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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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – May/June 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 would require 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.
[5/31/2019: reported out of Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology as Ought to Pass.]

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.
Gas 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 recently.

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 following bills were introduced and referred to the 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.
  • 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.

Virginia

S1176, approved in March and effective on July 1, 2019 requires that the State Corporation Commission make finalized enforcement actions and reports of investigations available on request. Reports must have sensitive information removed or redacted.

Updated in WinDOT:
Installation of Utility Lines and Pipeline Safety [Va. Code]
56-257.4. Report by the State Corporation Commission on investigation of natural gas utilities incident (new section)

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 initiated 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 proposed 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 Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199.

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:

o The dimension of an underground facility every 50 feet, rather than every 25 feet, in certain circumstances.

o 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:

o A single parcel that may exceed 1/4 mile in linear length, by a single address.

o 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.
[In House Finance Committee 5/2/2019]

Central Region Update

Illinois

The Illinois Commerce Commission adopted amendments to its rules, effective May 2, 2019, in two rulemakings:

  • to incorporate by reference 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199 as well as portions of Part 191 that were in effect on July 1, 2018 to comply with the commission’s certification agreement with PHMSA.
  • to update report filing requirements to remove obsolete forms and include electronic submissions.

Updated in WinDOT:
Part 590 Minimum Safety Standards for Transportation of Gas and for Gas Pipeline Facilities [ILAC]
Section 590.10 Standards
Section 590.20 Submission of Federal Reports to the Commission
Section 595.120 Reporting of Accidents or Incidents

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.

Indiana

The IURC has readopted without amendments its Standards of Service rules for Gas Utilities, effective May 11.

Updated in WinDOT:
170 IAC 5. Gas Utilities
Rule 1. Standards of Service (citations only)

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.
[Public hearing eas held 5/13/19]

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 becomes 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 snet to the Governor for signature:

  • 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 are in progress:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) are being amended [rules submitted to the Governor and the legislature on 3/8/2019 for approval]:

  • 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) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019 and transmitted to the Governor and legislature for approval]:

  • 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

HB866, was signed by the Governor on 6/2/2019 and effective immediately. It prohibits installation of cast iron, wrought iron, bare steel pipe for use in gas distribution pipelines and requires operators to replace said pipe with plastic by 12/31/2020.

Updated in WinDOT:
Utilities Code [TS] Chapter 121. Gas Pipelines
Sec. 121.213. INSTALLATION, REMOVAL, AND REPLACEMENT OF CERTAIN PIPELINES. (new section)

HB 864 was sent to the Governor for signature on 5/29/2019. 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.

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 concludes on 7/1/2019]

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) – is moving forward. 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.

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.
[5/30/2019] 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.
[6/10/2019 Re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization after amendment.]

Colorado

On 6/14/2019 the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety rules “Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations”, which were adopted as emergency rules effective 2/14/2019, became permanent.
The regulations establish rules for the Commission under the Excavation Requirements Act §§ 9-1.5-101, et. seq., C.R.S. and cover general provisions, enforcement of violations and best practices.

Updated in WinDOT:
7 CCR 1101-18 Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations

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 are 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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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – April/May 2019

State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for April/May 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

Connecticut

SB678 would require certain proposed excavation markings to be made with materials that begin to fade three months after such markings are made.
[Favorable from Senate Joint Committee on Energy and Technology 3/26/19]

SB887 would secure access to gas utility and pipeline facilities for PURA personnel, provide whistleblower protection to employees of those facilities, add to the federal minimum requirements for operator qualification of individuals performing covered tasks on a pipeline facility, add requirements for utilization of geographic information systems for pipeline mapping and provide PURA real-time, read-only access to its electronic systems.
[Public hearing held 2/26/2019]

SB888 would To require that civil penalties for the failure of a public utility to properly or timely mark the approximate location of an underground facility be paid by the person, public agency or public utility to whom the notice of failure to comply is addressed.
[In Joint Committee on Energy and Technology]

SB988 This bill would require each construction contractor hired by a public utility to install or replace natural gas distribution infrastructure with only employees who have successfully completed all training and certifications the state requires for performing such work and notify the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s Gas Pipeline Safety Unit when hiring or using a contractor who is not a state resident. The notification must include confirmation that the contractor successfully completed the training and certifications the state requires.
[favorable report from Committee on Energy and Technology 4/24/2019]

HB6246 would require PURA to set a schedule for local gas distribution companies to repair all existing hazardous and nonhazardous gas leaks and require all new hazardous and nonhazardous gas leaks to be repaired within two business days of being reported.

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 recently.

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 following bills were introduced and referred to the 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.

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.

Rhode Island

HB 5692 / SB 539 would require any public utility or its contractor to reimburse an excavator for lost time expense incurred, including manpower and equipment from the utilities incorrect marking of underground utilities.
[Held in both chambers for further study.]

