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.

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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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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – December 2018

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for December 2018. Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update
Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Massachusetts
H5005 was signed by the Governor on 12/31/2018, effective immediately. It requires that professional engineers approve engineering plans developed by or on behalf of gas companies, and that those plans be filed and retained by the company for review by the Department of Public Utilities.
The Department of Public Utilities has received comments through 9/5/2018 in the rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 to establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
New Jersey
S679 increases civil penalties for safety violations with respect to natural gas pipelines and distribution facilities and hazardous liquid underground pipeline and distribution facilities. Under current law, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $1,000,000 for any related series of violations. Under the bill, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $2,000,000 for any related series of violations.
[Passed both houses 12/17/18]
New York
SB6756 signed by the Governor 11/5/2018, requires all excavators of underground facilities contracted either by local governments or facility operators to complete the training and education program provided by the one-call system. In the event of damage to an underground facility, the excavator must notify both the operator of the facility and the fire department.
[Effective May 4, 2019]
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.

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.]
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.
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.]
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.

Southwest Region Update

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 in January. 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 [first notice of proposed rulemaking 12/20/2018]:
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 [revised notice of proposed rulemaking 12/13/2018]:
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.
Texas
The RRC has proposed amendments to its rules to permit comingling of production from separate reservoirs in certain circumstances.
[Proposed 11/13/18; comments were due by 1/2/19]
HB 226, pre-filed for the upcoming legislature, 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.

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 incorporation 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.]
California
AB1914 was signed by the Governor on 9/23/18 and effective 1/1/19. This bill, beginning July 1, 2020, authorizes an excavator to use power-operated or boring equipment, as determined by the board, prior to determining the exact location of subsurface installations, and requires the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board, on or before July 1, 2020, to adopt regulations to implement this provision.
The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone would be required to submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were revised on 9/7/2018.]
The OSFM is also proposing to amend its regulations for fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The proposed regulation would ensure that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[No public hearing scheduled; written comments were due by 8/6/2018.]
Colorado
The DRA/PUC has published its regulatory agenda for 2019, with the following rule changes to be considered in May:

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

Idaho
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 3/22/2019 PLR]
Montana
In the 12/7/2018 Administrative Register, the Montana Department of Public Service Regulation proposed to amend its pipeline safety rules to incorporate by reference the most recent versions of 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193 and 199. No public hearing is anticipated, and final adoption is expected 1/14/2019.
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]
Oregon
The Oregon Utility Notification Center rules were amended, effective 1/1/2019. The changes to the rules include:

  1. Definitions: clarifying definition of business day, adding a definition for “ticket life” to establish that a locate ticket is valid for 45 days and adding a definition and graphic for “tolerance zone” relating to the area surrounding the outside dimensions of an underground facility.
  2.  Notices: extend the time for an excavator to give notice to the Oregon Utility Notification Center before beginning an excavation from 48 hours to two full business (not calendar) days.
  3. Marking: clarifying within what area locatable facilities must be marked; adding an exception to the two full business day rule when a documented agreement exists between the operator and the excavator for scheduled marking exceeding the required two full business days; updating the identifying marking color information to be consistent with the APWA; add a provision about contacting the Oregon Utility Notification Center to mark again ongoing excavations exceeding the 45-day ticket life;
  4. Locating: addition of language to address large project design locates
  5. Excavation damage prevention: adding a clarifying provision about horizontal directional drilling visual monitoring of the drill head and back reamer within the tolerance zone; clarifying where hand tools and non-invasive methods must be used to excavate; adding language that falls within federal guidelines for compliance when there is damage to any natural gas or other hazardous liquid pipeline

Washington
HB 1006 has been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session. This bill 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.
Wyoming
The Public Service Commission rules are being amended to adopt by reference current versions of codes and standards.
[Proposed rules filed 12/3/2018]


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – October/November 2018

Here are the state pipeline safety legislative updates for October/November 2018. Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Massachusetts
The Department of Public Utilities continues to receive comments in the rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 to establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Comments are still being received.]

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

Washington, D.C.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 8/11/2017 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties. A second notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 3/9/2018, but the amendments have not been published.

Southern Region Update

Georgia
The Public Service Commission has amended its Marketer rules with final rules filed on 9/14.

