated into a separate GO for the sake of clarity.
The proposed decision will be included in a future Commission hearing for approval, 8/15/19 at the earliest.

SB169 this bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

  • require the owner or operator of a pipeline to establish and maintain records, make reports, and provide any information that the State Fire Marshal reasonably requires, to create an inventory of pipelines that will be available to the public.
  • enter operator’s facility and inspect records.
  • disclose records, reports, or other information required to be maintained to an officer, employee, or authorized representative of the state or the United States for purposes of carrying out the requirements of the act or the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act, or when relevant to a proceeding pursuant to the act.

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.
This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[7/10/2019 Failed passage, granted reconsideration in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[7/10/2019 Voted “Do Pass” in Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization after amendment.]

SB463 Would require an operator of a gas storage well to provide the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) a complete chemical inventory of specified materials that may be emitted from a gas storage well. Requires, on or before July 1, 2021, DOGGR in response to the independent root cause analysis of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, to review and revise, as applicable, its natural gas storage well policy and regulations. This includes regulations for cathodic protection of well casings, requirements for well control plans that include flow rate and potential flow rate calculations, and Requirements for reporting and investigating leaks and other pressure equipment integrity incidents that present a risk of leaks.
[7/10/2019 – received “Do Pass” from Assembly Committee on Natural Resources.]

Idaho

SB1073 was signed by the Governor on 3/28/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. Some underground facility owners are also end user consumers of utility services or commodities. Service laterals are underground facilities located in public rights of way or utility easements. End users do not have operational control of, locational knowledge of, or the expertise or equipment to locate or mark service laterals, despite owning them, because the laterals are in rights of way or utility easements. The new law exempts end users from the requirement to locate and mark service laterals and requires underground facility owners with the ability to locate and mark service laterals to do so.

SB1011 was signed by the Governor on 3/22/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. The Damage Prevention Board (Board) and stakeholders believe underground facility owners are best situated to report damage to their underground facilities and excavators are best situated to report downtime they suffer due to violations of chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code. Accordingly, the Board and stakeholders believe only underground facility owners should be required to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators should be required to report excavator downtime. The new law eliminates potential double reporting by requiring only underground facility owners to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators to report excavator downtime. The new law also adds definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” and “locator” to Idaho Code section 55-2202.

Washington

In an expedited rulemaking filed May 1, 2019 the WTUC proposed to amend its rules to make commission rules consistent with current published versions of federal rules and reflect the most current versions of the national safety standards. Comments were due by July 1, 2019.

Wyoming

HB0152, signed by the Governor on 2/26/2019 and effective 7/1/2019, modifies requirements for architectural and engineering plans that call for excavation and requires the notification center to provide location information to persons preparing such plans; requires operators to give notice to the notification center each 14 days for projects that exceed that time; requires (with some exceptions) excavators to mark their proposed excavation boundaries prior to facility marking by operators; requires an excavator to call 911 for contact with or damage to underground facilities; modifies penalties; requires monthly reports from the notification center to the Attorney General of any non-compliance complaints.


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