 

Virginia

S1176, approved in March and effective on July 1, 2019 requires that the State Corporation Commission make finalized enforcement actions and reports of investigations available on request. Reports must have sensitive information removed or redacted.

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 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

The Public Service Commission has filed its rules for Telephonic Reporting of Accidents/Incidents for inclusion on the Alabama Administrative Code. The new rules provide a more complete definition of “incident” and “accident” and require notification to the Gas Pipeline Safety office within 1 hour of confirmed discovery.
[Effective 4/17/19]

SB315 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.
[Third reading in Senate 5/7/2019]

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has initiated 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 proposed 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 Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199.

North Carolina

H872 would do all of the following:

  • 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.
[In House Finance Committee 5/2/2019]

Central Region Update

Illinois

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

  • to incorporate by reference 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199 as well as portions of Part 191 that were in effect on July 1, 2018 to comply with the commission’s certification agreement with PHMSA.
  • to update report filing requirements to remove obsolete forms and include electronic submissions.

[Comment period has closed; awaiting final adoption.]

HB3507 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Includes, in the definition of “underground utility facilities”, wires, ducts, fiber optic cable, conduits, pipes, sewers, and cables and their appurtenances installed underground for information technology infrastructure, equipment, systems, software, networks, and processes used to create, send, receive, and store electronic or digital information, including computer systems, telecommunication services and systems, and future technologies.
[Referred to Public Utilities committee 3/5/2019, re-referred to Rules committee 3/29/2019]

SB1570 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Specifies that a “Normal notice request” means a request for locates that provides no less than 48 hours, but no more than 14 calendar days, advance notice of a planned excavation or demolition. The request is only valid for 28 calendar days unless an extension is requested. Emergency requests will have a 2 hour wait time unless urgent action can be demonstrated by the operator, and expire in 4 days. Provides notice requirements for damaged, dislocated, and exposed underground utility facilities. Provides additional requirements for record of notice and the marking of underground utility facilities. Modifies Sections concerning liability, financial responsibility, negligence, and penalties for violating the provisions of the Act. Repeals a Section concerning preconstruction conferences. Defines, modifies, and repeals terms. Makes certain provisions apply to home rule municipalities with a population over 1,000,000.
[Third reading deadline 5/10/2019]

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.

Kansas

HB2178, approved by the Governor on April 11 and effective on April 18,  amends the Kansas underground utility damage prevention act; definitions (operator includes electricity service providers); exceptions to duty to mark location of facilities (required marking is restricted for electricity providers by their ownership).

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.
[Public hearing 5/13/19]

South Dakota

SB18 was signed by the Governor on 3/7/2019, and becomes 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 passed in the Senate:

  • 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.

[In House Committee on Commerce on 5/2/2019]

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings are in progress:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) are being amended [rules submitted to the Governor and the legislature on 3/8/2019 for approval]:

  • 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) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019 and transmitted to the Governor and legislature for approval]:

  • 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 226 would reduce the charge for violations of the Public Utility Regulatory Act or Gas Utility Regulatory Act to Class A misdemeanor from Felony of the Third Degree.
[After a public hearing on 3/11/2019 the bill is being scheduled for a second reading in the House]

Several bills related to gas pipeline safety were introduced on 2/25/2019 and referred to the Energy Resources committee:

HB863/HB 864 would add Pipeline Incident Notification and Reporting requirements for distribution gas pipelines and clarify changes to related administrative penalties; RRC to adopt new rules by 12/31/2019.

HB865 would require perpetual maintenance of records of pipeline incidents by the RRC.

HB866 for gas distribution pipelines: would prohibit installation of cast iron, wrought iron, bare steel pipe; requires operators to replace said pipe with plastic by 12/31/2020.

HB867 / HB868 regarding leaks: would require an operator of a distribution gas pipeline  to report leaks to RRC and to publish exact leak locations on their public internet site; RRC to adopt rules by 12/31/2019 // Require a distribution gas  pipeline facility operator to mail written notice of a leak not later than 72 hours after the leak is discovered to each customer whose billed property is located less than one-quarter mile from where the leak occurred.

Another set of bill was introduced on 3/12 and 3/18/2019 and referred to the Energy Resources committee:

HB 2882 would allow recovery of damages attributable to excavation activities in a civil action. [on House calendar for a second reading as of 5/6/2019]

HB 3385 would require the RRC to publish maps of pipeline evacuation zones.

HB 3479 would require the RRC to establish rules for cleanliness standards for intrastate distribution gas pipelines that pass through karst topographic areas.

HB 3480 would require operators to disclose the composition of fluids and materials transported in pipelines regulated by RRC.