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.]

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

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.

Michigan
The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (see 2016-057) to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The proposed amendments include two new rules: a master meter systems rule and a farm tap rule.
[Rules filed with JCAR 8/27/2018.]

Missouri
The Missouri Public Service Commission is engaged in the following rulemakings detailed in its July 16th register:

  • Amend 4 CSR 240-40.020 Incident, Annual, and Safety-Related Condition Reporting Requirements to address the 2016 amendment of 49 CFR part 191, editorial changes.
  • Amend 4 CSR 240-40.030 Safety Standards – Transportation of Gas by Pipeline to address amendments of 49 CFR part 192 promulgated between January 2016 and September 2017 and editorial changes.
  • Amend 4 CSR 240-40.080 Drug and Alcohol Testing to address any amendments of 49 CFR parts 40 and 199 promulgated between October 2015 and September 2017.

[Comments on all were due by 8/15/2018.]

Southwest Region Update

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

Oklahoma
SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and became effective November 1, 2018. It changes the definition of an underground facility to include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.

Texas
The RRC has proposed amendments to its rules to permit comingling of production from separate reservoirs in certain circumstances.
[Proposed 11/13/18; comments due by 1/2/19]

Western Region Update

California
The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone would be required to submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were revised on 9/7/2018.]

The OSFM is also proposing to amend its regulations for fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The proposed regulation would ensure that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[No public hearing scheduled; written comments were due by 8/6/2018.]

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

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

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

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

Nevada
The Public Utilities Commission has adopted proposed amendments to its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments require an excavator to call emergency 911 services if the damage to the subsurface installation causes the release of certain gases or hazardous liquids. If an excavator provides such notice to emergency 911 services in relation to the release of a gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator is excused from providing notice to local public services agencies or providing additional notice to emergency 911 services if the release of the gas or hazardous liquid also presents an emergency.
Existing regulations require the excavator and the operator of a subsurface installation to submit a report in connection with an excavation or demolition that occurs on or after January 1, 2008, but before January 1, 2009. The adopted amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Adopted by the Commission on 10/8/18; effective after legislative review]


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – September 2018

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates through September 17, 2018. Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Delaware

SB 189 was signed by the Governor. This bill updates Title 26, Chapter 8 by ensuring notification of excavation damage to the appropriate State agencies for potential penalties or other enforcement proceedings. It provides that either the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission may enforce penalties appropriate for the circumstances and gravity of the violation.
[Signed 8/29/18, effective immediately.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities continues to receive comments in the rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 to establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Comments are still being received.]

New York

Rulemaking was initiated on June 28, 2017 by the NY State Department of Public Service to amend their rules of procedure and gas utilities laws to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192.
[Adopted 9/17/2018; effective on publication in State Register.]

Rhode Island

The RIDPUC has completed codification of its rules with amendments that include new language to meet the Administrative Procedures Act for incorporation by reference under 815-RICR-20-00-1.
[Effective 6/25/2018]

Washington, D.C.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 8/11/2017 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties. A second notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 3/9/2018, but the amendments have not been published.

Southern Region Update

Georgia

The Public Service Commission has adopted rules proposed under five dockets. These include revisions of the rules for:

  • Residential Gas Utility Service Disconnections (eff. 9/13/2018)
  • Marketer’s Certificate of Authority (eff. 7/8/2018)
  • Natural Gas Marketer Billing Practices (eff. 7/8/2018)
  • Service Quality Standards for Certificated Marketers and Regulated Providers (eff. 8/12/2018)
  • Natural Gas Marketers’ Term of Service (eff. 7/8/2018)

Kentucky

The Public Service Commission filed significant amendments for the following rules with the Legislative Research Council on 11/27/2017. These amendments were adopted and became effective on 8/6/2018.

807 KAR 5:022 – General rules for gas utilities – complete re-write and reorganization that eliminates redundancy and clarifies service requirements for natural gas utilities.

807 KAR 5:026 – Gathering lines – changes the engineering specifications of piping to conform with current industry standards.

Central Region Update

Illinois

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

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

Comments will be accepted for 45 days.

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.

