PHMSA Issues Stay of Enforcement for API 5L Requirements

On May 1, 2019, PHMSA issued the attached notice which stays the requirements of API Spec 5L, 45th edition, provided that API Spec 5L, 46th edition is used in its place.

In an introduction, John A. Gale, Director of the PHMSA Office of Standards and Rulemaking, provided this information:

BACKGROUND

The federal pipeline safety regulations incorporate by reference numerous standards relating to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in parts 192 and 195.  PHMSA currently incorporates by reference the 45th edition of API Specification 5L “Specification for Line Pipe” in parts 192 and 195.  API Spec 5L is the primary manufacturing specification for seamless and welded steel pipe for use in both gas and hazardous liquid pipeline transportation systems.  The specification includes requirements for pipe material, manufacturing, quality control and testing, inspection, and pipe marking.

API has recently issued a new edition of this standard:  API Specification 5L, “Specification for Line Pipe,” 46th edition (April 2018, effective May 1, 2019).  This new edition includes slightly more stringent pipe end-straightness tolerance requirements and clarifications on how to define and measure end-squareness.  After the May 1, 2019, the effective date of the 46th edition, API will require pipeline manufacturers with a license to use the API Monogram to manufacture and certify the line pipe to the 46th edition as part of their license with API.  PHMSA neither requires nor endorses the API Monogram, however, some manufacturers and operators find the API certification beneficial.

PHMSA has reviewed the 46th edition and determined that it provides a higher level of safety compared with the 45th edition currently incorporated by reference. PHMSA therefore intends to incorporate by reference API Spec 5L, 46th edition in a future rulemaking.

A stay of enforcement is necessary to allow API licensed manufacturers to utilize the new standard before the May 1, 2019, effective date of the 46th edition.


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Federal Legislation Drafted in Response to Merrimack Valley, MA Gas Pipeline Explosions

Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts will introduce federal legislation to increase gas pipeline safety, in response to an incident that caused explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley last fall. (View bill S. 1097)

Proposed changes to U.S.C. Title 49 would mandate updates to the pipeline safety rules to:

  • include risk evaluation in distribution integrity management programs (DIMP) and written communication procedures in emergency response plans;
  • update PHMSA’s annual State Programs Evaluation to ensure that states have adequate resources to review plans and perform inspections;
  • require written O&M procedures for responding to overpressure alarms and the management of change process;
  • require that every distribution pipeline operator develop and implement a pipeline safety management framework
  • include new rules for recordkeeping requirements for distribution operators;
  • require that covered tasks are first approved by a professional engineer and that qualified employees monitor gas pressure while they are being performed;
  • require upgrades to district regulator stations.

The bill also includes significantly stiffer penalties for safety violations. Currently, the U.S. Department of Transportation can fine a company $200,000 per day, up to a total of $2 million; Markey and Trahan propose raising those penalties to $20 million and $200 million, respectively.

The bill is named in honor of Leonel Rondon, the Lawrence, Massachusetts teen who died in the September disaster involving a Columbia Gas pipeline.


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State Pipeline Safety Regulation Updates – March 2019

Here are pipeline safety legislative updates for March 2019. Click on a region below to see details.

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

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

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

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

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

Eastern Region Update

Connecticut

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

Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional bills that address improving excavation safety were also introduced recently.

DPU leadership changes:

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

Pennsylvania

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

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

SB258 would require utilities to meet with local emergency management organizations twice per year, and outlines the information that operators would be required to transmit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rhode Island

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

Washington, D.C.

City Council bill B23-0117, introduced 2/4/2019 and now in the Committee on Business and Economic Development, would broaden enforcement authority of underground facilities, such as gas and power lines to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs administratively. Currently, enforcement authority is limited to the District of Columbia Superior Court. This bill also:

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

A third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with amendments to Chapter 15-37 DCMR Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards was filed on 11/30/2018 to modify reporting requirements for gas outages and incidents; reporting and repairing requirements for gas leaks and odor complaints; reporting and responding requirements for gas emergencies; customer service standards and surveys; reliability standards; and compliance reporting. The amendments also propose remedies for violations that may include forfeiture or civil penalties.

Southern Region Update

Florida

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

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

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

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

Kentucky

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

Central Region Update

Illinois

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

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

[Comment period has closed; awaiting final adoption.]

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

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

Iowa

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

The Board is engaged in the following additional rulemakings:

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

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

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

Status information on these dockets is available here.