Western Region Update

California

The following were added to WinDOT:

  • Department of Conservation – Environmental Protection [14 CCR Subch. 2]
  • Department of Industrial Relations – § 6533. Pipe Lines, Fittings, and Valves. [8 CCR § 6533]
  • Department of Conservation – Requirements for Underground Gas Storage Projects [14 CCR §§ 1726-1726.10]
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources
  • Public Resources Code – Natural Gas Storage Wells [PRC §§3180-3187]

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.

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) – is moving forward. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

By January 1, 2020 any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall use best available technology, including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife. By July 1, 2020, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall submit a plan to retrofit, by January 1, 2022, existing pipelines near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone with the best available technology including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.

The proposed regulatory language:

– Includes definitions to provide added clarity to essential elements, such as: automatic shutoff systems, coastal zone, near, oil, and pipeline

– Describes how operators identify pipelines subject to or exempt from the proposed regulations

– Explains risk analysis submission requirements and considerations

– Provides deadlines and dates for deliverables

– Outlines reporting requirements following spills

– Describes evaluation and documented justification for best available technologies

– Takes into account local environmental features, geography, hydrology, etc.

– Covers spill trajectories and worst case discharges

– Describes processes for confirming acceptable risk analyses

– Outlines testing and training time frames and procedures

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.

SB169 his 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.
[Passed the Senate and read first time in Assembly 5/13/2019]

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.
[Ordered to Assembly Consent calendar 5/9/2019]

Colorado

In the 3/25/2019 Register the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety published its Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations, which were adopted as emergency rules effective 2/14/2019. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for permanent adoption of these same rules was published in the same Register, with a hearing scheduled on April 16. The hearing could not be held and the NOPR was re-submitted.
The regulations are promulgated to establish rules for the Commission under the Excavation Requirements Act §§ 9-1.5-101, et. seq., C.R.S. The regulations cover general provisions, enforcement of violations and best practices.

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.

The PUC has adopted amendments to its Utility Safety and Accident Reporting Rules to adopt by reference several national safety codes applicable to electric, telephone, and natural gas utilities and federal safety regulations applicable to natural gas and pipeline utilities. Rule 101 adopts the 2017 Edition of the National Electric Safety Code (“NESC”).
[Effective 4/11/2019]

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 are 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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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – March 2019

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for March 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

Connecticut

SB678 would require certain proposed excavation markings to be made with materials that begin to fade three months after such markings are made.
[Favorable from Senate Joint Committee on Energy and Technology 3/26/19]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities adopted regulations that establish requirements for uniform natural gas leaks classification.
[Effective 3/22/2019]

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 recently.

DPU leadership changes:

  • The chairman of the Department of Public Utilities, Angela O’Connor has stepped down after a four year term, and the state’s director of pipeline safety, Richard Wallace, has announced his retirement.

Pennsylvania

The following bills were introduced and referred to the 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.

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.

Rhode Island

HB 5692 / SB 539 would require any public utility or its contractor to reimburse an excavator for lost time expense incurred, including manpower and equipment from the utilities incorrect marking of underground utilities.
[Held in both chambers for further study.]

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, introduced 2/4/2019 and 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.

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

Florida

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has initiated 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 proposed 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 Public Service Commission has proposed amendments to its rules to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199.

HB263/SB848 Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety: Changes number of days notice an excavator must provide to free-access notification system before beginning any excavation or demolition; creates underground facility damage prevention review panel; provides membership, term limits, & duties of review panel; specifies civil penalties which review panel may assess; provides review process through DOAH for infractions not resolved by review panel; provides penalty for person who removes or damages permanent underground facility markers; authorizes member operators to place permanent markers for certain purposes.
[In House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee 01/23/2019, in Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology committee 2/19/19]

Kentucky

SB129 would to clarify the definitions of “approximate location” and “normal excavation locate request” and define “positive response,” “unique identification number” or “locate request number,” “locator,” “locatable facility,” and “unlocatable facility”; require operators of underground facilities located in Kentucky to be members of the Kentucky Contact Center; establish a phase-in period for mandatory membership; waive the rights of nonmember operators of the Kentucky Contact Center for damage to their underground facilities after December 31, 2023; require operators to update the positive response system documenting the status of marking the approximate location of its underground facilities; require excavators to confirm status of locate request in the positive response system; eliminate the requirement that the member operators file their contact information with the county clerk where the operator has underground facilities; require the Kentucky Contact Center to maintain a list of members’ contact information and modify the members of the board of directors of the Kentucky Contact Center; establish certain bylaw requirements for the Kentucky Contact Center; require a financial audit report to the Legislative Research Commission and the Governor from the Kentucky Contact Center; require a membership and operations report to the Legislative Research Commission and the Governor from the Kentucky Contact Center; require notices and minutes of the Kentucky Contact Center to be posted on their Web site.
[In Senate Natural Resources & Energy committee 2/26/2019]

Central Region Update

Illinois

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

  • to incorporate by reference 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199 as well as portions of Part 191 that were in effect on July 1, 2018 to comply with the commission’s certification agreement with PHMSA.
  • to update report filing requirements to remove obsolete forms and include electronic submissions.