Michigan

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (see 2016-057) to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The proposed amendments include two new rules: a master meter systems rule and a farm tap rule.
[Rules filed with JCAR 8/27/2018.]

Missouri

The Missouri Public Service Commission is engaged in the following rulemakings detailed in its July 16th register:

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

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

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

Comments on all were due by 8/15/2018.

Minnesota

The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on 8/20/2018 regarding EFV’s and curb valves. The order requires that natural gas utilities notify customers that excess flow valves (EFVs) and curb valves are available at no cost, and that EFVs are maintained at no charge. The utilities are required to report the status of EFV, curb valve and manual shut-off valves installations for their service territories, and provide a timeline for remaining installations. The order also requires that utilities identify schools, hospitals, and multi-unit residential and nursing facilities in their territories and develop plans to discuss installations of EFVs and manual service line shutoff valves for those that do not yet have them installed.

South Dakota

HB1024 establishing the Statewide One-Call Notification Board signed was by the Governor in February will become effective on 7/1/2019. It requires all operators to become members of the one-call notification center and submit the locations of their underground facilities to the center.

Southwest Region Update

Oklahoma

The State Corporation Commission adopted amendments to its rules for Gas & Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety to amend the dates for federal regulations adopted by reference. The rules were effective 9/11/2017. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published on 12/28/2017 to update these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act, and the rules will become effective 10/1/2018.

SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and becomes effective November 1, 2018. It changes the definition of an underground facility to include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.

Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas has amended its Oil and Gas division rules to amend pipeline fees and registration/renewal procedures pursuant to HB1818 (2017). It has withdrawn its proposal to amend the rules outlining testing requirements for oil wells.

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone would be required to submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were revised on 9/7/2018, and include modified dates.]

The OSFM is also proposing to amend its regulations for fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The proposed regulation would ensure that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[No public hearing scheduled; written comments were due by 8/6/2018.]

Nevada

The Public Utilities Commission is proposing to amend its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments would require an excavator to call emergency 911 services if the damage to the subsurface installation causes the release of certain gases or hazardous liquids. If an excavator provides such notice to emergency 911 services in relation to the release of a gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator is excused from providing notice to local public services agencies or providing additional notice to emergency 911 services if the release of the gas or hazardous liquid also presents an emergency.
Existing regulations require the excavator and the operator of a subsurface installation to submit a report in connection with an excavation or demolition that occurs on or after January 1, 2008, but before January 1, 2009. The proposed amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Proposed 7/9/2018; workshop 8/20/2018; hearing 9/4/2018]

Oregon

The Public Utility Commission adopted a new rule that requires each energy utility to file a quarterly report detailing the number of residential service disconnections for non-payment. [Eff. 6/20/2018]


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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

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates as of August 7, 2018. Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Delaware

SB 189 includes the following summary: The U.S. Department of Transportation has recently found Delaware to be non-compliant with enforcement of underground excavation violations. This jeopardizes federal funding for the Commissions pipeline safety program. Two principal reasons for this have been the lack of notification to State agencies and the lack of enforcement when damage is known. This bill updates Title 26, Chapter 8 by ensuring notification of excavation damage to the appropriate State agencies for potential penalties or other enforcement proceedings. It provides that either the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission may enforce penalties appropriate for the circumstances and gravity of the violation.
[7/1/2018 Ready for Governor action.]

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities continues to receive comments in the rulemaking contained in Docket 16-31 to establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Hearing was held on 10/25/2017.]

New Jersey

S679 / A2614 (previously S2673 / A4127) was reintroduced on 1/9/2018 to increase civil penalties for safety violations with respect to natural gas pipelines and distribution facilities and hazardous liquid underground pipeline and distribution facilities. Under current law, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $1,000,000 for any related series of violations. Under the bill, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $2,000,000 for any related series of violations.
[11/21/2016: Passed unanimously by the Assembly; 12/5/2016 received in Senate, to Economic Growth Committee; 1/9/2018 Introduced in Senate, referred to Economic Growth Committee; 2/1/2018 Introduced in Assembly, referred to Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.]

A1471 / S668 (previously A250 / S1135) both introduced at the beginning of 2016 and reintroduced in 2018 would require public utilities and pipeline operators to reimburse a municipality for costs it incurs in providing emergency services to respond to any emergency involving a pipeline.
[1/9/2018: Introduced in Assembly, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee; Introduced in Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee.]