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

Kansas

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

South Dakota

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

Southwest Region Update

Louisiana

SB 82 was pre-filed for  the upcoming legislative session. This bill:

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

Oklahoma

Two rulemakings are in progress:

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

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

The Gas Service Utilities rules (Chapter 45) are being amended [adopted 2/8/2019 and transmitted to the Governor and legislature for approval]:

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

SB1008/HB2097 amends definition for “excavate” includes activities w/in public or private right-of-way; modifies timeline requiring operator to locate and mark underground facilities (from 48 hours after receipt of demolition notice to prior to the date work is scheduled to begin).
[After second reading, in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee; passed the House, and in Senate Energy committee]

Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Region Update

California

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

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

The proposed regulatory language:

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

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

– Explains risk analysis submission requirements and considerations

– Provides deadlines and dates for deliverables

– Outlines reporting requirements following spills

– Describes evaluation and documented justification for best available technologies

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

– Covers spill trajectories and worst case discharges

– Describes processes for confirming acceptable risk analyses

– Outlines testing and training time frames and procedures

Proposed rules were updated on Jan 17, 2019 after multiple workshops in 2017 and 2018. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued on 2/5/2019. Public hearings were held thru April, with the end of the comment period April 2, 2019.

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

SB169 his bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to:

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

Current code excludes from the definition of pipeline a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil that operates by gravity or at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum yield strength of the pipe. This bill would eliminate that exclusion.

This section will become operative only upon receipt of federal block grant funds as determined by the State Fire Marshal.
[In the Senate Appropriations committee 3/29/2019]

AB1166 The regional notification center shall report the issuance of tickets to the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission shall retain these records for five or more years.
[In the Senate Natural Resources and Water committee, scheduled for a hearing 4/10/2019]

Colorado

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

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

Idaho

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

SB1011 was signed by the Governor on 3/22/2019 and is effective 7/1/2019. Idaho Code section 55-2205(2) states, “If there are identified but unlocatable underground facilities, the owner of such facilities or the owner’s agent shall locate and mark the underground facilities in accordance with the best information available to the owner of the underground facilities and with reasonable accuracy as defined in section 55-2202(15), Idaho Code.” Idaho Code section 55-2202(9) defines an identified but unlocatable underground facility as “an underground facility which has been identified but cannot be located with reasonable accuracy.” By definition, an identified but unlocatable underground facility cannot be located with reasonable accuracy as required by Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). The new law corrects this discrepancy and requires locatable underground facilities to be marked with reasonable accuracy, as was the initial intent of the statute. The new law also revises Idaho Code section 55-2205(4) to align it with changes to Idaho Code section 55-2205(2). Idaho Code section 55-2208(5) requires that “[u]nderground facility owners and excavators who observe, suffer or cause damage to an underground facility or observe, suffer or cause excavator downtime . . . shall report such information to the board in accordance with the rules promulgated by the board.” This requirement may cause duplicative reporting of the same incident by both underground facility owners and excavators. The Damage Prevention Board (Board) and stakeholders believe underground facility owners are best situated to report damage to their underground facilities and excavators are best situated to report downtime they suffer due to violations of chapter 22, title 55, Idaho Code. Accordingly, the Board and stakeholders believe only underground facility owners should be required to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators should be required to report excavator downtime. The new law eliminates potential double reporting by requiring only underground facility owners to report damage to underground facilities and only excavators to report excavator downtime. The new law also adds definitions for “hand digging,” “soft digging,” and “locator” to Idaho Code section 55-2202.

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

Washington

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

Wyoming

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

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

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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – March 2019

This update includes information from the March Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list of Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions:

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

The Office of Management and Budget lists these additional rules in its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions:

Publication ID: Fall 2018

Final rule stage

Pipeline Safety: Issues Related to the use of Plastic Pipe in Gas Pipeline Industry

RIN 2137-AE93 / Docket no. PHMSA 2014-0098
Affects: 49 CFR 192, 195

PHMSA has amended* the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations that govern the use of plastic piping systems in the transportation of natural and other gas. These amendments are necessary to enhance pipeline safety, adopt innovative technologies and best practices, and respond to petitions from stakeholders. The amendments include an increased design factor for polyethylene (PE) pipe, stronger mechanical fitting requirements, new and updated riser standards, new accepted uses of Polyamide-11 (PA-11) thermoplastic pipe, authorization to use Polyamide-12 (PA-12) thermoplastic pipe and new or updated consensus standards for pipe, fittings, and other components.
* (On 12/20/2018 a Petition for Reconsideration was submitted by the American Gas Association. Final determination by PHMSA was delayed due to the government shutdown. PHMSA issued a letter that allows state inspectors to exercise discretion in enforcement of the new rule.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 05/11/2012
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM published 5/21/2015 (80 FR 29263); C/P closed 7/31/2015.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/30/2016 11/19/2018 11/19/2018
Effective Date 01/22/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN-2137-AE66 / Docket no. PHMSA-2010-0229
Affects: 49 CFR 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/13/2010
Stage: Final Rule (Delayed – Additional coordination necessary)