[Comment period has closed; awaiting final adoption.]

HB3507 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Includes, in the definition of “underground utility facilities”, wires, ducts, fiber optic cable, conduits, pipes, sewers, and cables and their appurtenances installed underground for information technology infrastructure, equipment, systems, software, networks, and processes used to create, send, receive, and store electronic or digital information, including computer systems, telecommunication services and systems, and future technologies.
[Referred to Public Utilities committee 3/5/2019, re-referred to Rules committee 3/29/2019]

SB1570 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Specifies that a “Normal notice request” means a request for locates that provides no less than 48 hours, but no more than 14 calendar days, advance notice of a planned excavation or demolition. The request is only valid for 28 calendar days unless an extension is requested. Emergency requests will have a 2 hour wait time unless urgent action can be demonstrated by the operator, and expire in 4 days. Provides notice requirements for damaged, dislocated, and exposed underground utility facilities. Provides additional requirements for record of notice and the marking of underground utility facilities. Modifies Sections concerning liability, financial responsibility, negligence, and penalties for violating the provisions of the Act. Repeals a Section concerning preconstruction conferences. Defines, modifies, and repeals terms. Makes certain provisions apply to home rule municipalities with a population over 1,000,000.
[Second reading scheduled for 4/3/2019]

Iowa

The Iowa Utilities Board amended its rules to update adoption by reference to bring the Board’s safety rules for natural gas pipelines into compliance with federal regulations

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.

HF432 would amend current law to require an environmental impact assessment under specified circumstances prior to the granting of a permit to construct, maintain, or operate a hazardous liquid pipeline, and including effective date provisions.
[Introduced, referred to Commerce. 2/19/2019]

Kansas

HB2178 would amend the Kansas underground utility damage prevention act; definitions (operator includes electricity service providers); exceptions to duty to mark location of facilities (required marking is restricted for electricity providers by their ownership)
[After passing the Senate, the House concurred with the amended bill 4/1/2019]

South Dakota

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

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 was pre-filed for  the upcoming legislative session. 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 are in progress:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) are being amended [rules submitted to the Governor and the legislature on 3/8/2019 for approval]:

  • 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) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019 and transmitted to the Governor and legislature for approval]:

  • 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).
[After second reading, in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee; passed the House, and in Senate Energy committee]

Texas

HB 226 would reduce the charge for violations of the Public Utility Regulatory Act or Gas Utility Regulatory Act to Class A misdemeanor from Felony of the Third Degree.
[After a public hearing on 3/11/2019 the bill is being scheduled for a second reading in the House]

Several bills related to gas pipeline safety were introduced on 2/25/2019 and referred to the Energy Resources committee:

HB863/HB 864 would add Pipeline Incident Notification and Reporting requirements for distribution gas pipelines and clarify changes to related administrative penalties; RRC to adopt new rules by 12/31/2019.

HB865 would require perpetual maintenance of records of pipeline incidents by the RRC.

HB866 for gas distribution pipelines: would prohibit installation of cast iron, wrought iron, bare steel pipe; requires operators to replace said pipe with plastic by 12/31/2020.

HB867 / HB868 regarding leaks: would require an operator of a distribution gas pipeline  to report leaks to RRC and to publish exact leak locations on their public internet site; RRC to adopt rules by 12/31/2019 // Require a distribution gas  pipeline facility operator to mail written notice of a leak not later than 72 hours after the leak is discovered to each customer whose billed property is located less than one-quarter mile from where the leak occurred.

Another set of bill was introduced on 3/12 and 3/18/2019 and referred to the Energy Resources committee:

HB 2882 would allow recovery of damages attributable to excavation activities in a civil action.

HB 3385 would require the RRC to publish maps of pipeline evacuation zones.

HB 3479 would require the RRC to establish rules for cleanliness standards for intrastate distribution gas pipelines that pass through karst topographic areas.

HB 3480 would require operators to disclose the composition of fluids and materials transported in pipelines regulated by RRC.

Western Region Update

California

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) – is moving forward. These regulations will become a new Article “Requirements For New Or Replacement Pipeline Near Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Areas In The Coastal Zone.”

By January 1, 2020 any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall use best available technology, including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife. By July 1, 2020, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall submit a plan to retrofit, by January 1, 2022, existing pipelines near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone with the best available technology including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.

The proposed regulatory language:

– Includes definitions to provide added clarity to essential elements, such as: automatic shutoff systems, coastal zone, near, oil, and pipeline

– Describes how operators identify pipelines subject to or exempt from the proposed regulations

– Explains risk analysis submission requirements and considerations

– Provides deadlines and dates for deliverables

– Outlines reporting requirements following spills

– Describes evaluation and documented justification for best available technologies

– Takes into account local environmental features, geography, hydrology, etc.