New York

Rulemaking was initiated on June 28, 2017 by the NY State Department of Public Service to amend their rules of procedure and gas utilities laws to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192.

Pennsylvania

SB 930 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes for service and facilities to provide for pipeline emergency management information.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]

SB 931 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes to require automatic or remote control shutoff valves on all new gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, and requires testing at specific intervals.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]

Virginia

Rulemaking to revise the requirements for trenchless excavation was adopted. The Rule (1) provides for greater flexibility when conducting trenchless excavation that crosses gravity fed sewer mains and combination storm/sanitary sewer system utility lines; and (2) enhances the safety and efficiency of conducting such excavations. According to the Petitioner, the new rule recognizes that technology developed since the Commission’s adoption of Rule 150 allows for safe trenchless excavation practices when crossing such utility lines without exposing them by hand digging.
[7/9/2018: Rule adopted.]

Washington, D.C.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 8/11/2017 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties. A second notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 3/9/2018.

Southern Region Update

Kentucky

SB104 signed by the Governor on April 2 and effective July 14, amends the Public Service Commission Utilities law to ensure state penalties for violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act conform with federal penalties; amends the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994 to require underground facility operators to report to the commission excavation damage to an underground facility used in the transportation of gas or hazardous liquid and authorizes the commission to enforce and assess civil penalties for those damages.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will now pursue enforcement actions against excavators who violate Kentucky’s call before-you-dig law and damage natural gas or hazardous liquid lines. The PSC will be able to impose financial penalties if violations are uncovered.

The Public Service Commission filed significant amendments for the following rules with the Legislative Research Council on 11/27/2017:

807 KAR 5:022 – General rules for gas utilities – eliminates redundancy and clarifies service requirements for natural gas utilities. [Rulemaking amended after comments; hearing on May 29; comments were due by May 31.]

807 KAR 5:026 – Gathering lines – changes the engineering specifications of piping to conform with current industry standards. [Rulemaking amended after comments.]

Tennessee

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has changed its name to the Tennessee Public Utilities Commission. This change has been updated in both the Tennessee Code and in the agency’s rules.

SB 1812 / HB 1791 signed by the Governor on 4/12/2018 amends the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act to authorize the underground utility damage enforcement board to establish rules for best practices for uniform color code and marking. Marking methods established pursuant to the rules will be the sole method of marking underground facilities in Tennessee.  Operators who have failed to become members of the one-call service by January 1, 2018 are in violation of the amended rule and a $5,000 penalty will be imposed for that violation.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Iowa Utilites Board is engaged in the following rulemakings:

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

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

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

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Michigan

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (see 2016-057) to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The proposed amendments may also make minor changes to Michigan rules so that the language in these rules conforms more closely to the federal rules.
[Request for rulemaking approved by ORR 9/15/2016; draft rule approved by ORR 1/2/2018; regulatory impact statement filed 1/12/2018; public hearing held 3/29/2018.]

Missouri

The Missouri Public Service Commission is engaged in the following rulemakings detailed in its July 16th register:

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

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

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

Comments on all are due by 8/15/2018.

North Dakota

The Public Service Commission has amended its rules to adopt by reference 49 CFR Part 193 in addition to Parts 190, 191, 192, 194, 195 and 199, in effect as of Dec 31 2017.

South Dakota

A bill signed by the Governor will become effective on 7/1/2019:

HB1024 establishes the Statewide One-Call Notification Board to provide a service through which a person can notify the operators of underground facilities of plans to excavate and to request the marking of the facilities. It requires all operators to become members of the one-call notification center and submit the locations of their underground facilities to the center.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation has amended its rules for Natural Gas Policy and Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline as required as a part of the Department of Natural Resources certification agreement with the US Department of Transportation. The rule changes are significant, and include new requirements for Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities, as well as changes to documents that are incorporated by reference, excess flow valve (EFV) rule, manual service line shut-off valves rule, pressure regulating / over pressure protection requirements, National Pipeline Mapping System requirements for Hazardous Liquid operators, enhanced rules for inspection of break out tanks, and additional requirements for direct assessment for Hazardous Liquid operators.
[Effective on promulgation – June 2018.]

