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Comments On Implementing Pipeline Registry, Inspections Under New Law Weighed By PUC

Public Utility Commission Thursday issued for comment a Tentative Order that begins the implementation of the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act (Act 127 of 2011).
           The Commission voted 5-0 to receive comments. PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson and Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer issued a joint statement. The Tentative Order addresses the Act 127 initiatives of creating a statewide registry for non-public utility gas and hazardous liquids pipeline equipment and facilities within the Commonwealth; conducting safety inspections to enforce Federal pipeline safety laws on certain classifications of pipeline; and assessing entities for the costs.
            Act 127 directed the PUC to develop a registry and conduct safety inspections of these lines for all “pipeline operators” in the state.  The Commission also is to track the development of pipelines in less populated areas which transport gas from non-conventional wells.
            The Tentative Order contains information on: registration forms and fees; registration deadlines; and assessment calculations and schedules.
            Act 127 expanded the Commission’s authority to enforce the federal pipeline safety laws as they relate to those pipelines and facilities. Non-public utility gas and hazardous liquids pipeline operators include several different categories of pipelines such as cooperatively owned natural gas distribution systems, non-utility natural gas transportation and gathering lines and propane distribution pipeline systems.
            Interested parties have 20 days from the entry of the Tentative Order to comment on these proposed changes. Specific instructions on how to submit comments may be found in the order.  The Tentative Order will be finalized based on these comments.


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