In This Issue

New Jersey Natural Gas Pipeline Readoption and Proposed New Rule

[BPU Docket No. GX22020048]

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has proposed changes to its Natural Gas Pipelines regulations and for a general reauthorization of those regulations. New requirements cover the frequency and type of emergency response drills, construction requirements for plastic pipe, new requirements for incident reporting, new requirements for classifying gas leaks, adding construction activities to operator qualification programs and reporting requirements. Proposed changes include:

  • Emergency response drills will be required in each of a distribution operator’s districts or divisions every two years, alternating between tabletop drills and field drills. The drill scenario would meet the definition of a reportable event. Notification to and submittal of a final drill report to the Board is required.
  • Gas transmission operators would now be required to conduct one of the annual line shutdown drills during normal business hours (Monday-Friday) in the three-year cycle for emergency response drills. The other emergency drills may be tabletop drills.
  • There are new or modified details for the installation of plastic pipe concerning the running of tracer wires and colored tape. There were also requirements when backfilling with flowable fill for plastic and metal pipe installation and maintenance activities.
  • Incident reporting requirements are listed in the proposal instead of cross-referencing incident reporting requirements in other regulations. Incident reporting now includes definitions of the level of service interruptions that would be considered an incident.

The proposal has a new section for classifying different gas leak levels or grades and the required actions for each gas leak grade. This new section includes training requirements for those who would be identifying the leak grade and for those who would be responding to the leak.

The Oversight of Construction Activities section of the regulation was renamed to also include maintenance and operation activities. Operator qualification requirements were added to all construction, maintenance and operation activities subject to the Operator Qualification Program.

The reporting regulation is being modified to add new and simplified reporting requirements.

Public comments are due by December 16, 2022. The preferred method of transmittal is through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Public Document Search tool, by searching for the specific docket number listed above and using the “Post Comments” button. Written comments may also be submitted to the address below. (Include the subject matter and docket number.)

Secretary of the Board, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Attn: BPU Docket No. GX22020048
44 South Clinton Ave., 1st Floor (PO Box 350)
Trenton, NJ 08625-0350
Phone: 609-292-1599