Oklahoma

The State Corporation Commission adopted amendments to its rules for Gas & Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety to amend the dates for federal regulations adopted by reference. The rules were effective 9/11/2017. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published for these same rules on 12/28/2017 to update these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act, and the rules were adopted by the commission on 2/20/2018, and sent for approval from the legislature on 3/2/2018.

SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and becomes effective November 1, 2018. It changes the definition of an underground facility to include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.

Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas has amended its Oil and Gas division rules to amend pipeline fees and registration/renewal procedures pursuant to HB1818 (2017). It has withdrawn its proposal to amend the rules outlining testing requirements for oil wells.

Western Region Update

California

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone would be required to submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were last revised on 4/17/17.]

The OSFM is also proposing to amend its regulations for fees charged to operators who are required to be members of the regional notification centers. The proposed regulation would ensure that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board has sufficient funding for its operational expenses and to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it.
[No public hearing scheduled; written comments due by 8/6/2018.]

Colorado

SB 167 was signed by the Governor on 5/25/2018, and will become effective 8/08/2018. It increses enforcement of requirements related to the location of underground facilities. In 2016 PHMSA conducted an adequacy evaluation of Colorado’s enforcement of its excavation damage prevention law and determined that the enforcement is inadequate. The bill creates the underground damage prevention safety commission (commission). The commission has rule-making and enforcement authority regarding specified portions of the excavation damage prevention law. Effective January 1, 2021, all underground facility owners and operators are full members of the notification association with full benefits, and excavators will no longer need to contact the owners or operators to arrange for the marking. All new underground facilities installed on or after January 1, 2020, must be electronically locatable when installed.

Nevada

The Public Utilities Commission is proposing to amend its regulations regarding Nevada’s One Call Law. The amendments would require an excavator to call emergency 911 services if the damage to the subsurface installation causes the release of certain gases or hazardous liquids. If an excavator provides such notice to emergency 911 services in relation to the release of a gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator is excused from providing notice to local public services agencies or providing additional notice to emergency 911 services if the release of the gas or hazardous liquid also presents an emergency.
Existing regulations require the excavator and the operator of a subsurface installation to submit a report in connection with an excavation or demolition that occurs on or after January 1, 2008, but before January 1, 2009. The proposed amendments eliminate this reporting requirement because it no longer applies to any excavation or demolition.
[Initiated 5/24/2018; comments due 6/6/2018; workshop 6/11/2018]


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – May 2018

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for May 2018. Click on a region below to see details.

Eastern Region Update  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Southern Region Update  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Central Region Update  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Southwest Region Update  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Western Region Update  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Eastern Region Update

Delaware

SB 189 introduced on April 30 includes the following summary: The U.S. Department of Transportation has recently found Delaware to be non-compliant with enforcement of underground excavation violations. This jeopardizes federal funding for the Commissions pipeline safety program. Two principal reasons for this have been the lack of notification to State agencies and the lack of enforcement when damage is known. This bill updates Title 26, Chapter 8 by ensuring notification of excavation damage to the appropriate State agencies for potential penalties or other enforcement proceedings. It provides that either the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission may enforce penalties appropriate for the circumstances and gravity of the violation.

Massachusetts

The Department of Public Utilities is engaged in the following rulemaking:

Docket 16-31 will establish requirements for Uniform Natural Gas Leaks Classification.
[Reply comments have been received through 11/7/2017 and hearing was held on 10/25/2017; request for additional comments issued 5/18/2018.]

Three bills would impact the Dig Safe laws:

H3388 would clarify marking standards, and types of excavation exempt from marking requirements. Violators could be required to attend Dig Safe training. [3/29/2018 in the House Ways and Means committee]

S1838 would require a survey by the gas company prior to an excavation project, and verification that gate valves are installed for all shutoff valves in the area are closed before beginning excavation, and that the valves are cleared and accessible. [10/26/2017 Hearing]

H1813 would require land surveyors on construction projects to premark subsurface utilities. Violators could be required to attend Dig Safe training. [4/17/2018 accompanied a new draft H4420]

New Hampshire

NHDOT has posted the latest version (dated October 2017, modified per 2016 HB 626) of their Utility Accommodation Manual on their website.