Previous Stage: ANPRM 10/18/2010 (75 FR 63774); C/P Extended 01/04/2011 (76 FR 303) and 01/18/2011; Extended C/P End 02/18/2011; NPRM 10/13/2015 (80 FR 61610); NPRM C/P End 01/08/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 10/03/2016 06/28/2019
Effective Date 07/28/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72 / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011 (76 FR 53086); C/P Extended 11/16/2011 (76 FR 70953) and 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012. NPRM 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20721); End of C/P/ 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/20/2019
Effective Date 10/19/2019

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

PHMSA issued an interim final rule that requires operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum safety standards, including compliance with API RP 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/17/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 12/19/2016; End of C/P 02/17/2017; Effective Date 01/18/2017. Response to petition FR 06/20/2017

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 07/02/2019
Effective Date 08/02/2019

Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

RIN: 2137-AF26  /  Docket no. PHMSA 2016-0091
Affects: 49 CFR 190

PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) that established regulations implementing the emergency order authority conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act of 2016 or Act). These regulations are mandated by the PIPES Act of 2016 and establish procedures for the issuance of emergency orders (restrictions, prohibitions) to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard. The purpose of these requirements is to improve PHMSA’s existing enforcement authority to allow us to respond immediately and effectively to conditions or practices that pose serious threats to life, property, or the environment. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/16/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 10/14/2016 (81 FR 70980); C/P End 12/13/2016; Effective Date 10/14/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 04/22/2019
Effective Date 04/30/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/14/2019 12/20/2019
Effective Date 02/20/2020

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/12/2019 12/20/2019
Effective Dates 02/20/2020

Pending rules

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Parts 192 and 195 to Require Valve installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

RIN: 2137-AF06   / Docket no. PHMSA 2013-0255
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

PHMSA is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to improve rupture mitigation and shorten pipeline segment isolation times in high consequence and select non-high consequence areas. The proposed rule defines certain pipeline events as “ruptures” and outlines certain performance standards related to rupture identification and pipeline segment isolation. PHMSA also proposes specific valve maintenance and inspection requirements, and 9-1-1 notification requirements to help operators achieve better rupture response and mitigation. These proposals address congressional mandates, incorporate recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, and are necessary to reduce the serious consequences of large-volume, uncontrolled releases of natural gas and hazardous liquids.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 01/06/2015 08/07/2019
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 10/07/2019

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements

RIN 2137-AF29 / Docket no. PHMSA-2017-0151
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking regards existing class location requirements, specifically as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment would be used to inform future regulatory or deregulatory efforts related to this topic.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 06/29/2017
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: ANPRM

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 11/15/2019
End of Comment Period -1/15/2020

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF36 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/20/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 02/01/2019 08/14/2019
End of Comment Period 04/01/2019 10/14/2019

Pipeline Safety: Repair Criteria for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN: 2137-AF44 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

PHMSA plans a notice of proposed rulemaking that would modify the provisions for determining the need to make repairs to hazardous liquid pipelines, commonly referred to as repair criteria, in High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and develop new repair criteria for hazardous liquid pipelines in non-HCAs.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None: End of Reopened Comment Period; Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date N/A

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities (Long-Term Action)

RIN: 2137-AF45
Affects: 49 CFR 193

PHMSA is proposing to update incorporated industry standards and revise all subparts of part 193 as needed. These updates to part 193 will address the risks associated with today’s liquefied natural gas facilities, including permanent, small scale liquefied natural gas pipeline facilities as required by Section 27 of the PIPES Act of 2016.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date N/A

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF37 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 194 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipeline system. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas (Long-Term Action)

