The DOT assesses and collects user fees to fund pipeline safety program activities. Annual fiscal year appropriations normally form the basis of the user fee assessments that are deposited in the Pipeline Safety Fund (PSF). The PSF provides the funding for DOT’s pipeline safety activities, including the daily operations and program activities of the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS). To date, Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 appropriations for DOT have not yet been enacted. DOT is operating under continuing resolutions, the most recent of which provides an appropriation through January 11, 2003. In order to assure sufficient funds are available in the PSF for OPS operations, DOT will issue Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 user fee assessments incrementally. The first assessment will be issued in December 2002. Additional assessments will be issued based upon appropriation by Congress as needed to replenish the PSF. To lessen the administrative burden associated with this process, RSPA/OPS will strive to limit the number of assessments and collection of user fees. For now, RSPA/OPS will be issuing the FY 2003 assessments as follows:
Natural gas transmission pipelines: $23.94 per mile (based on 299,358 miles of pipeline).
Hazardous liquid pipelines: $44.51 per mile (based on 161,007 miles of pipeline).
LNG facility operators are assessed user fees based on the number of plants and total storage capacity. However, these fees will not be collected at this time. They will be issued and collected later.