 New Jersey

S679 / A2614 (previously S2673 / A4127) was reintroduced on 1/9/2018 to increase civil penalties for safety violations with respect to natural gas pipelines and distribution facilities and hazardous liquid underground pipeline and distribution facilities. Under current law, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $1,000,000 for any related series of violations. Under the bill, a violator is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200,000 for each violation for each day that the violation persists, with the civil penalty not exceeding $2,000,000 for any related series of violations.
[11/21/2016: Passed unanimously by the Assembly; 12/5/2016 received in Senate, to Economic Growth Committee; 1/9/2018 Introduced in Senate, referred to Economic Growth Committee; 2/1/2018 Introduced in Assembly, referred to Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.]

A1471 / S668 (previously A250 / S1135) both introduced at the beginning of 2016 and reintroduced in 2018 would require public utilities and pipeline operators to reimburse a municipality for costs it incurs in providing emergency services to respond to any emergency involving a pipeline.
[1/9/2018: Introduced in Assembly, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee; Introduced in Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee.]

New York

Rulemaking was initiated on June 28, 2017 by the NY State Department of Public Service to amend their rules of procedure and gas utilities laws to ensure conformance with 49 CFR Part 192.

The following bills are going through the legislative process:

S3743 / S6756 / A9985 – Would require all excavators to complete the training and education program provided by the one-call system.
[5/7/2018: S373 in Senate Consumer Protection committee; S6756 and A9985 in Assembly Ways and Means committee.]

A00467 / S04264 establishes a uniform leak classification system and would require classification of reported leaks.
[4/18/2018: A00467 delivered to Senate; 1/17/2018: S04264 amended and recommitted to Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A00656 would require gas corporations to file a plan with the public service commission addressing aging or leaking pipelines within their service territory and outlining plans for the replacement of such pipelines.
[1/3/2018: in Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee.]

A00661 / S00066 / S02186 would require liquid petroleum pipeline facilities to accelerate the repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of equipment or pipelines that are leaking or at a high-risk of leaking.
[1/3/2018: In Assembly Energy committee; in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A00917 Changes the description of fuel gas transmission line that requires reporting to include transmission lines of any pressure used to transport fuel gas. Currently, low pressure transmission lines (lines with pressures of 124 pounds per square inch (psi) or less) are not regulated, inspected, or mapped in any systematic way.
[1/17/2018: Passed Assembly; to Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

A01016 would amend the definition of “excavation” to require excavators to request mark outs for excavations of greater than 6″ depth using hand tools; operators would be required to mark all facilities they operate, whether or not they installed them.
[1/3/2018: in Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee.]

S04715 would require gas corporations to submit annual reports that include an explanation of methods used to establish replacement priorities, its operating and maintenance activities related to gas safety and a list of completed replacement projects.
[1/3/2018: in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

S05930 would amend the definition of excavation to include additional activities.
[1/3/2018: in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee.]

Pennsylvania

SB 930 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes for service and facilities to provide for pipeline emergency management information.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]

SB 931 adds a subchapter to the Public Utilities statutes to require automatic or remote control shutoff valves on all new gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, and requires testing at specific intervals.
[4/24/2018: First consideration in the Senate.]

Virginia

Rulemaking is underway based on a petition of Columbia Gas of Virginia, Inc., to revise the requirements for trenchless excavation. The proposed Rule would (1) provide for greater flexibility when conducting trenchless excavation that crosses gravity fed sewer mains and combination storm/sanitary sewer system utility lines; and (2) enhance the safety and efficiency of conducting such excavations. According to the Petitioner, the Proposed Rule recognizes that technology developed since the Commission’s adoption of Rule 150 allows for safe trenchless excavation practices when crossing such utility lines without exposing them by hand digging.
[2/8/2018: Case established with a public comment deadline of 5/17/208.]

Washington, D.C.

Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was added to WinDOT. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to this chapter was filed on 8/11/2017 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties. A second notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 3/9/2018.

Southern Region Update

Georgia

Rulemaking dockets were opened on 9/6/2017 to amend the PSC’s gas rules. The proposed rules were revised for several of these dockets in March after the comment period.