RIN: 2137-AF31 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

As mandated by section 19 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-183), PHMSA will amend the definition of an unusually sensitive area (USA) to explicitly include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches, and marine coastal waters as USA ecological resources for the purposes of determining whether a pipeline is in a high consequence area (HCA), as defined by 49 CFR 195.450. To address this mandate, PHMSA must change the definition of USA and further define what is included in “coastal beaches” and “marine coastal waters.” In this rulemaking, PHMSA will solicit broad input from the pipeline industry and other stakeholders, propose definitions and geographic extents for the new terms to be included in the revised USA definition, and understand industry implications and concerns with the proposed revisions.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 04/00/2020

Pipeline Safety: Periodic Standards Update Rule (Long-Term Action)

RIN: 2137-AF13 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 192    49 CFR 193    49 CFR 194    49 CFR 195

This NPRM proposes to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards. The practice of incorporating voluntary consensus standards requires pipeline operators to use the most current industry technologies, materials, and management practices available on today’s market. The new versions reflect new technology and/or improvements to the existing standards thereby saving the pipeline operators pipeline construction and compliance costs. PHMSA is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. These proposed changes would be relatively minor, and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2020

At ViaData, we help you keep abreast of changes in federal and state pipeline safety regulations. Sign up for free updates today, or for a free trial of WinDOT, our online pipeline encyclopedia.

In addition to quick and easy access to current regulations, WinDOT provides you with a full complement of background information for the federal pipeline safety regulations that includes: the NTSB and PHMSA reports describing the initial incidents that provided the catalyst for change, the rulemaking and amendment history, past and current interpretations of the regulation, and enforcement guidance and cases.

PHMSA Extends Deadline for Compliance with New Plastic Pipe Rule

The AGA filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the new Plastic Pipe Rule which was published as a final rule on November 20, 2018, and effective January 22, 2019 [83 FR 58694].

The American Public Gas Association (APGA) posted the following notice on its blog:

A letter distributed by Alan Mayberry, PHMSA Associate Administrator of Pipeline Safety, on March 1, 2019 provided several of the extensions that AGA proposed. In summary, PHMSA provided a 90-day extension, until April 22, 2019, for several of the compliance deadlines for implementation of training and operator qualification programs related to the new requirements. Additionally, PHMSA has granted a six-month extension, until July 22, 2019, to comply with certain provisions that require the development of new programs.

The response letter from PHMSA contains a chart outlining specific extensions.


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Federal Pipeline Safety Rulemaking Update – February 2019

This update includes information from the February Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings and from the Office of Management and Budget list of Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions:

Final and interim final rules:

Pending rules:

Public comment notice:

The Office of Management and Budget lists these additional rules in its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions:

Publication ID: Fall 2018

 

Final rule stage

Pipeline Safety: Issues Related to the use of Plastic Pipe in Gas Pipeline Industry

RIN 2137-AE93 / Docket no. PHMSA 2014-0098
Affects: 49 CFR 192, 195

PHMSA has amending the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations that govern the use of plastic piping systems in the transportation of natural and other gas. These amendments are necessary to enhance pipeline safety, adopt innovative technologies and best practices, and respond to petitions from stakeholders. The amendments include an increased design factor for polyethylene (PE) pipe, stronger mechanical fitting requirements, new and updated riser standards, new accepted uses of Polyamide-11 (PA-11) thermoplastic pipe, authorization to use Polyamide-12 (PA-12) thermoplastic pipe and new or updated consensus standards for pipe, fittings, and other components.
(On 12/20/2018 a Petition for Reconsideration was submitted by the American Gas Association. Final determination by PHMSA was delayed due to the government shutdown, but AGA received a response on March 1, 2019. See more info here.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 05/11/2012
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM published 5/21/2015 (80 FR 29263); C/P closed 7/31/2015.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/30/2016 11/19/2018 11/19/2018
Effective Date 01/22/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN-2137-AE66 / Docket no. PHMSA-2010-0229
Affects: 49 CFR 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to improve protection of the public, property, and the environment by closing regulatory gaps where appropriate, and ensuring that operators are increasing the detection and remediation of unsafe conditions, and mitigating the adverse effects of hazardous liquid pipeline failures.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/13/2010
Stage: Final Rule (Delayed – Additional coordination necessary)

