In This Issue

New Mexico Pipeline Regulations Updates

On October 29, 2012 the pipelines regulations governing intrastate pipelines in New Mexico were revised to include the following:

  • Adoption of the definitions found in 49 CFR 193 and 194.
  • Requiring hazardous liquid operators to make telephonic notices to the pipeline safety bureau in accordance with 49 CFR Section 195.50 for accidents.
  • Requiring intrastate gas and hazardous liquid operators to submit annual reports, written incident / accident reports and safety related condition reports as prescribed in 49 CFR 191 and 195 to the transportation division director or his designee at PO Box 1269, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1269.
  • Established requirements for regulated intrastate gathering operators in
  • Interpretation of the following terms from federal regulation: “replaced service line”, “procedures for making safe any actual or potential hazard to life or property” and accidents or failures” in
  • Requiring hazardous liquid pipeline operators to provide notice of intent to construct to the Transportation Divisions Director in writing if total construction value is $50, 000 or more (already required for gas pipelines).

In addition to the general pipeline regulation updates, the requirements for handling emergency excavation and damage reporting were updated. Underground Facility Operators (UFO) must retain records of underground facility damage information for 5 years in addition to locate requests and excavation notices. If an UFO utilizes contractors to perform damage investigation, the UFO is responsible for compliance with excavation rules.

Excavators are encouraged to make a locate request for excavation projects that involve purely non-mechanical means.

In every incorporated area, or when an excavation site cannot be clearly and adequately identified on the locate ticket, the excavator shall pre-mark the actual intended excavation route or site(s) in that area in accordance with American Public Works Association (APWA) marking guidelines to communicate to facility owners where the actual excavation will take place for standard ten (10) working day ticket requests only. All locate requests shall include, if available, an alternate contact name and their contact information for the excavator. Incomplete line locate requests may be held in suspension until complete by the one-call notification system.

Excavators are no longer required to contact non-member UFOs to request wide area locate conferences.

The requirements for marking excavation sites were also updated. Prior to these updates, excavators were encouraged to mark all proposed excavation sites in accordance with APWA standards; now, these markings are mandatory. When accessing penalties for damage, the commission may consider how well the proposed site was marked. UFOs may either write “clear” or “non underground facilities” with their name at the site in the appropriate color or may contact the notification system within two working days to report no underground facilities in the proposed area of excavation. Prior to beginning excavation, excavators must call the notification system if one or more facilities have not been marked by a member UFO to verify the area as clear. Note: homeowners of residential property are not required to clear a facility.

If an excavator damages a facility he must contact 911, the operator of the damaged facility and 811 to report. Both the operator and excavator must request an emergency locate anytime there has been damage, not just during normal business hours. Anytime an underground facility is damaged, the UFO must report the damage using the commission’s website at This repot must be completely filled out.