Kentucky

SB104 signed by the Governor on April 2 and effective July 14, amends the Public Service Commission Utilities law to ensure state penalties for violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act conform with federal penalties; amends the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994 to require underground facility operators to report to the commission excavation damage to an underground facility used in the transportation of gas or hazardous liquid and authorizes the commission to enforce and assess civil penalties for those damages.

The Public Service Commission filed amendments for the following rules with the Legislative Research Council on 11/27/2017. A public hearing was held on 1/24/2018, and written comments were accepted through 1/31/2018.

807 KAR 5:022 – General rules for gas utilities – eliminates redundancy and clarifies service requirements for natural gas utilities. [Pending.]

807 KAR 5:026 – Gathering lines – changes the engineering specifications of piping to conform with current industry standards. [Pending.]

807 KAR 5:027 – Gas pipeline safety, reports of leaks, and drug testing by operators of natural gas facilities – eliminates redundant and unnecessary state regulations that essentially mirror the federal standards. [Effective 3/12/2018.]

807 KAR 5:081 – repeals per the Governor’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative. 807 KAR 5:023 was repealed in order to incorporate the federal requirement for drug testing of employees of operators of natural gas facilities found in 49 C.F.R. into 807 KAR 5:027. 807 KAR 5:031 was repealed due to the enactment of the Natural Gas Wellhead Decontrol Act of 1989, which eliminated the need for gas well determinations. [Effective 3/12/2018.]

South Carolina

S 0774 would amend the South Carolina Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act to repeal sections that require a notice of intent to excavate or demolish.
[1/9/2018: Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary.]

Tennessee

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has changed its name to the Tennessee Public Utilities Commission. This change has been updated in both the Tennessee Code and in the agency’s rules.

SB 1812 / HB 1791 signed by the Governor on 4/12/2018 amends the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act to authorize the underground utility damage enforcement board to establish rules for best practices for uniform color code and marking; declare it a violation if operators fail to become members of the one-call service by January 1, 2018 and imposes a $5,000 penalty for that violation.

Central Region Update

Iowa

The Iowa Utilites Board is engaged in the following rulemakings:

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

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

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

Status information on these dockets is available here.

Indiana

SB0125 was signed by the Governor on 3/15/2018. This new law adds a new section to the Indiana Code in Title 8, Chapter 26 Damage to Underground Facilities. Provides that a person may not excavate real property or demolish a structure served by an underground utility facility without first being authorized to do business in Indiana. Provides that in an entity filing required or permitted under the Uniform Business Organizations Administrative Provisions Act, a person that seeks to excavate real property or demolish a structure served by an underground utility facility in Indiana must include a signed statement that the person will comply with the Indiana statute concerning underground utility facilities. Provides that before commencing such an excavation or demolition, a communications service provider shall serve notice on the executive of each municipality and county in which any part of the excavation or demolition will be performed. Provides that the required notice must be received by each municipal or county executive at least 10 full working days before the commencement of the excavation or demolition and must: (1) include documentation that all employees or contractors who will perform the excavation or demolition have received training on excavation industry best practices and on the requirements of the Indiana statute concerning underground utility facilities; (2) include documentation that all contractors who will perform the excavation or demolition are authorized to do business in Indiana; and (3) be signed by or on behalf of a person authorized to sign the notice.
[Effective July 1, 2018]

Michigan

The Public Service Commission has proposed amendments (see 2016-057) to adopt by reference current federal regulations governing gas safety along with updating certain other technical standards contained in the rules. The proposed amendments may also make minor changes to Michigan rules so that the language in these rules conforms more closely to the federal rules.
[Request for rulemaking approved by ORR 9/15/2016; draft rule approved by ORR 1/2/2018; regulatory impact statement filed 1/12/2018; public hearing held 3/29/2018.]

Missouri

SB0816 would increase civil penalty for damage to underground facilities from $10,000 to $50,000.
[3/29/2018: Voted Do Pass in the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee.]

South Dakota

Two bills were signed by the Governor, with new laws effective on 7/1/2018:

HB1023 amends the state law to remove the exemption of rural gathering facilities (as defined by 49 C.F.R. 192.8) from enforcement under the state pipeline safety regulations.