Previous Stage: ANPRM 10/18/2010 (75 FR 63774); C/P Extended 01/04/2011 (76 FR 303) and 01/18/2011; Extended C/P End 02/18/2011; NPRM 10/13/2015 (80 FR 61610); NPRM C/P End 01/08/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 10/03/2016 05/27/2019
Effective Date 06/26/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137–AE72  / Docket no. PHMSA-2011-0023
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations to address the testing and pressure reconfirmation of certain previously untested gas transmission pipelines and certain gas transmission pipelines with inadequate records, require operators incorporate seismicity into their risk analysis and data integration, require the reporting of maximum allowable operating pressure exceedances, allow a 6-month extension of integrity management reassessment intervals with notice, and expand integrity assessments outside of high consequence areas to other populated areas.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 01/04/2011
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: ANPRM 8/25/2011 (76 FR 53086); C/P Extended 11/16/2011 (76 FR 70953) and 12/2/2011; End of Extended C/P 1/20/2012. NPRM 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20721); End of C/P/ 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 07/02/2019
Effective Date 09/02/2019

Pipeline Safety: Underground Storage Facilities for Natural Gas

RIN 2137-AF22 / Docket no. PHMSA-2016-0016
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

PHMSA issued an interim final rule that requires operators of underground storage facilities for natural gas to comply with minimum safety standards, including compliance with API RP 1171, Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs, and API RP 1170, Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns Used for Natural Gas Storage. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/17/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 12/19/2016; End of C/P 02/17/2017; Effective Date 01/18/2017. Response to petition FR 06/20/2017

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 07/02/2019
Effective Date 08/02/2019

Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures

RIN: 2137-AF26  /  Docket no. PHMSA 2016-0091
Affects: 49 CFR 190

PHMSA issued an interim final rule (IFR) that established regulations implementing the emergency order authority conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act of 2016 or Act). These regulations are mandated by the PIPES Act of 2016 and establish procedures for the issuance of emergency orders (restrictions, prohibitions) to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard. The purpose of these requirements is to improve PHMSA’s existing enforcement authority to allow us to respond immediately and effectively to conditions or practices that pose serious threats to life, property, or the environment. The next planned action is to finalize the interim final rule.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/16/2016
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: IFR published 10/14/2016 (81 FR 70980); C/P End 12/13/2016; Effective Date 10/14/2016.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 03/20/2019
Effective Date 04/19/2019

Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines

RIN 2137-AF38 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would require all gas gathering pipeline operators to report incidents and annual pipeline data. PHMSA is also extending regulatory safety requirements to Type A gathering lines in Class 1 locations and is proposing to change certain definitions related to gas gathering operation. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 08/14/2019 12/20/2019
Effective Date 02/20/2020

Pipeline Safety – Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments

RIN 2137-AF39 / Docket no. not assigned / Not yet published in unified agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the pipeline safety regulations relevant to gas transmission pipelines by adjusting the repair criteria in high consequence areas and creating new criteria for non-high consequence areas, requiring the inspection of pipelines following extreme events, requiring safety features on in-line inspection tool launchers and receivers, updating and bolstering pipeline corrosion control, codifying a management of change process, clarifying certain integrity management provisions, and strengthening integrity management assessment requirements. (Note: this rulemaking was branched from RIN 2137-AE72.)

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 03/01/2018
Stage: Final Rule
Previous Stage: NPRM: Publication Approved 03/11/2016; Publication Date 04/08/2016 (81 FR 20722 as part of RIN 2137-AE72); End of C/P 06/08/2016; Extension of C/P.

Dates for Final Rule
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 06/12/2019 12/20/2019
Effective Dates 02/20/2020

Pending rules

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Parts 192 and 195 to Require Valve installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

RIN: 2137-AF06   / Docket no. PHMSA 2013-0255
Affects: 49 CFR 192 and 195

PHMSA is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed or entirely replaced natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to improve rupture mitigation and shorten pipeline segment isolation times in high consequence and select non-high consequence areas. The proposed rule defines certain pipeline events as “ruptures” and outlines certain performance standards related to rupture identification and pipeline segment isolation. PHMSA also proposes specific valve maintenance and inspection requirements, and 9-1-1 notification requirements to help operators achieve better rupture response and mitigation. These proposals address congressional mandates, incorporate recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, and are necessary to reduce the serious consequences of large-volume, uncontrolled releases of natural gas and hazardous liquids.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 11/21/2013
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 01/06/2015 08/07/2019
End of Comment Period 02/26/2015 10/07/2019

Pipeline Safety: Class Location Requirements

RIN 2137-AF29 / Docket no. PHMSA-2017-0151
Affects: 49 CFR 192

This rulemaking regards existing class location requirements, specifically as they pertain to actions operators are required to take following class location changes. Operators have suggested that performing integrity management measures on pipelines where class locations have changed due to population increases would be an equally safe but less costly alternative to the current requirements of either reducing pressure, pressure testing, or replacing pipe. This request for public comment would be used to inform future regulatory or deregulatory efforts related to this topic.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 06/29/2017
Stage: ANPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for ANPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 04/09/2018 07/31/2018  07/31/2018
End of Comment Period 06/11/2018 09/24/2018 10/01/2018