– Covers spill trajectories and worst case discharges

– Describes processes for confirming acceptable risk analyses

– Outlines testing and training time frames and procedures

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 OSFM has adopted amendments that add to its regulations to prescribe fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The new regulation ensures that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[Effective 1/1/2019.]

SB169 his 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.
[In the Senate Appropriations committee 3/29/2019]

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.
[In the Senate Natural Resources and Water committee, scheduled for a hearing 4/10/2019]

Colorado

In the 3/25/2019 Register the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety published its Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission Regulations, which were adopted as emergency rules effective 2/14/2019. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for permanent adoption of these same rules was published in the same Register, with a hearing scheduled on April 16.

The regulations are promulgated to establish rules for the Commission under the Excavation Requirements Act §§ 9-1.5-101, et. seq., C.R.S.. The regulations cover general provisions, enforcement of violations and best practices.

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. Idaho Code section 55-2205(2) states, “If there are identified but unlocatable underground facilities, the owner of such facilities or the owner’s agent shall locate and mark the underground facilities in accordance with the best information available to the owner of the underground facilities and with reasonable accuracy as defined in section 55-2202(15), Idaho Code.” Idaho Code section 55-2202(9) defines an identified but unlocatable underground facility as “an underground facility which has been identified but cannot be located with reasonable accuracy.” By definition, an identified but unlocatable underground facility cannot be located with reasonable accuracy as required by Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). The new law corrects this discrepancy and requires locatable underground facilities to be marked with reasonable accuracy, as was the initial intent of the statute. The new law also revises Idaho Code section 55-2205(4) to align it with changes to Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). Idaho Code section 55-2208(5) requires that “[u]nderground facility owners and excavators who observe, suffer or cause damage to an underground facility or observe, suffer or cause excavator downtime . . . shall report such information to the board in accordance with the rules promulgated by the board.” This requirement may cause duplicative reporting of the same incident by both underground facility owners and excavators. 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.

The PUC has adopted (per legislative review) amendments to its Utility Safety and Accident Reporting Rules to adopt by reference several national safety codes applicable to electric, telephone, and natural gas utilities and federal safety regulations applicable to natural gas and pipeline utilities. Rule 101 adopts the 2017 Edition of the National Electric Safety Code (“NESC”).
[Effective PLR]

Washington

HB 1006 relates to adopting new requirements for locating underground facilities, including positive response, minimum marking standards, adopting a new process for coordinating large projects, and requiring new and replacement facilities to be locatable.
[Recommended for passage after amendment by House Committee on Local Government and referred to Appropriations 2/22/2019]

Wyoming

The Public Service Commission rules are being amended to adopt by reference current versions of codes and standards.
[Final rules filed with the Secretary of State 1/25/2019]

HB0152, signed by the Governor on 2/26/2019, 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.

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 – February 2019

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for February 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

Connecticut

SB678 would require certain proposed excavation markings to be made with materials that begin to fade three months after such markings are made.
[Drafted by Senate Joint Committee on Energy and Technology with a public hearing 02/21/19]

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 recently.

DPU leadership changes:

  • The chairman of the Department of Public Utilities, Angela O’Connor has stepped down after a four year term, and the state’s director of pipeline safety, Richard Wallace, has announced his retirement.

The Department of Public Utilities rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 remains open. It would establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification. Last activity: received comments through 9/5/2018.

New Jersey

S679, approved as public law on 01/31/2019 increases civil penalties for safety violations with respect to natural gas pipelines and distribution facilities and hazardous liquid underground pipeline and distribution facilities. Previously, a violator was subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persisted, with the civil penalty not exceeding $1,000,000 for any related series of violations. Under the new law, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $2,000,000 for any related series of violations.

Pennsylvania

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.

Washington, D.C.

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

Florida

The Public Service Commission has initiated a rulemaking to incorporate by reference the 2018 edition of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199 into its rules for Safety of Gas Transportation by Pipeline.

HB263/SB848 Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety: Changes number of days notice an excavator must provide to free-access notification system before beginning any excavation or demolition; creates underground facility damage prevention review panel; provides membership, term limits, & duties of review panel; specifies civil penalties which review panel may assess; provides review process through DOAH for infractions not resolved by review panel; provides penalty for person who removes or damages permanent underground facility markers; authorizes member operators to place permanent markers for certain purposes.
[In House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee 01/23/2019, in Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology committee 2/19/19]