HB1159 requires an excavator to immediately call 911 if damage occurs during an excavation that results in the escape of flammable, toxic or corrosive gas or liquid.

One additional bill signed by the Governor will become effective on 7/1/2019:

HB1024 establishes the Statewide One-Call Notification Board to provide a service through which a person can notify the operators of underground facilities of plans to excavate and to request the marking of the facilities. It requires all operators to become members of the one-call notification center and submit the locations of their underground facilities to the center.

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

In February, the Louisiana Office of Conservation proposed to amend its Natural Gas Policy rules as required as a part of the Department of Natural Resources certification agreement with the US Department of Transportation. The proposed rule changes include additional requirements for direct assessment for Hazardous Liquid operators, excess flow valve (EFV) requirements, manual service line shut-off valve requirements, pressure regulating / over pressure protection changes, and enhanced rules for inspection of break out tanks.
[2/10/2018: Notice of Intent filed; comments due 4/4/2018.]

Oklahoma

The State Corporation Commission adopted amendments to its rules for Gas & Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety to amend the dates for federal regulations adopted by reference. The rules were effective 9/11/2017. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published for these same rules on 12/28/2017 to update these same references and other references to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act, and the rules were adopted by the commission on 2/20/2018, and sent for approval from the legislature on 3/2/2018.

SB997 / HB 3407 was signed by the Governor on April 26, 2018 and becomes effective November 1, 2018. It changes the definition of an underground facility to include intrastate and interstate gas and hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide pipelines as defined in 49 CFR 192.1 and 195.1.

Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas has proposed to amend its Oil and Gas division rules to amend pipeline fees and registration/renewal procedures pursuant to HB1818 (2017). Public comments are accepted through 5/7/2018. It is also proposing to amend the rules outlining testing requirements for oil wells.

Western Region Update

California

In 2015, the CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking to adopt rules and procedures governing commission-regulated natural gas pipelines and facilities to reduce natural gas leakage consistent with SB 1371 (see the original scoping memo).
[Decision D1706015 approved the program at its current stage, as well as changes to General Order 112F and extended the statutory deadline. A new scoping memo was issued on 9/20/17 to determine data requirements, how to integrate best practices and annual reporting requirements with federal and other state requirements, how to incorporate requirements into General Order 112-F, and ratemaking treatment. A proposed decision on Phase 2 is expected in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

The OSFM’s ongoing rulemaking to develop the regulations as required by AB 864 (2015). The legislation requires, by January 1, 2018, any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
Furthermore, by July 1, 2018, an operator of an existing pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone would be required to submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline by January 1, 2020, with the best available technology. Best available technology includes, but is not limited to, installation of leak detection technologies, automatic shutoff systems, or remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these technologies based on a risk analysis conducted by the operator to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.
The OSFM determined that it would not formulate new rules by the July 1, 2017 adoption date, and continues working to adopt regulations as expeditiously as possible.
[Draft regulations were last revised on 4/17/17.]

Colorado

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has adopted new flowline rules which became effective May 1, 2018.
The adopted rules include clarification of definitions; requirements for registering new and existing flowlines and domestic taps with UNCC (Utility Notification Center of Colorado – Colorado’s “one-call” program); provisions for confidential sharing of flowline location data with local government agencies; training requirements for flowline installers and inspectors; repair and maintenance (including records) requirements; required Tier One operator participation in UNCC; isolation and check valve installation requirements; integrity management and testing requirements; and rules for abandonment.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is finalizing a rulemaking to amend its Gas Rules. The rules have been filed with the Secretary of State for publication, and become effective on June 30, 2018.

SB 167 would increased enforcement of requirements related to the location of underground facilities. In 2016 PHMSA conducted an adequacy evaluation of Colorado’s enforcement of its excavation damage prevention law and determined that the enforcement is inadequate. The bill creates the underground damage prevention safety commission (commission). The commission has rule-making and enforcement authority regarding specified portions of the excavation damage prevention law. Effective January 1, 2021, all underground facility owners and operators are full members of the notification association with full benefits, and excavators will no longer need to contact the owners or operators to arrange for the marking. All new underground facilities installed on or after January 1, 2020, must be electronically locatable when installed. The bill has been sent to the Governor for signature, and will become effective August 8, 2018.


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