The Railroad Commission of Texas proposes new 8.201, relating to Pipeline Safety Program Fees. New Texas Utilities Code, 121.211, authorizes the Commission to adopt by rule an inspection fee to be assessed annually to all operators of natural gas distribution pipelines and their pipeline facilities and natural gas master metered pipelines and their pipeline facilities subject to the Commission’s pipeline safety jurisdiction under Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 121. The fee is to be deposited in the general revenue fund for the operation of the Commission’s pipeline safety program. The total revenue estimated to be collected under such a rule may not exceed the amount estimated by the Commission to be necessary to recover the costs of administering its pipeline safety program under Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 121, excluding costs that are fully funded by federal sources. For fiscal year 2004, the Commission must recover $1,636,729 from the pipeline safety program fee. To do so, the Commission proposes to assess each master metered system a pipeline safety program fee of $100 annually, and each natural gas distribution system a pipeline safety program fee of $0.37 per service.
Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Rules Coordinator, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967; online at www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/commentform.html; or by electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Commission will accept comments for 21 days after publication in the Texas Register and should refer to Gas Utilities Docket No. 9436. For further information, call Mary McDaniel at (512) 463-7058. The status of Commission rulemakings in progress is available at www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/proposed.html. To enable affected persons to have more time to review the proposed new rule and submit comments, the Commission has posted the rule on its web site on or about July 9, 2003, has given direct notice of the proposed new rule to master meter and distribution system operators, and will accept comments on the proposal beginning on that date.