Kentucky

SB129 would to clarify the definitions of “approximate location” and “normal excavation locate request” and define “positive response,” “unique identification number” or “locate request number,” “locator,” “locatable facility,” and “unlocatable facility”; require operators of underground facilities located in Kentucky to be members of the Kentucky Contact Center; establish a phase-in period for mandatory membership; waive the rights of nonmember operators of the Kentucky Contact Center for damage to their underground facilities after December 31, 2023; require operators to update the positive response system documenting the status of marking the approximate location of its underground facilities; require excavators to confirm status of locate request in the positive response system; eliminate the requirement that the member operators file their contact information with the county clerk where the operator has underground facilities; require the Kentucky Contact Center to maintain a list of members’ contact information and modify the members of the board of directors of the Kentucky Contact Center; establish certain bylaw requirements for the Kentucky Contact Center; require a financial audit report to the Legislative Research Commission and the Governor from the Kentucky Contact Center; require a membership and operations report to the Legislative Research Commission and the Governor from the Kentucky Contact Center; require notices and minutes of the Kentucky Contact Center to be posted on their Web site.
[second reading in Senate 2/21/2019]

Central Region Update

Illinois

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

  • to incorporate by reference 49 CFR Part 192 and Part 199 as well as portions of Part 191 that were in effect on July 1, 2018 to comply with the commission’s certification agreement with PHMSA.
  • to update report filing requirements to remove obsolete forms and include electronic submissions.

[Comment period has closed; awaiting final adoption.]

HB3507 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Includes, in the definition of “underground utility facilities”, wires, ducts, fiber optic cable, conduits, pipes, sewers, and cables and their appurtenances installed underground for information technology infrastructure, equipment, systems, software, networks, and processes used to create, send, receive, and store electronic or digital information, including computer systems, telecommunication services and systems, and future technologies.
[First reading; referred to Rules 2/15/2019]

SB1570 Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Specifies that a “Normal notice request” means a request for locates that provides no less than 48 hours, but no more than 14 calendar days, advance notice of a planned excavation or demolition. The request is only valid for 28 calendar days unless an extension is requested. Emergency requests will have a 2 hour wait time unless urgent action can be demonstrated by the operator, and expire in 4 days. Provides notice requirements for damaged, dislocated, and exposed underground utility facilities. Provides additional requirements for record of notice and the marking of underground utility facilities. Modifies Sections concerning liability, financial responsibility, negligence, and penalties for violating the provisions of the Act. Repeals a Section concerning preconstruction conferences. Defines, modifies, and repeals terms. Makes certain provisions apply to home rule municipalities with a population over 1,000,000.
[First reading; referred to Assignments 2/15/2019]

Iowa

The Iowa Utilities Board is engaged in the following rulemakings:

RMU-2016-0004 Review of Intrastate Gas and Underground Gas Storage Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 10

RMU-2016-0013 Review of Restoration of Agricultural Lands During and After Pipeline Construction Rules in 199 IAC Chapter 9

RMU-2016-0015 Review of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines and Underground Storage Rules 199 IAC Chapter 13

Status information on these dockets is available here.

HF432 would amend current law to require an environmental impact assessment under specified circumstances prior to the granting of a permit to construct, maintain, or operate a hazardous liquid pipeline, and including effective date provisions.
[Introduced, referred to Commerce. 2/19/2019]

Kansas

HB2178 would amend the Kansas underground utility damage prevention act; definitions (operator includes electricity service providers); exceptions to duty to mark location of facilities (required marking is restricted for electricity providers by their ownership)
[Introduced on 2/7/2019; passage recommended after amendment by Committee on Judiciary on 2/22/2019]

Michigan

The Public Service Commission adopted amendments to the Michigan Gas Safety Standards to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The amendments include two new rules: a master meter systems rule and a farm tap rule.
[Effective 1/3/2019.]

The 24th edition version of the Guide to the Michigan Gas Safety Standards (updated Jan. 2019) combines Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations (rules) with the 24th edition of the Michigan Standards (rules) to provide an easy-to-use reference for field or office. To order the current published edition of the Guide to the Michigan Gas Safety Standards at the State of Michigan’s cost, please call 517-284-8220 or email your request to MPSC-Operations@michigan.gov.

Missouri

The Missouri Public Service Commission has adopted amendments to its Gas Utilities and Gas Safety Standards rules, effective 1/30/2019:

Amending 4 CSR 240-40.020 Incident, Annual, and Safety-Related Condition Reporting Requirements to address the 2016 amendment of 49 CFR part 191, editorial changes.

Amending 4 CSR 240-40.030 Safety Standards – Transportation of Gas by Pipeline to address amendments of 49 CFR part 192 promulgated between January 2016 and September 2017 and editorial changes.

Amending 4 CSR 240-40.080 Drug and Alcohol Testing to address any amendments of 49 CFR parts 40 and 199 promulgated between October 2015 and September 2017.

