California OSFM Title 19 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


The California Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the adoption of regulations/requirements for pipelines near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas. The primary objective of the proposed regulations is to protect these areas and state waters and wildlife by reducing the volume of hazardous liquid released in the event of a spill using best available technology (BAT). The proposed regulations identified for adoption include approximately twenty (20) new sections.

OSFM predicts the proposed regulations will cover approximately 600 miles of California’s intrastate pipelines and cost operators approximately $220 million over the next three years. The proposed regulations will require pipelines that operate in the coastal zone to use BAT for existing as well as new and replacement pipelines. The draft regulations attempt to define several key terms and outline processes to implement the BAT requirements.

BAT is defined as the “technology that provides the greatest degree of protection by limiting the quantity of oil released in a spill” and must consider processes used or available for purchase anywhere in the world.  Pipeline operators are tasked with reviewing available processes and equipment and proposing BAT for their pipelines. The operators must consider leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, and/or remote controlled sectionalized block valves. OSFM will review proposals submitted by the operators and determine whether the proposal meets BAT requirements. The proposed regulations outline factors OSFM will consider including feasibility and site-specific conditions. The regulations would require operators of all existing pipelines to submit a risk analysis and an initial BAT implementation plan by July 2020.

Submit written comments to by April 2, 2019, 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Include in the subject line of the email:  Comments – Pipeline Safety-New Technologies, T19, Division 1.

Additional information regarding this NPRM can be found on the OSFM website, or contact Jessica Foley for a copy of the proposed regulations.