In This Issue

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Proposes Changes to State Rules on Pipeline Safety and Damage Prevention

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) has proposed to amend its existing rules regarding Pipeline Safety General Provisions and Pipeline Safety Excavation Damage Prevention that are currently codified in the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC).

The Staff has submitted nine (9) proposed changes to 18.60.2 and eighteen (18) proposed changes to 18.60.5 NMAC. Changes to 18.60.2 NMAC include requirement for hazardous liquid operators to make telephonic notice to the Pipeline Safety Bureau; as well as submission of annual and other reports by gas and liquid operators. There were also requirements for gathering operators to establish and follow written procedures (i.e., emergency, O&M, valve maintenance, etc.). Wording changes also addressed inclusion of procedures for emergency response to excavation damage near buildings when the possibility of multiple leaks and gas migration can occur into nearby buildings. Finally, wording on notice of intent to sell, transfer or change of ownership or operations directed at regulated gas and liquid operators stated the director (of the NMPRC) shall be notified at least 90 days prior to such transactions.

Proposed changes to 18.60.5 included further clarification of definitions as well as removal of the responsibilities of non-member underground facility owners from the Rule. In addition, wording was added encouraging locate requests for excavation projects involving, “purely non-mechanical means.” Other wording addressed changes to pre-marking and pre-excavation procedures by excavators.

Comments to the proposed amendments can be made in writing, no later than December 9, 2011. Responses to comments are due no later than January 5, 2012. Send comments to: Mr. Nick Guillen, NMPRC Records Management Bureau, 1120 Paseo de Peralta, P. O. Box 1269, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include Case No. 11-00298-PL, Proposed Amendments to Pipeline Safety General Provisions and Excavation Damage Prevention.

For a copy of this proposed rule, contact Jessica Roger.