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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 300. Energy Regulation; in General
8/13/2020

20VAC5-300-70. Regulations and Procedures Pertaining to Gas Pipeline Safety in Virginia.

On November 21, 1988, the Research and Special Programs Administration, Department of Transportation ("DOT"), adopted a final rule governing the control of drug use in natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and hazardous liquid pipeline operations, codified as Part 199 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Control of drug use in natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and hazardous liquid pipeline operations, RSPA Docket No. PS-1‑2, RIN 2137-AB54, 53 Fed. Reg. 47084 (Nov. 21, 1988). The DOT stated in its rule that it expected Part 199 to be adopted by states participating in federal-state relationships prescribed in the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (49 USCS §§ 1671 et seq.) and the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (18 USCS §§ 831 et seq.). See 53 Fed. Reg. 47084, 47096. Virginia and the Virginia State Corporation Commission are the State and the Department of that State, which are involved in such a relationship. In fact, by its Order dated February 21, 1967, in Case No. 18151, this Commission adopted a uniform code of rules and regulations relating to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of transmission and distribution facilities of natural gas companies located and operated in Virginia.

By subsequent orders dated April 20, 1967, April 9, 1970, January 8, 1971, and June 4, 1981, the Commission amended, modified and cancelled portions of its original order dealing with the design, construction, operation and maintenance of these facilities. By its October 16, 1981 Order entered in Case No. PUE810046, it cancelled previous orders and adopted standard regulations and procedures pertaining to gas safety in Virginia.

NOW THE COMMISSION finds that its October 16, 1981 Order entered in Case No. PUE810046 should be vacated and that 49 CFR 199 should be adopted as well as Parts 191, 192, and 193 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, which were previously adopted, all of which serves as the minimum gas pipeline safety code which the Commission enforces in Virginia. The directives set forth in the October 16, 1981 Order shall remain in effect in all other respects.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED:

1. That this matter is hereby docketed and assigned Case No. PUE890052;

2. That our October 16, 1989 Order entered in Case No. PUE810046 is hereby vacated, and Part 199 shall be adopted, along with Parts 191, 192, and 193 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, previously adopted. All amendments, past and future, to these four parts shall remain in force as the minimum pipeline safety code in the Commonwealth of Virginia;

3. That telephone reports regarding incidents as listed in Part 191.5(a) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations shall be made by all natural gas companies subject to the Commission's jurisdiction at the earliest practical moment to the Commission's Division of Energy Regulation during the Division's duty hours or, at other times, to the home of one of the Commission staff engineers, who enforce the safety code;

4. That the required written reports mentioned under Part 191, Sections 191.9, 191.11, 191.13, 191.15, and 191.17 of Title 49 shall be made in duplicate to the Commission, unless the jurisdictional natural gas company states that it has already forwarded a copy of said reports to the Information Resources Manager, Office of Pipeline Safety, Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590;

5. That every significant interruption of service shall be reported to this Commission within 24 hours after such interruption occurs, together with the cause thereof, so far as ascertainable;

6. That natural gas companies subject to the Commission's jurisdiction shall maintain their operation and maintenance plans, up to date with pipeline safety requirements, within their own facilities subject to inspection by Commission gas pipeline safety inspectors;

7. That the Commission staff member supervising and administering the gas pipeline safety program in Virginia shall be empowered to submit and sign on behalf of the Commission, such forms and applications as necessary to assure participation in natural gas pipeline safety programs, as deemed advisable by the Commission to assure an effective safety program in Virginia, but that the Commission Comptroller shall be empowered to sign on behalf of the Commission those applications and forms pertaining to grants or reimbursement or expenses incurred by the Commission in conducting the gas pipeline safety program in Virginia; and

8. That there being nothing further to be done herein, the same is hereby dismissed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-5.1, 56-234 and 56-257.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE890052, eff. July 6, 1989.

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