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF36 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 191 and 192

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of gas transmission and gas gathering pipeline systems. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 02/20/2018
Stage: NPRM
Previous Stage: N/A

Dates for NPRM      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 02/01/2019 08/14/2019
End of Comment Period 04/01/2019 10/14/2019

Pipeline Safety: Repair Criteria for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

RIN: 2137-AF44 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

PHMSA plans a notice of proposed rulemaking that would modify the provisions for determining the need to make repairs to hazardous liquid pipelines, commonly referred to as repair criteria, in High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and develop new repair criteria for hazardous liquid pipelines in non-HCAs.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None: End of Reopened Comment Period; Publication Approved; Publication Date; End of Comment Period.

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date N/A

Pipeline Safety: Amendments to Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities (Long-Term Action)

RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda
Affects: 49 CFR 193

PHMSA is proposing to update incorporated industry standards and revise all subparts of part 193 as needed. These updates to part 193 will address the risks associated with today’s liquefied natural gas facilities.

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 07/16/2018
Stage: Undetermined
Previous Stage: None

Dates for undetermined stage      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date N/A

Public comment notice:

Pipeline Safety: Guidance on the Extension of the 7-year Integrity Management Reassessment Interval by 6 Months.

RIN: 2137-ZA09 /Docket no. PHMSA-2018-0073-0001
Affects: none

PHMSA is publishing this notice to seek public comments on frequently asked questions (FAQs) developed to provide guidance on what constitutes sufficient justification for an operator to request a 6-month extension to a gas pipeline’s 7-year integrity management reassessment interval. This guidance, which consists of one revised and two new FAQs, will implement authority granted by Congress in Section 5(e) of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (2011 Act).

Rulemaking Project Initiated: 08/28/2018
Stage: Other
Previous Stage: End of C/P 12/17/2018

Dates for Other      
Milestone Originally
Scheduled
Date
New
Projected
Date
Actual
Date
Publication Date 09/21/2018 11/15/2018

Additional rules

The Office of Management and Budget lists these rules in its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Pipeline Safety: Liquid Pipeline Regulatory Reform

RIN: 2137-AF37 /Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 194 and 195

This rulemaking would amend the Pipeline Safety Regulations to adopt a number of actions that ease regulatory burdens on the construction and operation of hazardous liquid pipeline system. These amendments include regulatory relief actions identified by internal agency review, existing petitions for rulemaking, and public comments on the Department of Transportation regulatory reform and infrastructure notices.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2019

Pipeline Safety: Coastal Ecological Unusually Sensitive Areas (Long-Term Action)

RIN: 2137-AF31 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 195

As mandated by section 19 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-183), PHMSA will amend the definition of an unusually sensitive area (USA) to explicitly include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches, and marine coastal waters as USA ecological resources for the purposes of determining whether a pipeline is in a high consequence area (HCA), as defined by 49 CFR 195.450. To address this mandate, PHMSA must change the definition of USA and further define what is included in “coastal beaches” and “marine coastal waters.” In this rulemaking, PHMSA will solicit broad input from the pipeline industry and other stakeholders, propose definitions and geographic extents for the new terms to be included in the revised USA definition, and understand industry implications and concerns with the proposed revisions.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 04/00/2020

Pipeline Safety: Periodic Standards Update Rule (Long-Term Action)

RIN: 2137-AF13 / Docket no. not assigned
Affects: 49 CFR 192    49 CFR 193    49 CFR 194    49 CFR 195

This NPRM proposes to incorporate by reference all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards. The practice of incorporating voluntary consensus standards requires pipeline operators to use the most current industry technologies, materials, and management practices available on today’s market. The new versions reflect new technology and/or improvements to the existing standards thereby saving the pipeline operators pipeline construction and compliance costs. PHMSA is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. These proposed changes would be relatively minor, and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2020

At ViaData, we help you keep abreast of changes in federal and state pipeline safety regulations. But that’s not all – WinDOT our online pipeline encyclopedia provides you with all the background you need, from the initial incidents that provide the catalyst to change regulations, through the rulemaking process, and finally to the new regulation and its interpretations. Check us out!

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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