Nebraska

LB462 would amend 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, create a dispute resolution board, and require utility locators to be licensed by the SFM.
[Introduced 1/18/19; hearing scheduled for 2/11/2019]

The State Fire Marshall terminated rulemaking proceedings concerning proposed amendments to its Regulations Pursuant to the Nebraska Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1969 and to its Requirements for Statewide One-Call Notification Center on 1/30/2019. The Hearing on these amendments was cancelled.

South Dakota

SB18 would double the South Dakota’s maximum civil penalty for some pipeline safety violations to $2 million.
[Passed Senate 1/22/2019; scheduled for hearing in the House 2/25/2019]

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

The Department of Natural Resources has amended its rules as required as a part of the  certification agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation to adopt existing federal regulations as state regulations. The new rules were effective in January.

New Mexico

The Public Regulation Commission issued an order adopting final amended rules for Excavation Damage Prevention on 12/19/2018, with new rules effective on publication in the state Register on 01/15/2019. The amendments clarify that the rule applies to all underground facilities, with the exemption of those preempted by federal law; implement or revise particular procedures, reporting requirements, and deadlines used to prevent damage to underground utilities; and address procedures to be taken when damage occurs during pipeline excavation activities.

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings are in progress:

The Gas And Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety rules (Chapter 20) are being amended [proposed rules revised 1/28/2019]:

  • 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) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019; effective on Register publication in March]:

  • 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).
[Recommended for passage after amendment by Senate Energy committee 2/21/2019; second reading and referred to Utilities committee in the House 2/5/2019]

Texas

The RRC has adopted amendments to its rules to permit comingling of production from separate reservoirs in certain circumstances.
[Effective 2/25/2019]

HB 226, (prefiled bill) would reduce the charge for violations of the Public Utility Regulatory Act or Gas Utility Regulatory Act to Class A misdemeanor from Felony of the Third Degree.
[Public hearing scheduled for 2/25/2019]

A group of bills related to gas pipeline safety were filed on 1/16/2019:

HB863/HB 864 add Pipeline Incident Notification and Reporting requirements for distribution gas pipelines; RRC to adopt new rules by 12/31/2019.

HB865 would require perpetual maintenance of records of pipeline incidents by RRC.

HB866 for gas distribution pipelines: prohibits installation of cast iron, wrought iron, bare steel pipe; requires operators to replace said pipe with plastic by 12/31/2020

HB867 / HB868 regarding leaks: Requires an operator of a distribution gas pipeline  to report leaks to RRC and to publish exact leak locations on their public internet site; RRC to adopt rules by 12/31/2019 // Require a distribution gas  pipeline facility operator to mail written notice of a leak not later than 72 hours after the leak is discovered to each customer whose billed property is located less than one-quarter mile from where the leak occurred.

Western Region Update

Arizona
The Corporation Commission issued a decision on 12/17/2018 adopting amendments to its Pipeline Safety Rules to update the rules with incorporations by reference to the most recent publication of federal safety requirements and update the address for AZ corporation commission for filing reports.
[Effective on publication in the state Administrative Register on 1/9/2019.]

California
The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, January 1, 2020 any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall use best available technology, including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife. By July 1, 2020, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone shall submit a plan to retrofit, by January 1, 2022, existing pipelines near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone with the best available technology including but not limited to, the installation of leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies, based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator, to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The proposed regulatory language:

  • Adds definitions to provide added clarity to essential elements, such as: automatic shutoff systems, coastal zone, near, oil, and pipeline
  • Describes how operators identify pipelines subject to or exempt from the proposed regulations
  • Explains risk analysis submission requirements and considerations
  • Provides deadlines and dates for deliverables
  • Prescribes reporting requirements following spills
  • Requires evaluation and documented justification for best available technologies; description of local environmental features, geography, hydrology, etc., spill trajectories and worst case discharges
  • Describes processes for confirming acceptable risk analyses, testing and training time frames and procedures

[Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. NOPR was issued 2/5/19]
The OSFM has adopted amendments that add to its regulations to prescribe fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The new regulation ensures that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[Effective 1/1/2019.]

SB169 his 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.
[Introduced 1/28/2019]
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.
[Introduced 2/21/2019]
AB1914 was signed by the Governor on 9/23/18 and effective 1/1/19. Beginning July 1, 2020, an excavator is authorized to use power-operated or boring equipment, as determined by the board, prior to determining the exact location of subsurface installations. It also requires the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board, on or before July 1, 2020, to adopt regulations to implement this provision.

