In This Issue

Texas Final Rule: Natural Gas Pipelines Public Education and Liaison

The Railroad Commission of Texas has approved 16 TAC §8.235 relating to public education and liaison programs for gas pipelines. The rule requires that (for regulated intra-state pipelines in Texas):

“Each operator … shall communicate and conduct liaison activities with fire, police, and other appropriate public emergency response officials. The liaison activities are those required by 49 CFR Part 192.615(c)(1)-(4). These liaison activities shall be conducted in person, except as provided by this section.”

Operators must use certified mail, fax, telephone, or e-mail to attempt to arrange the personal meetings. If a scheduled meeting does not take place, the operator must attempt to re-schedule the meeting using these same methods. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the operator should try to arrange a conference call (again using the same methods, and again attempting to re-schedule if a scheduled teleconference does not take place). If these attempts are unsuccessful, the information can be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

So, the operator may:

  1. schedule a personal meeting,
  2. get stood up,
  3. re-schedule the personal meeting,
  4. get stood up again,
  5. schedule a conference call
  6. get stood up,
  7. re-schedule the conference call
  8. get stood up again,
  9. send the information by certified mail.

Records of all these steps must be kept for 5 years.

In addition, the rule requires:

“Each owner or operator of a natural gas pipeline or natural gas pipeline facility any part of which is located within 1,000 feet of a public school building or recreational area shall notify the Commission by filing with the Gas Services Division, Pipeline Safety Section, the following information:

  1. the name of the school;
  2. the street address of the school; and
  3. the identification (system name) of the pipeline.”