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

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

Idaho
SB1010 description states: 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. This legislative proposal will exempt end users from the requirement to locate and mark service laterals. This legislative proposal will also require underground facility owners with the ability to locate and mark service laterals to do so.
SB1011 description states: Idaho Code section 55-2205(2) states, “If there are identified but unlocatable underground facilities, the owner of such facilities or the owner’s agent shall locate and mark the underground facilities in accordance with the best information available to the owner of the underground facilities and with reasonable accuracy as defined in section 55-2202(15), Idaho Code.” Idaho Code section 55-2202(9) defines an identified but unlocatable underground facility as “an underground facility which has been identified but cannot be located with reasonable accuracy.” By definition, an identified but unlocatable underground facility cannot be located with reasonable accuracy as required by Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). This legislative proposal will correct this discrepancy and require locatable underground facilities to be marked with reasonable accuracy, as was the initial intent of the statute. This legislative proposal will also revise Idaho Code section 55-2205(4) to align it with changes to Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). Idaho Code section 55-2208(5) requires that “[u]nderground facility owners and excavators who observe, suffer or cause damage to an underground facility or observe, suffer or cause excavator downtime . . . shall report such information to the board in accordance with the rules promulgated by the board.” This requirement may cause duplicative reporting of the same incident by both underground facility owners and excavators. 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. This legislative proposal will eliminate potential double reporting by requiring only underground facility owners to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators to report excavator downtime. Chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code, does not have definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” or “locator.” These are terms that need definition because they are or will be used in chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code; IDAPA 07.10.01; or both. This legislative proposal will add definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” and “locator” to Idaho Code section 55-2202. (Similar bill SB1073)
SB1036 description states: Under Idaho Code section 55-2211(1) the administrator of the Division of Building Safety (Division) recommends and the Damage Prevention Board (Board) imposes training or civil penalties for those who violate chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code. This process has proven to be inefficient for the alleged violator, complainant, and Division. This legislative proposal will give the administrator authority to impose training or civil penalties and the Board authority to hear appeals regarding training or civil penalties imposed.
These changes will streamline this process and align it with the process for other chapters administered by the Division. Idaho Code section 55-2211 provides authority for the Board to impose training or civil penalties and enhanced civil penalties for subsequent violations with facility damage. However, Idaho Code section 55-2211 does not allow passage of a certain amount of time to “reset” the violation record of a violator unless the violations involve facility damage. Further, Idaho Code section 55-2211 does not provide penalties for third, fourth, fifth, etc. violations without facility damage. This legislative proposal will address both of these issues.
Idaho Code section 55-2211(1) allows the Board to impose training for a first violation and civil penalties for further violations. However, Idaho Code section 55-2211(1) only allows an alleged violator to contest the imposition of civil penalties. Because the imposition of training potentially affects an alleged violator’s future liability under the statute, due process requires that alleged violators be given the ability to also contest the imposition of training. This legislative proposal will allow an alleged violator to contest both training and civil penalties.
The PUC has adopted (per legislative review) amendments to its Utility Safety and Accident Reporting Rules to adopt by reference several national safety codes applicable to electric, telephone, and natural gas utilities and federal safety regulations applicable to natural gas and pipeline utilities. Rule 101 adopts the 2017 Edition of the National Electric Safety Code (“NESC”).
[Effective PLR]

Montana
The Montana Department of Public Service Regulation has amended its pipeline safety rules to incorporate by reference the most recent versions of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193 and 199, effective 2/9/2019.

Nevada
The Public Utilities Commission has adopted amendments to its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments require an excavator to call emergency 911 services if the damage to the subsurface installation causes the release of certain gases or hazardous liquids. If an excavator provides such notice to emergency 911 services in relation to the release of a gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator is excused from providing notice to local public services agencies or providing additional notice to emergency 911 services if the release of the gas or hazardous liquid also presents an emergency.
Existing regulations require the excavator and the operator of a subsurface installation to submit a report in connection with an excavation or demolition that occurs on or after January 1, 2008, but before January 1, 2009. The adopted amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Filed with Secretary of State 12/19/18 and effective immediately]

Utah

HB0162 defines duties and liabilities between an operator and excavator in the damage of an underground utility facility; establishes required deadlines and procedures related to arbitration in the damage of an underground utility facility; makes changes to the membership of the Underground Facilities Damage Dispute Board.

Washington

HB 1006 relates to adopting new requirements for locating underground facilities, including positive response, minimum marking standards, adopting a new process for coordinating large projects, and requiring new and replacement facilities to be locatable.
[Recommended for passage after amendment by House Committee on Local Government 2/22/2019]

Wyoming

The Public Service Commission rules are being amended to adopt by reference current versions of codes and standards.
[Final rules filed with the Secretary of State 1/25/2019]

HB0152 would modify requirements for architectural and engineering plans that call for excavation and require the notification center to provide location information to persons preparing such plans; require operators to give notice to the notification center each 14 days for projects that exceed that time; require (with some exceptions) excavators to mark their proposed excavation boundaries prior to facility marking by operators; require an excavator to call 911 for contact with or damage to underground facilities; modify penalties; require monthly reports from the notification center to the Attorney General of any non-compliance complaints.
[Passed both Senate and House, to be sent to governor 2/19/2019]


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